For over five years, Yasodhara Teachers, Jovita Oliveira, Jo Ann Hamm and Carlean Fisher, have held weekly Skype meetings. As the hours of light grow shorter in the coming days this group of long-time teachers offer us reflections of “Light on Speech”.
Thank you Jovita, Jo Ann and Carlean.
A) Our universe is one of language and words.
(The Devi of Speech, Swami Radha, p 34)
- Explore this universe of language and words by repeating the Divine Light Mantra out loud ten times (or more).
- Ask yourself: How do I sound? Automatic…routine…heartfelt….?
- Reflect on each line of the Divine Light Mantra. What does each line mean to you?
B) When we speak we set up currents in the air and we are responsible for these currents.
(Kundalini Yoga for the West, Swami Radha, p 172)
Bring to mind a recent conversation and ask yourself:
- What am I creating in my world through my speech?
- What currents am I setting up?
- What do I want to create?
- Practice the 4/4 breath, inhaling to the count of 4 and exhaling to the count of 4.
- Reflect on the questions above. Write.
C) Speech is our most constant expression, our greatest performance and the barometer of our emotions. Between the cry for help and cry of joy, there is a whole range of sounds expressing minute degrees of emotions.
(Kundalini Yoga for the West, Swami Radha, p 62)
- Take the time to track and observe your conversations over the course of a day.
- Reflect on each conversation and make note of the emotion behind your speech.
- How is your speech affected by your emotions?
- What are you learning about your emotions and your speech?
Begin to observe yourself. What words do you choose? Do you use speech to reinforce the negative in yourself? Or do you use it to create a positive atmosphere?
(Living the Practice, Swami Radhananda, p 58)
- Take time for a practice of your choice (Divine Light Invocation, 4/4 breath, relaxation practice, stretching…) to center and focus. Have your journal and pen ready.
- Open your journal to a blank page and begin to write without stopping until you have filled the page.
- Review what you have written. Treat it like a dream using Swami Radha’s Dream Method (Chapter two in Swami Radha’s Realities of the Dreaming Mind.)
- Read over all that you have written. What do your choice of words tell you about the world you create?
There are certain things the mind holds onto: criticisms and limiting key sentences that hypnotize people into thinking that they will never amount to much; they don’t fit in; they will be hurt or rejected; they are dumb; they are different from everyone else.
(Living the Practice, Swami Radhananda, p 70)
- Create a quiet space and practice ‘filling the body with Light’ (Kundalini Yoga for the West, Swami Radha, p 116-117)
- In this place of Light, allow yourself to ask: what limiting key sentences heard in the past are still affecting me now?
- Make note of these limiting sentences.
- Ask yourself:
- What purpose do these thoughts serve?
- What new thoughts can you replace these limiting sentences with?
- What steps can you take to change your limiting thoughts?
…Mantra is really the crown of the Devi of Speech. When chanting the Divine word, breath, vibration and rhythm are created intentionally by the use of the voice, and we begin to understand that mantra is above all the chatter of daily living
(The Devi of Speech, Swami Radha, p 31)
The Divine Mother Mantra …is said to bring knowledge of all the scriptures if repeated one thousand times a day for forty-five days, but if your mind is still full of psychological obstructions or if your chanting has been mechanical, you will not achieve results.
You do not need such a lengthy practice, however, to have benefits from this mantra. You may recite it five times a day for a week every three or four months.
With the first line decide that you truly want your speech to be worthy of being considered as mantra. Ask for help. At the end of the day, ask yourself:
- What did I say today? Can I really offer what I have said to other people as mantra?
(Mantras: Word of Power, Swami Radha, p 75)
A) Chant a mantra of your choice for 15 minutes or longer. Record any observations, feelings, and associations, no matter what may present itself.
- Make note of any shifts you notice in your body, mind, emotions, voice.
- Reflect on Swami Radha’s question: What did I say today? Can I really offer what I have said to other people as mantra?
B) O Divine Mother, may all my speech and idle talk be mantra (from the Divine Mother Prayer).
- What would it mean for all speech to be mantra?
- What ‘power’ would your speech hold if all your speech and idle talk were mantra?
- The Body and Communication
Asanas are a silent manner of speech and the cells in the body, each with its own consciousness, are the listeners. The body is very teachable and can become a spiritual tool.
(Kundalini Yoga for the West, Swami Radha, p 234)
- Choose an Asana that helps you to express your devotion to the Divine. Practice that Asana everyday as an offering and as a way to communicate with any aspect of the Divine that attracts you better.
- Take notes of your experience.
- Bringing Light to Speech Through Silence
Practice silence. Take a day when you do not speak, or keep silent a few hours a day for a week. Choose a time when the temptation to talk is greatest. The hours, the length of time, should be determined beforehand.
(The Devi of Speech, Swami Radha, p 49)
- Observe your experience of silence (emotionally, physically, your thoughts, your insights…), especially when you are most inclined to speak.
- How is speech refined through silence?
- Do a Divine Light Invocation and place your intention for your speech in the Light.