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How Buddhist Principles Can Improve Communication

by Oct 19, 2020

Communication is the building block of relationships. This includes your self-talk and how you communicate with those around you.

“How we connect with ourselves defines our behavior and bond with the people we love.“

You should enjoy the relationships you form as you move along life — with your partner, family members, and coworkers.

Cynthia Kane, a certified meditation and mindfulness instructor, recently shared on my Rant & Grow podcast about her three books on the theme of communication.

In her recent book, ‘How to Meditate like a Buddhist’, she talks about the intentional communication method based on principles of speech in Buddhism.

Why Buddhism meditation for communication?

Cynthia sheds light on that from her personal experiences. She used to indulge in hurtful gossips and was often jealous of the relationship’s others had around her.

She felt uncomfortable in the silence and could not communicate well with the ones she loved. This took a toll on her mental peace and often left her all by herself. Even in her relationship, she suffered a huge personal loss due to her long-time partner’s death.

This tragedy pushed her into a world full of doubt, anxiety, and misery. She was searching for answers and a way to get over through the hardship. In this search for peace, she came across the path of meditation in Buddhism.

Open Up to Yourself

We all face times in our lives when troubles don’t seem to end. We feel like we have no one to talk to and it forces us to shut ourselves down. The breakdown of communication, even with the self, leads us towards confusion and misery.

The first step in the process of meditation is to acknowledge the things that have hurt us and then slowly letting them go. The art of letting go of things is where the Buddhist way can come to the rescue.

To be able to change the difficult circumstances we are in, we should first have honest communication with ourselves.

Next, we should focus on how we are interacting with the world around us because that is what has given birth to our perception of it.

“When we open communication with the self, we explore our strengths and shortcomings.”

As we start working on the aspects where we lag behind, we begin to see clearly how we have been communicating in our relationships in the outside world.

The elements of the right speech in Buddhism are what opens the door to the self as we head towards a path of peace and tranquility.

Buddhist Elements of Right Speech

The following are the principles of Right Speech in Buddhism:

Tell the Truth

Don’t Exaggerate

Don’t Gossip

Don’t Speak Ill of Others

According to Cynthia, these principles do seem easy to understand. However, to practice them in our speech is what is essential to notice the consequent change in the nature of the world around us.

It is true that there is suffering in the world. We do observe people in traumas, reeling in pain, and not communicating with others.

They are scared of admitting the truth and facing their emotions which inhibits their channel of communication with the self. Suppression of emotions adversely impacts our behavior.

“We must give ourselves a chance to feel and heal”.

This constant feeling of discomfort and hiding from our emotions restrict our communication with the world. To be able to let go of this heavy feeling, one must acknowledge the pain and follow the principles of Right Speech.

The failure to tell the truth, to exaggerate events, gossiping, and malicious intent towards others is the burden we bear in our everyday life.

Cynthia believes that when we practice the four elements of right speech, we acknowledge mistakes, and step onto the path of change that leads us towards peace.

It is Okay to Not Be Okay

One does not have to be an expert Buddhist practitioner to understand why and how communication is important.

We live in a world filled with emotions and we are bestowed with the precious gift of speech, so we can express ourselves.

The idea of attachment and then wanting others to change for us pushes us into a world of unrealistic expectations.

If you are clinging to outcomes and focusing on how others are behaving with you, you are losing track of how you are interacting with the world.

Do not judge and be harsh on yourself if you are attached to the wrong emotions. Once you label these negative emotions and become completely honest with yourself, you will feel a rush of positive energy within.

“Talk to yourself in a way that pushes you in the right direction”.

The principles of right speech open up this channel of this self-communication, which ultimately enables us to have better relationships with all we come in contact with.

Check out the Rant & Grow podcast episode with Cynthia. Maybe you’ll discover some wisdom for your own life. You can listen to the podcast right here.

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