November 16th, 2006, Serial No. 01050, Side A

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I vow to face the truth of the Tathagata's words. Good evening. Tonight is the fourth and last night of our Aspects of Practice class on the precepts. And tonight the subject is the precepts about speech. The past two weeks Ron and Ross addressed other precepts which they've had strong personal relationships with. Ron talked about not being stingy with the Dharma and Ross talked about the precepts regarding sexuality and the use of intoxicants. And before aspects of practice began I was asked which topic I wanted to discuss and I knew right away that I wanted to talk about speech. and I knew I wanted to talk about it because it's the area that I've had the most difficulty with.


So when I examine when I made the most mistakes in my life or where my regrets lie it is always around things that I said or things that I didn't say or the unkind tone in which I said them or it was a mixed message perhaps which deceived someone or false flattery designed to protect myself. And all these things have been part of how I've interacted with people in my life. So my personal vow is to speak truthfully and that's a constant challenge. So I wanted to read Robert Aitken's thoughts on false speech. He says, like every other precept, not speaking falsely is simply a particular aspect of not killing.


Here the vow is to not kill the dharma, the truth of how things are. I lied to defend my false notion of a fixed entity, a self-image, a concept or an institution. The situation becomes confused and the reality that the Buddha revealed becomes obscured. He then goes on to phrase the vow. I vowed to find the big picture and then to be true to that discovery. Last week during the discussion Greg brought up the subject of recognizing pain and how our suffering can compel us to objectify other people and to seek pleasure which could result in doing harm. And I don't want to get too psychological about it but


For me, dishonesty and verbal manipulation and gossip was part of everyday life when I was growing up. Everyone in my family fought constantly. One could get approval by insulting the right person at exactly the right time. My father was an alcoholic, and he was a passive alcoholic. So my mother was frequently angry and rather vocal about that. But mostly she yelled at the kids and it wasn't until much later as an adult that I realized that she was mostly angry at him and his drinking. But I blamed her because he was a nice guy. And meanwhile to her He made quiet snide remarks aimed to provoke her anger and then the rest of us would look at her as an out of control bitch.


And then we would be on his side. And at that point. she would remind everyone that she had had 37 previous marriage proposals. We've all been trying to find that out for years. But she hasn't. She insists it is. And then after that he would look at me and the two of us would roll our eyes at each other. And even though he was passive and even though he appeared to be henpecked and cheated so much yelling everyone knew that he was really the boss. And since I wanted to be his favorite I would also say disparaging things about my mother and my sister since my sister and I were in competition. But I was never able to talk truthfully to my father


about his drinking because I wanted his approval. So we colluded against my mother. So that was many years ago, and I don't want to blame things on the past at all, but what I'm trying to say is that this has continued into present life. So last week, Ross mentioned the use of intoxicants and sexuality as a way of relating, and how important it is for us to relate to other people, and how compelling and confusing that can be. So speech is also about relating to other people. And the same desire and confusion applies. We all want to relate to people. And do we gossip because we're lonely? Or do we create alliances based on mutual disparagement of others because we need to be included?


Or do we feel invisible or unworthy? The Buddha's most basic teaching was the Four Noble Truths. The first, of course, is the acknowledgement, the recognition that we all suffer. And the fourth truth is the path to the end of suffering. And that's the eightfold path. And right speech is part of the eightfold path. But the word right doesn't mean right as opposed to wrong, but it actually means complete or comprehensive. And Rev. Anderson in his book on the precepts called Being Upright reminds us that our ultimate concern is for the welfare of all beings and that right speech includes not remaining silent when one should prevent harm and that right speech is part of dropping our self-centeredness.


So I'm going to state the three precepts regarding speech. I resolve not to lie, but to communicate the truth. I resolve not to dwell on the mistakes of others, but to create wisdom from ignorance. I resolve not to praise myself and downgrade others, but to maintain modesty, putting others first. So Buddhist precepts are not commandments at least in the Mahayana view and they're not meant to be moralistic. In Buddhism there's no God or external authority to punish us if we do something morally wrong or to reward us if we do something good. Instead there's the law of karma of cause and effect.


For every volitional action there's a result. So by accepting the precepts, we take vows, and we choose to live by vow rather than by karma. So the Eightfold Path is divided into three sections, meditation, morality, and wisdom. And I just learned the word shila, the word for precept in Sanskrit, means to form a habit. Katagiri Roshi said, forming a habit of living in a way that is based on Buddhist teaching is the practice of spiritual life and is called vow. He also said that the precepts are not moral dictates to be followed, but they should be taken as Buddha's mind."


He said, you must learn to take them as expressions of Buddha's activity. He said, the deep meaning of precept is that it is Buddha nature or truth. One Saturday in lecture, Laurie said, don't treat anything like an object. Dogen's words are, every Buddha and every ancestor realizes that he or she is the same as the limitless sky and as great as the universe. Whether they realize their true body, when they realize their true body, there is nothing within or without. when they realize their true body they are nowhere upon the earth. I have a problem with exaggeration in speech.


Often if I have to wait too long for an appointment and the person is 15 minutes late sometimes I tell somebody they were half hour late And then my partner, I find, when we argue, and if she's done the same thing three times, I say, you always do this. It seems that the truth is not good enough, that reality isn't enough. This is like killing the Dharma. And of course it's at another person's expense because I make them look bad. So lately I've been thinking about chukai and my experience of receiving the precepts 10 years ago. I sewed this rakusu 20 years after I began practice.


I found it really hard to commit myself. I think at the time I really didn't understand what it meant. I thought of it in a more absolute sense. I think I saw it in a more dualistic way, rather than as a way of living precepts. But I won't go into that. But before I had Jukai, I was always drawn to the term home-leaving. Now, home leaving is usually spoken about for priest ordination rather than lay ordination. But I like the word anyway, because to me it meant letting go of all those comforts and crutches that I use to protect myself from reality, both in a physical and a mental sense. So speaking truthfully, when it could put me in danger, whether that danger were real or imagined, is a kind of home leaving.


So I want to read something that Blanche Hartman wrote. She was formerly the abbess of San Francisco Zen Center. Some of you here know her. And she wrote an article called, Living the Life of Vow, which was published in the Shambhala Sun a few years ago. She wrote about home leaving. One thing it means is to find your home wherever you are. To realize that wherever you are is home. not to be seeking for some special place to be making some cozy nest but to find yourself at home wherever you are in whatever circumstances you may be. This being home wherever you are means comfortable wherever you are not having to have some special place or special things to make you comfortable.


Right here in this very body in this very place as it is to be at home. It is finding out how to express this Buddha in the world. Commitment and renunciation are significant elements in what a home leaver is. What really it is renunciation is letting go of self-clinging. And if we're open to embracing the surprises as they arise then there will be inconceivable joy If we fuss and fume and say, this isn't what I expected, then there will be inconceivable misery. Just to welcome your life as it is, as it arrives moment by moment, to meet it as fully as you can, being as open to it as you can, being as ready for whatever arises as you can, and meeting it wholeheartedly. This is renunciation.


This leaving behind all your preferences, all your ideas and notions and schemes. Just meeting life as it is. Renunciation is saying, just this is enough. Can you meet your life as it is and say, just this is enough? Or are you always looking for something more? That's where suffering comes in. How can we meet our life as it is wholeheartedly just like this? This is what our practice is. This is finding your home in the midst of homelessness right here. So I wanted to see if there were any questions or discussion. I left a lot of time for talking tonight because it's the last class and you might have a question about what I said or perhaps about other topics that have been raised in the classes previous weeks.


Well, for me, home leaving is letting go of comfort. And in my personal experience, and when it comes to speech being a difficult issue for me, I found it's been more comfortable often to be silent rather than to say something that's needed to be said, for example. To perhaps say something nice when actually that wasn't what I was really thinking. I've talked a lot here about my work and I could talk about it tonight and I may but I've had a lot of opportunity to practice this there where as a supervisor I've been forced into the position of being honest and having to give criticisms and also having to withhold my tongue at times


And I can't gossip. Since I'm the boss at work, I can't. I don't have any peers. So I have to be extremely careful not to gossip. So home leaving for me, and it applies to every part of my life, not just work, but it's having to forego the enjoyment or the comfort of safety. Ross. Yes.


I resolve not to dwell on the mistakes of others, but to create wisdom from ignorance. So, that's traditionally in the realm of speech, and when I think about dwelling on it, I think more of my internal process. I was wondering if you can comment a little bit on the speech in our mind versus the speech that we actually feel compelled to share with others and maybe, while it's hard to quantify, the karmic effects of those two worlds. So you're more concerned with the internal process? Well, not necessarily, but it's like if you're giving a speech It seems that although... I think that the internal chatter, and if one is repeatedly disparaging others in their own internal chatter, it's going to have usually some kind of an effect somehow.


And that is why I think we sit Zazen, one of the reasons. I think, well, I may stand to be corrected, but I don't think it's so volitional. I don't think it's an action, really, that necessarily harms other people, this internal thoughts, but it does lead to a habit that can lead to an action. But then, of course, it's hard to control our thoughts. We can't purge our mind, which is why in Zazen we sit and just try and let them go and return to the breath. Is that what you were... is that answering? Yeah. Greg?


When you were talking about that, you know, Ross's question about if my internal dialogue is obsessing on judgmental thoughts about myself or others, it's usually... it goes back to what you were saying about suffering, it's usually a strong indication that, for me, that I'm hurt or suffering in some way, and the way I'm dealing with it is to have these thoughts. And so maybe shining a light on that, sitting in Zazen, maybe somehow I can get some insight into what's underlying that chatter. Also, we identify with the chatter a lot. We think it's ourselves, and I think that that causes a problem. I'm not going to go off and grab onto this and give it a life and believe that it's got some reality.


Well, every day we chant the Heart Sutra and we talk, we chant about the emptiness of our thoughts and feelings Yes? Q. Looking at the write-up here, the wording for the second one, discussing the faults of others, and in your work as a supervisor, it must be something that you have to figure out how do you do that. How does that work? It's changed for me.


I've learned a few things the hard way. You know, I started out wanting to make what I had to say palatable by saying things I think a little too kindly or saying, well, I have to tell somebody something they're not going to want to hear so I'm going to tell them something nice first. And for some people that works, certain people listen very carefully, particularly people who are self-critical. So that kind of person will hear a subtle message but often There are a fair number of people who do not really want to hear criticism. In fact, they're not self-critical, at least in the workplace.


So I found that I had to be very direct. And I actually find that actually that's less painful and more productive And it's been a hard one for me to learn but I often will just say something very clearly and directly. And then some certain things I say to a group as a whole hoping that the person who needs to hear it is going to hear it and that the rest of the people know they don't need to hear it. Five. on the inbox.


And I looked at it and I started laughing. And some people laughed, and some people were just more annoyed. And I wasn't terribly mindful of it. It just seemed, well, it's kind of an amusing thing. And now as I was listening to your talk, I was thinking, what was that dwelling on the faults of others? And it seems like it sort of could be. But it also seems that not to be able to joke about things like that is maybe carrying it too far.


And I'd be interested in your take on that. Who is that other though that made the mistake? It sounds like a department or... Well, as it turned out, So I didn't see that person personally, but my friend did wind up having an actual contact with the person who came up with that system. So it wasn't meant personally as a criticism, but indirectly, it is. Well, I'd be interested in what other people have to say.


I mean, it's really hard when you're relating to a computer to think of it in the same way, I think. What other people have to say? Yes? Well, when you take that even a step further and you start thinking about government and the way people respond, it's very difficult not to have major criticisms. There are places that you need to alter things, if you can, when you can. And sometimes we're more critical when we don't have the choice of altering the rest of the world. And you deal with that with things like the death penalty, bad words, and social situations. What strikes me is that the situations like Bob was describing, the humor serves a purpose.


Everyone's feeling this frustration, and you may, people may think it's them, you know, there's something wrong with me, or something like that, and then when you say, The computer program is really a mess and then everyone can laugh and we all feel better. So I think that serves a purpose which is good. On the other hand, there's a lot of times where if there's a real person on the other side, what makes a whole bunch of people feel better may be objectified in that one way. we're all okay if that person's crazy, so we don't have to worry about ourselves if that person's crazy. And it can relieve a lot of tension that everyone's feeling, because everyone's starting to think, people may be feeling


I started thinking about having systems work, that we really like when systems are workable and easily accessible and make sense. And my husband, who used to be a scientific computer programmer, basically feels And how do we do the kind of feedback where that person would find out if they're... joking or complaining about it, you know, as Marty was saying, on the one hand it seems to lighten things up and it brings people together.


On the other hand, there is someone on the other end at some point, and you are Well I know that at work I have this large email distribution list because we have a lot of events at my library branch, you know, author readings and things like that. So when I send out a mailing a couple people always respond very angrily that I should get them off the list. So I know what it feels like to be on that end but Who are you going to, you know, your situation is comical, I think, because what you said, it's like, who are you going to talk to about it? Now you found out. But now.


And we often are eating dinner while we're listening to the news. for public consumption. And of course it was an anti-conditioning that I got. I felt better having said it. I felt very morally obliged to say something. I don't know if I should have, but my husband was upset with me about it because I was enraged. And I was surprised at my reaction a little bit.


But it was really strong. But anyway, that was their speech, and it was my speech. And their speech, in my opinion, was very inappropriate, even if it's a good broadcast. Do you mean it was too graphic? It was very graphic. And, you know, it was just really hard to hear. Even if it was true, you know, especially if I had eaten dinner, it was like 6.05 or something, you know. I just, um, had a hard time with that. So, um, and I'm all for free speech, but, I mean, I'm interested in other people's opinions on that. But right speech, to some extent, and friends being heard.


So it's your concern about children hearing you? Yeah, my main concern is children. I mean, also my digestive tract. But there are certainly children in the world at that time listening to the radio. It's a worry. But I tell that often when I watch television. and obvious times when children, you know, are clearly able to see. Well, I think that's an interesting question. I think it's, is it time for a break? Yeah, we usually take a five-minute break and then we can reconvene.


But I think that's a really interesting subject about saying something that is true when to say it and how to say it. Okay. Objectifying a person. So how was your experience doing that? And I assume you encountered a number of people you didn't agree with. Yeah, we knocked on the doors of some Republicans that for some reason uncommitted, undecided. And so a few times I've talked to somebody who was quite decided. And I found it interesting to, usually I was able to say, well just like out of curiosity, why are you voting for


And that felt good to me. I felt like, I mean, it wasn't like being rhetorical. It was like, well, I turned it into like a curiosity thing, like, well, why? One person said, well, he's known the family for a long time. Another person said, well, the criticisms of him are just a compendium of little nitpicky things. You know, I'm not representative of what they said when the person was against them because of stem cell research. But in all those cases, at least in those cases, not all the cases, but usually I was able to separate out my opinions about Congressman Pombo's decision-making process, and this person that I was talking to.


Elizabeth? The second piece, the last part of it, the second part of it. The precept? That's the part that I like. Because that's... If I have the inner chatter, it's indicative of something, of some kind of discomfort. And maybe it's just something, well, just go through it, because it really doesn't matter. Or maybe it does matter, and wisdom needs to be explored. What does that mean? The chatter is a conditioning.


So what is it that we're trying to condition? So if the chatter is detrimental, then maybe that's something to think about. What is my practice? if it's not challenging, obviously. So anyway, in the workplace, I'm one of the hardest-out bureaucrat, and so how to achieve compliance without creating obstruction has sort of been my 12-year odyssey as a bureaucrat. And I've had a lot of pitfalls that way, and it's because we're heavy on learning the policies, and very little on learning alternatives. So, like, okay, if something, if something, like, breaks a federal law or a state law or whatever, and I'm the one who's supposed to be the overseer, but not the gatekeeper, you know, but when I'm taught, I'm taught in fear-based attitudes.


And that's why I kept tripping into fear. So, I'm going through some management training now, and again, it's, you know, 12 years later, the training is 95% policy and 5% interaction, like, well, you have to say it the right way, or something like that, when you slip service. what I've been working on the past six months. And as my example of what somebody brought into another area of my job was this concept of, and I'm not saying that this articulation is the best articulation for our practice, but the concept of positive politics. And really looking at the levels of things to stop obstructing, to stop


Setting up false competition to stop thinking of things as scarcity of resources. And then to work with a lot of faith and try to figure out multiple plans and things like that. And so it just really involves really, really bringing in the whole scene. And has that worked? Yeah. It works because I've been using it to bring it into not only that training, then I get buy-in and I've brought it into my office. So I've been using the technique to bring this training into the various things. So I think what I'm trying to get at is that we talk so much about just trying to break it down and don't trust your thoughts kind of thing, but it's another part of generating wisdom, and trying to do those techniques, it takes, as Greg said a couple of weeks ago, it takes effort.


I don't like objectifying people, and it's really easy to objectify people that we don't recognize. We do it as white people, those of us who are identified as white. We haven't learned about how to raise consciousness, etc. And it goes on and on and on. Yes? So, what I'm hearing from this discussion about precepts is there really, from my understanding, there really aren't any precepts. Each, like we heard, you know, a woman back here was a little disturbed from the KPFA and that the speech that she was hearing wasn't right speech. And the computer programmed her, right?


And that you were questioning whether making a joke was right speech. It's almost like all of us, individually, are deciding in some way. what that precept is and the parameters of that precept. And so it's like, I mean, it's talking about leaving home. You know, I feel like for me, you know, that this realization is really important because then in some way I can be present with exactly what is. And I'm not listening to your speech and saying, oh, that's wrong speech. Because in some way there is no ... there's nothing out there that I get to base whether your speech is right or wrong speech or against in some way. And so I think, you know, the ... it's sort of like ... for me it's like there's a liberation in knowing that. Because then it actually moves it potentially away from being a law or a rule, in a sense, to more of like a life in some way.


of hearing and looking within ourselves to see this is very much subjective. Well we call this the living, we call them living precepts. It's very interesting and you know the political talk that you were talking about, you know, why did you vote for him? I don't know, I like him or some philosophical reason behind it or some And we're listening to that and saying, well, that doesn't make sense, or that makes sense. And it's just, it's all beautiful. Greg, and then Sue. As was said, it reminds me, recently we read Ujjana's book, Opening the Anthem of Thought. And he has a section where he talks about what repentance means.


Real repentance, he says. Repentance isn't saying, oh, you know, I lied and I'm sorry, I shouldn't have done that. Because as soon as you say that, you think you know what's right and wrong. He says true repentance is returning to, I don't know, and that present moment. But there might be a truth in a moment. Well, there's always a truth. I mean, the moment is the truth. You mean, there might be a right and wrong? Not right and wrong, but I mean, that seems a little nihilistic, the way you were saying, as if there's no meaning and no truth.


And do you think that we can find any truth outside or, not outside, but that beyond just returning to the present over and over, a truth that transcends that we can decide what's true at a particular moment, but it's not necessarily going to help us the next moment. We have to decide all over again.


And we have to trust something that isn't kind of formulaic. It's something different. Something that comes from our practice. Our cultivating, actually, I don't know. Cultivating I don't know, rather than I do know. Maybe somebody else can put it better. I'm going to pick on a few people who haven't spoken, and then Leslie. Well, I see vow as an intention. When we take the precepts we resolve to live life a certain way, as best as we can.


And that's different from things happening to us and us reacting to them and creating more karma. So rather than just going after my need for comfort and gossiping blindly about other people or creating conversations to gang up on someone else, vow is making a decision not to do that. But of course it's also a moment-by-moment thing, also. None of us do it perfectly. It's impossible to not violate vows. That's what I meant.


what I'm going to say or is what I'm going to say or what I'm going but generally it's not reactive speech. Usually if we look at it, if we have that moment to reflect, if we have a moment of repentance, repentance in a literal sense of, think again, then we can reflect, is what I'm about to say going to is what we have to work in.


To me, no kind of speech is outside that, there's no proscribed mode of expression. It's really all about You have to decide, every moment, what is the proper expression. And, you really don't know, and you have to be willing to fuck up. You take a chance, but you take a chance based on some process of internal reinforcement. Bye.


Yes, Nancy. I was thinking about venting. Nothing wrong with venting by yourself, isn't it? Isn't that sort of like... And then I was thinking about one-handed clapping. And I was just thinking about communication. Saying something and having someone hear it is what we're talking about. And we're talking about saying something and having ourselves hear it, and that too can actually, you know, in the quiet of your own house, destroy you as well. But then there's this venting thing. I think that's... I like that. By myself, you know? Why not? And in a way of that... Is that wrong? Well, we're not talking about right and wrong here. But I think that relates to what Ross brought up in the beginning about the mental, the thinking to oneself versus sharing it with someone else or talking to someone else.


I don't mean to ignore it, but this thing about one hand clapping, that's a koan, right? So, what koan do we use here? Like, our self-mind? That's what I'm trying to get out, in my own self. Well, I've thought a lot about that, venting. I mean, I have a tendency to vent also. Sometimes I know that it's just a temporary five-minute thing I need to do and that I don't even mean what I'm saying to myself. Actually, someone, did you have your hand up? Yeah. What is your name? Genevieve. Yes. Yeah, I've been thinking a lot about this communication thing lately, and the references to things I've said, you were saying that you've had trouble with that, that that's been a big challenge, and for me it's been the same, and I have somebody I've been in a very close relationship with,


had a lot of problems with communication. And things unsaid have been a big challenge. And trying to get to a place of having richer, more meaningful communication between us has been something that I've been working on and yearning for. So naturally I was very excited when this person said that they wanted to go to a non-violent And then also the ensuing series of workshops that happened after that. And then, unfortunately, that person decided that we had too much conflict between ourselves, that they didn't want to go and air this in a workshop setting. And our relationship has since sort of come apart, and we've agreed to have distance between each other


But I still have a lot of, and this has been something over the course of my life, but right in this situation with this person, I still have, I guess, there's so much energy that builds up from the unsaid things or the things that get said, but the person doesn't hear it or there's not the acknowledgement. So I'm just, I'm wondering and trying to practice my life. Number one, what I do is try to learn non-violent communication, which has been kind of driving me up the wall a little bit. The more I learn, the more I'm like, ah, jeez, this is just like, I don't know. When the people who know what they're doing do it and they practice and watch You know how to express needs, et cetera, and so forth, but trying to figure out what to do with all that energy of the things that don't get said or heard in a certain way is a big, big process for me, a big thing that I know I'm going to be working on over the course of my life.


Well, you're not alone. This came to me when Gendry was talking about the things unsaid, and how much speech is not said, but it's said through our facial expression, the way we use our eyes, the twitch of the mouth, the twitch, all that sort of thing. It's not said, but it is said. And for people who are sensitive, first of all, Like during sashins and stuff. During work periods and stuff like that. So much is said about the word being said. It intrigues me. Of course, as a schoolteacher, I use this. Thanks. Yes, I have to be careful with that. A look. Give us one of your stern looks.


Oh, yeah. Give us the Mr. Band look. Yeah, I have to be very careful about my facial expressions at work. I mean, people are very sensitive and they always can tell the mood of the boss. So, it does say a lot. And I think you have to be just as careful with that as with words. Sue? I was thinking about this, and then when Genevieve talked, I had a couple of ideas which I can talk to you later about, but the thing I wanted to bring up is liberation. To communicate, to get unstuck, I think is really important. Stuck in something, like, you know, inventing sometimes has the opposite effect of sticking


Yeah, but it's not liberating. It can be, physically. I think hitting a pillow is a really good idea. And yelling into it. Screaming in my car with all the windows rolled up sometimes. It just brings a moment, or maybe the deep breath brings a moment of fresh air and perspective. And I think that that's very beneficial. How do we come back to a balance point and feeling of liberation? And we have many, many tools that we use for that. Well, we chant our vows. That brings us back, which we'll do in about eight or nine minutes. Alan? I'm not entirely sold on that, that it's entirely negative, but I think when Ross was speaking, and then Nancy also, I think that for me, I mean, and sometimes I vent, and I feel like I run the risk in the venting of planting the seed more deeply, of planting the seed of antagonism, or planting the seed


of a narrative that I have about how somebody is by giving it that play and letting myself go there. If we do that, there may be consequences. Consequences from thoughts, words, and action. Our thoughts have consequences too. They may not be as powerful as a word that you can't take back once you say it to somebody, or an action. This bears our consideration.


Does anyone want to speak who hasn't had a chance yet? Yes? This is a book I'm having fun making. It's a man called Eckhart Tolle, who's called The Power of Now. So I'm just thinking of something that he said in his book, or a suggestion that he makes. And that is, in terms of when you have a big emotion, it's thoughts of the venting thing. And I've started to work on this, especially with Zazen and just walking. And it really helps. Whatever the emotion is even if it's a subtle one or if you're if you're on a venting roll or you just Let go again. Let go of the thought I don't know.


It's actually, the resistance doesn't work. So it's basically sort of training yourself to let the thoughts go and just stay with that feeling. And you'll find that the feeling starts to shift, and you don't need to put words on it. So it's interesting this whole thing about right speech, because it's so incredibly important, but it's thinking. I'm just wondering for myself, while I'm listening to you all, where is this place for me, between that no thought place, where I'm just with, really with what I'm feeling, when I'm really with it, I just feel it. It goes from like a really hardened, like, you know, seed to like, buttery. And it doesn't, it won't tell me what it is in words, but I know, I just know. And, you know, it's, So, one angry little, you know, pattern after another, it shows up and says, okay, here you are. You know, it's about acceptance.


You know, it's interesting. I was just telling Greg and, oh, I feel like I'm always trying to speak in a beneficial way. I'm always failing this. And I guess we all feel that way a little bit. Well, you make your vow over and over. Right. Every moment, yeah. But I think you're right also about the acceptance. If you don't accept it, it's just going to intensify. Yes? And is it necessary to be said? And is it necessary to be said right now?


And those are kind of humbling, actually, when you try to apply those to speech. I think if we did, it would be a much quieter place. I was looking at the Thich Nhat Hanh commentary in our reader, I think it was in there, where he translates the precepts into positive statements, like not killing versus promoting life. promoting life, you know, and I like what the quote that Bob gave, you know, about is this going to make somebody feel bigger as a person, you know, is my action promoting life?


And I think that's, for me, that's the core of it. Thank you. You've got about another minute. All of which are real, and which our practice is about, but along with that


Well, on that note, I think it's time to end.