Coming together in wisdom to make life a celebration

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3 Measures of Spiritual Progress – Part 3

Patti Montella
Jan 10, 2014 at 11:47 AM PST

Unknown#3 Expression: To connect with others, enjoy a sense of belonging in life and live life as an expression of our authentic self is pure joy and freedom.  While technology has added much to the world , I don’t think I’m alone in questioning its impact on human relationships. It seems that most people feel more comfortable texting rather than talking and growing healthy relationships with themselves and others.  Yet after 19 years as a spiritual teacher working with people from every age, background, culture and religion I am convinced of one fact – the true joy in life comes in knowing you are made of love and sharing that love.I  keep a quote from Sri Sri on a piece of paper in my office. It reads,  “Love is present everywhere, but somewhere it finds total expression. The knowledge of the Self leads you towards that total expression of love, of blossoming of love. It lifts your eyes from all tiny little things. One Divine is providing for everybody. Heart to heart communication simply means our mind is at peace, our heart is open to hear and receive what the other person is saying, and the filter of discrimination is in place”.

Several years ago I was struggling to work out a relationship with someone I worked with and considered a friend.  We had been at odds for a long time and communication was at a standstill. I didn’t enjoy the situation but at the same time I recognized the Divine put it in front of me to learn and grow. Regardless, I was stuck. Every  time we spoke it was a complete disaster. I finally sought out Sri Sri’s guidance.He said, “See people beyond their expressions. What a person expresses is not what they’re all about. There is a lot of unexpressed love in each life. Just recognizing this, your heart expands; then, you’ll never be stuck with what someone says or does. He also reminded me that every moment we are new and everything is changing.  I quietly reflected on Sri Sri’s wisdom realizing head to head communication only creates less understanding and more conflict.  I wasn’t able to express myself the way I wanted to which was creating misunderstanding and I certainly wasn’t open to the other person’s perspective.The next time a conflict arose I tried a new approach. Taking a deep breath in, I observed what was happening inside of me, came to my center and spoke from my heart. Something amazing happened! For the first time understood how my style of communication was affecting him personally and professionally, and for the first time, he really listened and respected where I was coming from.We e still work together and while we continue to see things quite differently there is alot more common ground. There is a new level of between us, compromise is easy and an added bonus is a blossoming friendship. This doesn’t mean you should expect to be “lovey-dovey” at the office or become best friend’s with every person you meet! Business still requires a business head and now and then we need to take a stand, speak up and take action if we don’t agree with something, especially if it’s harmful to others and the planet.

The skill is to keep communication flowing. And to keep it flowing in the right direction, it’s best to  first accept the person or situation as it is, and then communicate with firmness that comes from caring, not from anger or frustration.

The ,Sudarshan Kriya meditation and pranayama are invaluable in improving our ability to express.
The Sudarshan Kriya incorporates specific natural rhythms of the breath which harmonize the body, mind and emotions. This unique breathing technique eliminates stress, fatigue and negative emotions such as anger, frustration and depression, leaving you calm yet energized, focused yet relaxed. Regular daily practice  improves perception, observation and expression. Awareness increases significantly.Through this level of awareness we’re able to turn on the air conditioning in the mind and cool the emotions. It allows communication to keep flowing so that not only do you  actually hear what the other person is communicating, but your presence is much more powerful and you’re better able to express yourself.
A measurement of spiritual progress is improved communication that maintains a sense of belonging.


Every Step is a Step toward Enlightenment.
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Patti Montella
Senior Faculty Member, Art of Living Foundation sharing the teachings of renowned spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.