Sunday, February 11, 2007

Worth Considering

From Pema Chodron's When Things Fall Apart, pp. 37-37:

Well-being of speech is like a lute without strings. Even without strings, the musical instrument proclaims itself. This is an image of our speech being settled. It doesn’t mean that we’re controlling, uptight, trying hard not to say the wrong thing. It means our speech is straightforward and disciplined.

We don’t start blurting out words just because no one else is talking and we’re nervous. We don’t chatter away like magpies and crows. We’ve heard it all; we’ve been insulted and we’ve been praised. We know what it is to be in situations where everyone is angry. Where everyone is peaceful.

We’re at home in the world because we’re at home with ourselves, so we don’t feel that out of nervousness, out of habitual pattern, we have to run at the mouth. Our speech is tamed, and when we speak, it communicates. We don’t waste the gift of speech in expressing our neurosis.

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