By Siri Ram Kaur Khalsa, Massachusetts, USA
Let's start at the beginning: The highest, most effective energy on this planet is the word. There is nothing beyond it. When we understand this, we can create the word that will create the whole world for us. Every word we say has a vibration. One word can make or mar our destiny or the destiny of another being. A word from the tongue can cut through the heart in a way that no medicine can cure. And conversely, sweetness from the tongue can bring you the total wealth of the world.
It is the blend of your soul, mind, and body that makes you talk. This is the art of vibration. If your mind is off, you cannot talk sensibly. If your soul is off, you don't exist. It is a blending of the three that makes you vibrate and be effective in your communication.
Did you know that one of the more critical mistakes of a human being is not meaning what you say? Real communication is when, after uttering the words, you stand 100% by whatever you said, and you do not change what you said, no matter what. Understand the power of your word.
Yogi Bhajan said, "Conscious communication is an elaborate collaboration of action through which a human can experience infinity and merge in and celebrate the Creator through His creatures in creation."
While preparing my presentation on communication, I asked Yogi Bhajan for a small hint on my topic. He replied, "The purpose and projection of communication is like a lighter-than-air (hot air) balloon. You fill the basket with your purpose and project out like the balloon." Communication must always have a purpose. Before speaking, you must know why you are talking. Think before you speak. You must know what you are communicating for. What do you want? Do you want to make a point? People who are aware of how to communicate have goodness in their hearts for others, because they talk with compassion. If you talk with passion, you are trying to make a point. You don't care what the other person's point is. You talk to win. Do you want to relate yourself to someone? Do you want to create a dialogue? Do you want to bring a mutual trust and mutual benefit? That’s a very different purpose, and it is what makes your communication a conscious communication.
You can fill your basket with your purpose, your manner, and your theme. If your purpose is to create a mutual understanding, then you have to always have the concentration of how the other person feels, what they are doing, where they are at. It starts by accepting one another.
Your theme: Understand the position, present the subject
Your manner: Understand the position of the other side, hear the object
Your purpose: Understand the point of mutuality
Lighter-Than-Air Balloons: Project up and out
If you want to create a dialogue, then you have the manner to establish with each other what you are, what I am, it's okay, and let us go together. And you agree to discharge your whole self, directly and completely. And if you want to communicate your theme, whatever it may be, then you must communicate as you relate you to the other person.
"Your existence is your communication, and your projection is your relationship. Purposeful communication is harmonious and cohesive." Yogi Bhajan
Your power is your projection—your words are as good as gold. What does that mean? It means don't underestimate the value of each and every word you say to another human being. Your words must be the key that moves the lever to open the lock. By opening the lock, you can create a dialogue or intercourse in which you are talking in the same frequency, at the same moment, with the same passion, same compassion, same individuality, and identity. In Yogi Bhajan's words, "Two people have one voice; that is the strength."
The faculty that makes you a leader is when your word is effective enough to go to the heart of another person.
• Talk to their heart. If you talk to their head only, it will be just sounds with little impact. Talk to their heart.
• Talk from your heart. The language of the heart can be felt at the face. Whatever is in your heart will show up on your face. Nobody can control that. You cannot hide what is in your heart. "It is the touch of the hand, a word spoken, and the contact of the eyes that opens the heart of the man." Yogi Bhajan
• Try to communicate in little sentences (no more than eleven words), and give a pause between each sentence. All you have to do is say one line consciously within one hour of talking, but that one line should establish you. You can pinpoint a person by the way he or she speaks one sentence. It should come from your heart and head together and discharge your true self completely. Remember, you have one line.
If you want to have a real communication, say what you have to say in a way that the other person hears you. Remember that when you talk, you talk for the other person.
Business also depends upon our ability to communicate. Business is like a body — every limb, every person is important. The art of being a leader is to be alert to every limb, to be spontaneous and intuitive enough to know the person and understand their circumstances. You must know where you can penetrate to that person or situation.
Six Fundamental Principles of Communication in Business and Life
1. What is business? Negotiation. Your entire power lies in negotiation with flawless manners and realism.
2. What is the hub of life? Mutuality. Communicate until a mutual understanding is reached.
3. What is a person's greatest asset? Manners. Listen, feel the other person, discuss, and dialogue.
4. What is the basic rule for effective decision making? Discuss, and get opinions and feedback from your colleagues.
5. What is our core value? Develop, and work with people. Don't just hire or fire; inspire and develop.
6. What is the base standard in business? Trustworthiness. You are trusted, well known, and respected.
Negativity in communication occurs when you or the other person are not communicating. There is no relay; thus there is no relationship. Project to create a relationship. Yogi Bhajan explained, "If hatred in somebody has eaten up their heat of life, and there is no warmth coming towards you, you can reach out and melt away all the coldness through your humor and boldness. In this way the flower of friendship can blossom and you can enjoy real communication."
People hear very little of what you say. When hearing another person speak, we tell ourselves that the speaker is correct when what he or she says is consistent with our thoughts. To other things he or she says, we say that it is not so because it disagrees with our thoughts. So we are not truly listening but only lending our ear to what agrees with us and strengthens our opinion. The part that we don't care about, we ignore and forget.
Guru Nanak, the first Sikh Guru said, "Be silent and listen. Listening is a passive state, since you have nothing to do in order to listen. It is not an action." This is a very different mode. Think about it. Anyone who facilitates meetings surely observes how difficult it is for people in the meeting to not act and to listen.
Use Equal Manners
Reach out to everyone diplomatically and with loving communication. It does not matter what you say. It does matter how you say it. You can say something very painful, but if you say it in an impactful way and identify yourself, it will be very well respected. The same words can cause a lot of insult and pain if your frequency and the voltage behind the sound current are not correct. So project from a point of compassion. Likewise, equal tolerance is essential to communication. It takes more courage to tolerate than to attack. Tolerance is, in Yogi Bhajan's words, "If someone slaps you with words, say thank you, it is a gift, and don't react. The person will be ashamed they said what they did. People are judged by their manners and prosper by their mercy.
Have a guiding line you can say to yourself that is so familiar to you that it comes up automatically under any duress or potential slip into less than conscious communication. For example, Yogi Bhajan uses a line from Japji, a morning prayer: Kaytiaa dookh bookh sad maar, Eh bhay daat tayree daataar. "If you give to me pain a hundred times, even this is your gift, oh Great Giver."
As you prepare to project and launch your balloon, remember, any communication that is beyond doubt is always very effective. Don't be offensive, but don't butter up either. Neither overdo nor underdo. Just be straight. There is nothing more powerful than your word. Before you speak, know that your ultimate purpose is to reach a mutual understanding. Project from a point of compassion—from your heart to the heart of the other person.
Previously published in Aquarian Times, August 2010
Owner and Co-founder of Kundalini Yoga Boston, Siri Ram Kaur Khalsa brings the wealth of knowledge and stories of inspiration that come with sitting at the feet of the Master. She served in the secretariat of Sikh Dharma for twenty five years and worked for eight years as the Editor in Chief of Aquarian Times Magazine. One of the original White Tantric Yoga facilitators selected personally by Yogi Bhajan, Siri Ram travels worldwide to facilitate White Tantric Yoga www.whitetantricyoga.com. She is a certified K.R.I. Kundalini Yoga Instructor and teaches regularly at Kundalini Yoga Boston.
Siri Ram is also Co-founder of the Inman Square Gallery. In 2010, she received her undergraduate degree in Art at Simmons College and was awarded the Thomas J. Wallace Memorial Award in Studio Art. She is author of A Child’s Dream for Peace: Art and Poetry by New Mexico and Soviet Children. She is currently on leave from her graduate studies at Simmons to give her full-time focus to the studio and gallery.
Siri Ram is married to Jai Singh Khalsa, also a certified Kundalini Yoga teacher and owner of Khalsa Design Inc., an architectural firm located in Somerville, Ma. Their home, which they designed together, was recently published in Perspectives On Design New England. They are currently working on a book about the Positive and Negative Mind, based on the teachings of Yogi Bhajan.