in order for the truth to have a chance to penetrate, to reveal itself.”
― Thich Nhat Hạnh,
Buddha Mind, Buddha Body:
Walking Toward Enlightenment
"Be Still and know that I am God!"
― Psalm 46:11
In the world of Zen, words are not generally held in high regard.
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 thought world where the word "swearing" could either describe what emerges when a person angrily launches into a foul-mouthed condemnation of something -- or a what happens when a person wholeheartedly takes a sacred oath.
It seems to me that any particular word, or even a whole string of those slippery devils, at best, can only hint at the Truth. If you are paying attention, what is not said may be more meaningful than what is said. Like Life itself: It's all a matter of context. The devil isn't in the details. The devil is the details -- devoid of a Connection to the Heart of the Matter.
For me, staying Connected to That takes Practice.
And Practice takes Commitment.
Oh no, not that!
Of course, the word commitment, just like "swearing", runs the entire gamut. It can refer to someone's fundamental decision to actualize what is most valued, or what happens when the guys in the white coats come to take you away! The word describes the highest reaches of our free will choice on the one hand --and the total loss of our free will on the other.
In my experience though, with Practice we come to a place where those two things become one and the same!
Of course, the term commitment, itself, seems like a swear word to some people. The thoughts and emotions that are evoked can make us shudder -- and run for cover. If that describes you, examining the mind states that emerge as you contemplate "commitment" can be a valuable way to explore the edges of your ego nature.
At a certain point, as the Practice deepens, letting go of the narrative entirely and diving into feelings and energies of your own experience can uncover the Truth of the Matter -- directly!
It just take Practice.