“True communication is communion- the realization of oneness, which is love.” ~ Eckhart Tolle
What does Eckhart Tolle mean when he talks about true communication being communion? Surely he isn’t referring to the Catholic ritual of sharing bread and wine with churchgoers? He’s probably referring to the other definition of communion, which also happens to be about sharing. Specifically, communion is “the sharing or exchanging of intimate thoughts and feelings, especially when the exchange is on a mental or spiritual level.”
Beyond a mere exchange of information, communication is also an energetic exchange. Your thoughts and emotions have no substance, they do not exist in solid form. However, they do exist energetically, in vibrational form. Authentic communication is about giving voice to your internal energetic experience- translating your mental/emotional energy into sound energy to create a shared understanding of your reality. By sharing your thoughts and feelings you find common ground with others, which leads to the comforting feeling that you are not alone in this world- that we are all in this together.
Of course, speaking is only one part of communication. Listening is just as important, along with the ability to recognize the emotions and intentions behind the information that’s being shared with you. As Henry David Thoreau once wrote, “It takes two to speak the truth: one to speak, and another to hear.” Therefore, always speak from the heart with the goal of creating genuine connection between you and the person you are communicating with. When it’s someone else’s turn to talk, be present for them, hearing what they have to say instead of eagerly awaiting your next chance to talk. Finally, keep in mind that all speech takes place on the exhale. Regardless of what your truth is, be sure to take a breath in before speaking it.
“Life as it is should be enough of a reason to laugh. It is so absurd, it is so ridiculous. It is so beautiful, it is so wonderful. It is all sorts of things together. It is a great cosmic joke.”
This week’s quote is a gentle reminder that you don’t need to take spirituality so seriously. We often confuse being spiritual with being solemn and withdrawn, like a monk or a nun on their way to morning prayer. We think that having a serious facial expression somehow means you are more holy, more in touch with the Truth. However, according to Alan Watts, the moment that you really understand the truth about life, you will burst into laughter. What exactly is this hilarious insight? How can we get in on the punchline to the great cosmic joke?
It has to do with understanding that you are it. That this universe, this body, this mind, this moment, this breath- this is it. The relationship between God and the universe is commonly explained using a metaphor in which God exists as a brilliant light, one that is somehow veiled, hidden beneath the various forms of the world. But, as Alan Watts tells us, “The truth is even funnier than that. It is that you are looking right at the brilliant light now. That the experience you are having that you call ordinary everyday consciousness- pretending you're not it- that experience is exactly the same thing as 'it.' There's no difference at all. And when you find that out, you laugh yourself silly! That's the great discovery.”
If this is true, then what you have been searching for has been hiding in plain sight this whole time. So, relax. Lighten up, as the expression goes. There is really no need to force it. Meditating with a furrowed brow won’t bring on enlightenment any quicker. The only way to grasp the truth is by letting go. If this experience really is ‘it,’ then the best thing you can do is enjoy it.
“If you love a flower, don’t pick it up. Because if you pick it up, it dies and it ceases to be what you love. So if you love a flower, let it be. Love is not about possession. Love is about appreciation.”
This week’s quote about love was chosen in honor of Valentine’s Day. While it is nice that we have a holiday dedicated to love, it is also somewhat confusing. Afterall, we aren’t celebrating love as the fundamental force that created the universe. This isn’t about honoring love as the very fabric of our existence. Instead, we are being sold the romantic version of love- the version that includes attraction, infatuation and possession.
In today’s consumerist society, the idea of love is often confused with that of ownership. Our popular love songs, for example, have lyrics like, “I’ve got to have you,” or “I’m going to make you mine.” We are led to believe that love means holding onto someone tightly and never letting them go. This tendency towards ownership and possession of another can be the cause of great suffering, especially since you can only lose someone if you are convinced that this person actually belonged to you in the first place.
There is nothing unnatural about wanting to hold onto that which you find attractive. Whenever you see something beautiful, you naturally want to possess it- to make it yours. Perhaps you think that its beauty will reflect on you. That is, by owning something beautiful, people might think that you are beautiful too. However, contrary to popular belief, true love is not about holding on, it’s about letting go.
As Osho points out, the moment you pick a flower, it stops being what you love. In the same way, loving someone is not the same thing as owning them. The best way to love someone is not to limit them or control them, but rather to give them all the space and freedom they need to grow and blossom. So, don’t get too caught up in trying to make someone your Valentine this year. It’s far better to appreciate the one you love than to possess them.
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About The Author
Nick Hughes is a massage therapist, yoga instructor and co-owner of Well Being. Influenced by the ideas of Alan Watts, Eckhart Tolle, Ram Dass, and Deepak Chopra, Nick presents his unique take on human existence with the goal of helping others live a happier life.