in order for the truth to have a chance to penetrate, to reveal itself.”
― Thich Nhat Hạnh,
Buddha Mind, Buddha Body:
Walking Toward Enlightenment
"The Tao that can be spoken is not the eternal Tao
The name that can be named is not the eternal name
The nameless is the origin of Heaven and Earth
The named is the mother of myriad things"
― Tao Te Ching,
It's not surprising that some students even got smacked by crotchety old Zen masters for their "loose lips." Words can be pretty damn tricky.
A case in point: The realm of words creates a world of thought where the word "swearing" could either describe what emerges when a person angrily launches into a foul-mouthed condemnation of something -- or what happens when a person wholeheartedly takes a sacred oath.
So what does the word "swear" actually mean? (For that matter what does "mean," mean? I mused about a bit in Your MMM Courtesy Wake Up Call: What's Love Got To Do with It?)
Over the years, it's become clearer and clearer to me that any particular word, or even a whole string of those slippery devils, at best, can only hint at the Truth. Most often, they just lead to a more complicated web of endless definition.
Like Life itself, meaning is inseparable from context. It emerges from an essential connection to a whole matrix of experiences which, in turn, are ultimately inseparable from the Whole Universe.
This makes True Communication extremely interesting. It involves myriad factors beyond the exchange of words. In fact, if you are really paying attention during a conversation, what is not said may be more meaningful than what is said. The devil isn't merely in the details. The devil is the details -- when those slippery devils are devoid of a Connection to the Truth of the Matter. Truth, I have found, is ultimately a matter of Heart, not the thinking mind.
For me, staying Connected to the Heart takes Practice. And Practice takes courage, effort -- and Commitment.
Oh no, not that!