It’s vital, in part because we know and understand who we are by attending to ourselves during our communication with others. In “Visions of a People’s Dharma” I point to way where we develop the praxis of communication. Most of us just fell into communication through our family. The “how” we communicate can make a huge difference in the quality of our relationships.
We want to pay attention to our inner world while also attending to the “Others” entire message. We want awareness of opinion, conclusion, judgement, tendency to excel beyond the other, interest, and honesty. Clear communication is not simply talking to another person, it involves dedication to clarity. Rare when we place all these factors into the bridges we build.
Most of us view communication as a platform to express who we are, what we think, and to create our status with others. We hate to think of us like that but if you really start paying attention, close attention, you will see how we are always playing for a slightly elevated position when communicating with others. We feel the need to “Top” the experience and information we hear. We see this clearly in our unspoken, as of yet soon to be, responses. Check it out you may find it interesting. Your conditioning will try to convince you that this doesn’t happen but you may be surprised at how often this happens. Does it happen all the time? No. Nothing happens all the time. But, it’s enough of our makeup that it is noticeable. We start doing this at a young age and it’s most apparent in our early school years.
When we fix others, when we have a better experience, when we know something someone doesn’t, when we offer answers, solutions, or paths, what we are doing is moving to a slightly better position. Most of the time I think we mean well and perhaps we do. This doesn’t help is in reality we are diminishing the other by moving to a “higher” position. If you remain sensitive during communication you will see that this is a conditioned mode of exchange.
If we are attending to one another while communicating and processing the communication with honesty the exchange of information becomes something meaningful and deeper. We enter:
This is a different form of communication. Clearer and present, we attend more to the meaning and processing as a complete field, not just two sources of information.
COMMUNION MEANS CREATING AND ATTENDING TO THE EMOTIONAL, SPIRITUAL, AND HOLDING OF EACH OTHER WITHIN A SUPPORT FIELD.
Communion, unfortunately, has some formal religious connotations. In reality it has little to do with religion and more to do with the quality of emotionally connected and supportive communication.
Recently a friend and I were at a barn where we volunteer to take care of rescue horses. We initiated a conversation that held some emotional content for the both of us. During the exchange of information we bridged the share communication zone and slipped into the communion about life zone. This is intense and leaves impact. I am pretty sure we both felt the intensity of the exchange. Friends do this. We attend and focus entirely on the information and the clear emotional impact in free and untroubled sharing. I do not have any doubt that a great part of the process was supported by the fact that we are both practicing meditation.
This is not an exchange on the level of acting as caring or interested. It is experienced by both parties (or more) as an intimate understanding of where the other person is on a non-verbal basis.
We start of a communication level, exchanging information and the line becomes blurred between information, emotion, embracing, empathy, and caring. We know we are starting to commune when the seperation softens, empathy ignites, and the knowing of the others experience is brought forward. Judgements, opinions, fixes, advice, and status disappear.
I‘ll tell you why I think this experience occurs. I believe it’s due to the fact that for a period of time both parties and present in the fullest sense. That a mutual, shared, empathtic, caring union takes place that creates a different relationship. I find it interesting that most people, when we talk about this, readily give examples from their own lives. They have experienced and understand.
I would be interested in hearing ideas, thoughts, and experiences concerning this dynamic.
Until next time,