Satya Words are symbols and carry symbolic energy with them. That Yoga finds words important and laden with energy is no surprise. The Mantra is a word that empowers and liberates. In yoga we also state an intention, with words, albeit, inner words, when we begin the class. We remove all words from our mind that represent thoughts that carry us off the mat and away from the present moment, away from our practice.
Breath, movement and body awareness are learned and heightened in the yoga practice; the goal of every class is to take these practices off the mat into Life’s classroom. The understanding of the Satya, words also needs to be carried off the yoga mat and into Life’s classroom.
Sometimes words are said as an automatic response. We hear something and without hesitation we say something back. Sometimes it is just habit: “How are you?” “Fine.” when we might not be fine. Sometimes it is insincere flattery: “Have not seen you in a while.” “Yeah you look great.” The list can go on an on as we speak in platitudes. The problem with speaking out of habit is that we do not engage the wiser Self and can often offend others “you remind me of so & so”, commit to something unmeaningfully “sure, I’ll help”; the commitment was not fully understood, or sometimes we utter nonsense “where are you going?” “Out and about”
You may think “We cannot always have meaningful conversations” . Why not? How are we to know what part of the day we can be of value to someone if we rush through conversation?
I know of an acquaintance who always asks, “Hey, can I help” and then proceeds to walk out of the room of activity. Why does he not stay and wait for an answer? Why does he bother to ask if he has no intention to stay? I know of someone else who just walks away from people when the topic of conversation is not stimulating enough. I have seen the faces of the others look in bewilderment as to why he just left. One day I was there when it happened. When the person walked away, I paused. I closed my eyes and asked for clarity. A few hours later I had the opportunity to see that person and then asked, “I was confused when you walked away in the middle of the conversation. What happened that you walked away without saying anything?”
He said he just was not interested in the topic and did not know how to articulate that.
So who is to say if that is socially acceptable behavior? A word or two to excuse himself would have made us all feel a bit more comfortable. Is that his responsibility to make others feel more comfortable? I think not. But more importantly had he stated his reason for wanting to leave, we may have been able to change the topic to one of more relevance. I had the opportunity to ask him and I did ask him. For me the answer was clear. Perhaps in the asking he may have moved to awareness.
Practice self-inquiry in conversation as we practice self-inquiry with our space on the mat.
Am I sincere?
Am I speaking from a place of authenticity?
Do I correct rather than encourage?
Do I suggest instead of allow the person to find their own awareness?
Do I fish with my sentences rather than aim for directness?
Can I restate sentences so they contain no blame, no judgement?
Do I talk to influence rather than to connect?
Do I need to say it? Do I have an agenda buried in my sentences?
These are just a few questions we can ask ourselves inwardly.
When more attention is placed on listening then the words coming
off our lips are usually well considered. If we do not ask ourselves the questions is the conversation valuable to each individual? Is it a waste of time? For words can also drain us of energy as well as energize us.
Yoga helps us become mindful, not mind-empty. Mindful means to regard all our actions, one of which is speech, Satya words. The true value of yoga is not to exercise the body thru asana, but to quell the mind of its nonsense and connect to a higher Presence and a more meaningful relationship. It is to connect to our Healing Source of Unity.
There is an interesting game one can play to see how good a communicator we are.
2 people minimum. Let’s call them P1 and P2. A timer on for 2 minutes.
P1 says one sentence.
P1& P2 take a complete breath, then P2 replies with one sentence.
P1 & P2 take a complete breath then P1 responds to P2’s sentence.
Continue on until the timer goes off.
What have you learned?
Try the game today and email us with the results. Then let us know if the memory of the game changed anything about the way you converse.
Listen to yourself.
Note the reaction of others when you speak.
What buried feelings are kept hidden under our choice of words?
Some other tips for better communication:
Go the whole day with no criticism, not any.
Go the whole day with no complaining, only words of encouragement.
In conclusion , words and the energy they carry can build up or tear down relationships. People do draw conclusions based on the words we use: “ f— this s—“ or “I do not care for this” which would you rather hear. We know we make judgements based on vocabulary because until we heighten our senses we pay too much attention to words or let words wear us down to the point of not listening at all. Yet we let words flow unchecked, without forethought, like raked leaves blowing in the wind. It’s only when the raked leaves blow against our door that we stop and think: “was it something I said, or the way I said it?”
Most books of truth guide us to choose right speech, use words carefully. Unnecessary speech wastes energy and puts more clutter in the atmosphere. If it is not important enough to draw breath prior to releasing the word, then perhaps it should not be said.
The strongest transformative energies are locked into mantras, which help to elevate us up the spiritual ladder. All words can carry an energy released by the intention of the speaker. They can cause action or inertia, always first with the speaker who pays no attention to what words are uttered from the lips. They also have the power to uncover wounds if the speaker only listened to the sound of their own voice. This is what creates the atmosphere in which we live. Don’t believe it? Walk into a monastery where only ‘sacred-intention laden words” are spoken and note what you feel. The energy behind the word establishes the energy of the room.
Satya Word is Commitment to Truthfulness
Satya means “to speak the truth,” yet it is not always desirable to speak the truth on all occasions, for it could harm someone unnecessarily. We have to consider what we say, how we say it, and in what way it could affect others. If speaking the truth has negative consequences for another, then it is better to say nothing. Satya should never come into conflict with our efforts to behave with ahimsa. This precept is based on the understanding that honest communication and action form the bedrock of any healthy relationship, community, or government, and that deliberate deception, exaggerations, and mistruths harm others.