Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Unsought Words.

"Write down the thoughts of the moment. Those that come the most unsought for are commonly the most valuable." ~ Francis Bacon

My thoughts of this moment.  I'm hungry,  I have dishes  and chores to do, and I am sore in my shoulder.  This is my life today, right now, in this moment.  Coming back to practice, to presence, to mindfulness.  I sat this morning, and in sitting I reconnect to my mind, rediscover the spaces between my thoughts.  

I did not seek my anxiety, or my fear, or my anger.  Not directly anyhow.  In resisting practice, they sought me.  In ignoring the value of quiet, my quiet left me.  The spaces became filled with thoughts, fears, anxieties and doubts.  When I am not doing, I begin doubting.   

When the quiet begins to disappear, filling with fear, anger and doubt, I notice that it is my words that betray me.  The words that fill the quiet spaces in my mind - How could you? Why me? What next? - These words begin to spill out of my mouth.  

These words have sharp edges.  They hurt coming out.  They contort my face, wrench my mouth into uglilness, and break the heart of the person that they are flung at.  

These are my sins.  Sharp edged, thoughtless, unquiet words that tear at the fabric of my happiness.  

It is said that right speech is not the right of right and wrong, but the right of skillfulness, mindfulness and compassion.  This is why so often the right answer is no answer at all.  

Maezen has written that "Right speech is whole, perfected, wise, skillful, appropriate, necessary, and non-divisive. "  Lots of words to describe how to use our words.  

We tell children this often "Use your words".  We put no qualification on their use of words, because they are too young often to understand any other idea than just to use words to express what is inside of them, rather than striking out at the world with hands, feet, or wails. 

As adults, and particularly as adults who practice the Dharma,  we are old enough, and often wise enough to choose words with care and caution.  Compassionate communication creates understanding between people, and of ideas. When we use the words that we have learned in a wise, skillful, appropriate, necessary and non divisive manner we can nurture growth.  We can coax reluctant listeners,  we can open doors that were hitherto closed before.  Words can build bridges.  Right words build strong bridges.  

I suppose though the question now is what happens when we use our words in this manner and they still fall on deaf ears?  A bridge with only one strong, grounded side will crumble in the first strong wind.  

It is to the speaker to speak, and the listener to listen.  We can only be responsible for ourselves.  We build our own foundations. 

Therefore, practice.  

Build your foundation. 

It is the beginning of being responsible for yourself. 

No comments: