Thursday, April 3, 2008

The Billowing Acrid Smoke of Worthless Chatter

In the Words of My Perfect Teacher, the author Patrul Rinpoche, writes that of the ten negative acts to be avoided, ‘worthless chatter’ is listed along sided sexual misconduct, stealing and killing.

When I first read it, I thought its place in the top ten was perhaps a bit of over kill.

But that was before I was subjected to my mother.

To contextualize.

I’ve been living abroad for 11 years. I’ve been deliberately cocooning my self in the way of life that I chose. My ideas, my philosophies, my eating habits, my life style choices. Admittedly, it was in direct negation of, or reaction to many of the experiences I had seen and/or endured while growing up.

I’ve moved back to Australia, and we’re staying with my mother on and off for one year. Then we’ll be moving back to Europe.

As Albert says when he thinks I’m being particularly trying ‘Paciència el Senyor!’

My mother is one of the most negative thinkers I have ever come across. Perhaps I should say, she’s the most vocal negative thinkers I have heard.

I was listening to her negative twist on recent events in her life (and honestly, the details are not important, if it wasn’t this, it would be that), and she then proceeded to call three more people to tell them her version of events, and then my step father came home, and she started to talk about it again. To her, she’s just talking. She has no idea how her words are rippling outwards and effecting more than just the moment.

I’ve heard it all day long. I don’t know how she can be happy thinking and talking like that. Of course, she’s not. She’s unhappy and often unwell. But that’s not for here. (IE I’ll write about it in another post)

It was painful for me. (And Albert, since he had to listen to me complain about her as well as listen to her… ) I saw her negative, thoughtless talk (because she is not consciously a vicious person, she’s just a victim of negative patterns and lack of awareness of the law of cause and effect) spread around her like pollution. And that’s when it hit me that the words of Patrul Rinpoche were more insightful than I first gave credit for.

Consider mind and body issues are my living. I’m suppose to help people like this. Usually I get paid for it, but in this case, my payment will be a peaceful household for the next 8 months. (Oh yeah, and good karma points.)

It made me start thinking about how a few negative words could have such a detrimental effect on the self and others. Its acts like a billowing black smoke on all who come in contact with it.

So I went back to the book, and had another look.

Speaking negatively has a lot of demerit points

- It inflicts negativity upon others

- It spreads hurt, anger, pain

- It disturbs them from their path

- Negative talk often springs from desire, bitterness, hatred, jealousy, or to throw it all together, bad feelings in general

- Negative words act like a bad apple in a barrel, the rot spreading

Its our duty, as responsible, conscious people, consider what we are saying. What is the motivation of our words?

Is it to bring love, happiness, joy, understanding to the world, or is it to spread hurt, pain, bitterness and the holding of grudges?

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