I know the word communion evokes some feeling of a Holy religious activity in us. This I know, is regarded as a Holy practice by most cultures and religions. As much as there already exists a description of what communion is, I tend to rely on the exercise itself and the effect it has on me personally. I know the idea held by most people is that communion should involve other parties participating in the exercise, but can you commune with yourself? Well, let me dive into what I am good at, and give you a glimpse into my experiences with communion.
A few years back, I considered myself an introvert, and I am sure that most of the people around me thought that I was just snobby. I would keep things to myself because I thought my life should be secretive. Often, I asked myself why other people were so open with me, even though I had shut myself to them. I could sense that sooner or later, they were going to expect me to also be open and share my stories with them.
The effect of this introverted attitude was that, I had very few friends and most friendships were just circumstantial, mostly people I had spent more time with. I felt like before I shared any bit of personal information with you other than my name, then one had to have earned my trust. Now I consider myself to possess some extroverted characteristics. I have somehow gotten the motivation and the courage to express myself amidst many people, especially those that I do not know. This is not to say that I did not have courage before. I had the courage to approach people, but I would not communicate with them, any more than was required.
Ever since I encountered a realization of myself, I have found joy in the sharing of my experiences. The joy that I want to show other people has no appropriate words that can fit the description. I wonder, however, how other people do not seem to grasp what my description or explanation is always driving at. That is why I continue to talk, and every time I get an audience I say to them, ‘hey try this, it works, look where it has gotten me, don’t you see how freely I can express myself?’.
In all this joy of creative self-expression, however, there are times that I do not want even to talk. I do not want to miss the pattern of breath. These are the times that I am in communion with this energy that I call ‘Spirit’ or ‘Life force’. There are times that I am in a sitting position and also very conscious of my breathing. At these times I feel like I and the breath are one. I feel that I am connected to the chair that I am seated on, and the table that my hands are rested on. At these times I can feel my heartbeat in my finger, beating on the surface of the table. Most of the time this happens when I am reading a book. As I read the words, I feel like I am consuming them, but then again, I feel that I am connected to them and that I digest them as I read them. This is a union even with the spaces between the letters and between the words. Now, who would want to break such a connection? Where else would one experience such kind of connection and rest?
Every time I sit down for a meal, I ensure that I am in a very comfortable position, and most times the most appropriate posture is folding my legs and having my spine erect. This is the same position one would assume when meditating. As I take the meal, I feel so good that I do not want to break the posture even for a minute. When I am done with the meal, I give myself more time just relaxing in that position, and I feel each part of my body relaxed. I feel the connection that my legs have formed with the floor. My knees have then folded in such a manner that I can feel the joints. In this position, my awareness is in every inch of my skin, and I want to spend more time here, not talking to anybody, not watching anything. Instead, what I do more is close my eyes and just enjoy the moment. This I call, communion with food, and the body, and the earth, mother nature.
I know most of us have the habit of working out in the morning, or in the evening. People work out for different reasons. Some people want to work on their specific muscle build-up, while others are just looking to be fit, or be healthy. Of course, nutritionists have already advised that movement of the body is also essential for the process of digestion to occur smoothly. People have workout routines that are friendly to their daily schedules. When I started out with workout, my focus was on muscle build-up, but this was before I was aware of the connection that I had with my body. For this reason, sometimes I would create reasons to evade working out altogether.
Now I look forward to my workout sessions like a fruit that is ready to fall from the tree. Even though I have never gone out to the gym for work out, I have a knowing that what I am doing is okay. Of course, there are workouts that I have read about. Some I have learned through participating in sport, while others I just learn from intuition, through the urge to connect more with the body. Most times I follow my intuition to do a certain workout, then I get to learn of the name later through research. Maybe I have talked too much about this and you are wondering where the communion comes in, right? Well, here we go!
When I am working out the focus is more on what I am feeling then, and not what the goal is. I call this exercise being in the body. Of course, it is not a new name, and it may be in fact a cliché for some of us. But before we start labeling things as cliché, I suggest that we decipher and discern what the true meaning is. This is only learned through practice. I have broken my workout session into two. The first session is rigorous, and the second I call, non-rigorous. The first session is for muscle buildup and the second is for connection, or more of worship of my body. This is the time for me to feel the joints and every inch of the body. It is also the time when I find out just how flexible I am. Well, hasn’t this gotten fun already! I do certain stretches and get buried in the feeling that follows, I guess this is the reason I always look forward to my workout sessions. Yes, I love this more than muscle buildup. It is in this session that I feel that my senses are more alert.
Of course, when I am working out, I do not keep glancing at the time, and so the whole concentration is given to the session. This session, I also consider communion, with my body. I burry myself in this session until I finish all the exercises. And of course, I just learned recently that the stretches I have been doing are labeled ‘yoga poses.’ I have not, however, stepped into a yoga class. I think what has helped me to be rooted in the exercise is the deep knowledge of why I am doing it. It does not start with the labels, No. This is how it happens; I do an exercise then I feel the union with the body, and I want to do it more. This is a communion with the body.
Does anybody feel the connection that they have with the water? Most of the time we rush, have a quick shower, and then come out ready to dress and get involved in the daily madness. Whenever I get the chance, my shower time becomes a time for Holy communion with the water, and I give this ritual enough time and focus as if I were worshiping the water in gratitude.
There are various times that I sit and just enjoy the moment. I enjoy what I see before me. This is never a time to talk. At such times very nice thoughts cross my mind, and most of them are hilarious. These moments, sometimes I feel are not to be interrupted. As much as I like to journal things and occurrences, there are times that I feel like I should only enjoy what I am experiencing. So, I laugh and enjoy with an open heart and open mind. This I feel, is a communion with the thoughts or thought process. I like to say that I have put my filters off. So, I do not judge whatever comes up. Sometimes I joke and say that I would rather watch my thoughts than watch the television.
There are obviously short instances where we go into communion with this energy we call Lifeforce, but we are just never aware of it. So, the challenge then is to be aware, which has also been called being present. I am afraid this is something that cannot really be taught. I mean, as much as I have talked about all these, the individual must try them out for themselves. I am sure much has been written and said about being in the moment. The mystics have also said that no amount of reading will lead one to the awakening. Some practical effort is needed for this to occur, and they go further to say that this is not something that you will be in control of, it is beyond us. Fortunately, we are familiar with the phrase that mentions that, if we draw closer to God, then He will draw closer to us. Well, what are we waiting for? Let us treat every moment like it is a Holy communion with God.
I find it easier to speak about my own personal experiences, so that you, dear reader, also know that you can experience communion with whatever exercise, or experience you engage in. Whatever examples I give here are not the ‘SI unit’ of communion, per se. They are what I experience, you can explore further. I mean, I am more for exploration rather than a strict nature in any experience. So let us enjoy life dear creators. Self-realization is just a breath away! Namaste.