Monday, December 3, 2007

Right Speech...

Lately I've been noticing a lot about myself and others. The way we interact completely intriguing to me, especially in regards to what we say to each other and why. In class - as well as impersonally during conversation - I've been noticing myself and others bringing up points that don't necessarily add to the conversation or answer questions being posed, but often times we speak just to show that we know something. I find myself realizing that I know something that someone else doesn't or I have a particular insight that the class doesn't and my immediate reaction is to raise my hand and let everyone know. It really bothers me.

There is a fine line between speaking to learn and teach and speaking just to speak and be heard. Some points made in class discussion and everyday life need to be made. Sometimes when I have a particular point of view on the subject matter, it is important that I raise my hand and tell the class as it aids in everyone's understanding and welfare. Other times I need to remind myself that I'm not speaking because people need to hear what I'm saying; rather, I'm speaking because I want others to hear what I have to say and recognize me for it.

I think this point revolves around mindfulness. Only through constantly observing the contents of our own mind can the distinction be made between speech for speech's own sake and speech for the betterment of those hearing what we have to say. If we're monitoring our thoughts, we'll better understand the motivations we have for our decision to speak. I'll have to work on that!

Now playing: Dave Black - Somewhere Over The Rainbow
via FoxyTunes


lindsey said...

I am the exact same way. There were a few times last year that I'd walk home from Medieval or some other class feeling like a complete ass.

Some sort of strange reaction has occurred I often keep my mouth shut in class even when I do have something constructive to say. Ack! Where's the middle way?

(PS: How do you get that "Now Playing" thing on your blog?)

Mokurai said...

I missed your request. I was brought up in Reform Judaism. My parents later became Christian Scientists. About a third of the monks at Shasta Abbey in the early days were converted Jews. Some other Zen temples and monasteries reported similar numbers. (I also know a lot of formerly Jewish Sufis, i.e. Muslims).

So your sample was indeed highly skewed.

I found your blog while looking for information on what Marco Polo learned about Mongolian Buddhism at the court of Khubilai Khan. (Not a lot, apparently.)