Useless Words

“Cut off all useless thoughts and words and there’s nowhere you cannot go.” Affirming Faith in Mind , by Zen Master Kanchi Sosan

Isn’t this what we all want, to be okay anywhere?

What thoughts are useless? Shame-based (“I am no good”), manipulative (“If I can get him to do this thing, all will be well”), pointlessly judgmental (“I hate her hair like that”), and…you get the idea.

In some situations, almost any thought is useless. The older I get, the more I realize that the most important thing to do in almost any situation is to listen deeply. Thinking about what others might think of me accomplishes nothing.

Helpful thoughts include trying to notice as many things as possible (temperature, lighting, body language of self and others, words being spoken, subjects being addressed or unaddressed) and figuring out how to be helpful in a given situation.

The ability to cut off one’s thoughts is key. It is a type and level of self-control I have yet to see demonstrated in the Christian community. Such quotes as the one above are found in Buddhist literature. You become like what you fill your mind with.

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About cdhoagpurple

I live in Michigan. I was Greek Orthodox (and previously Protestant), but now am more Buddhist than anything. I am single now (through the till-death-do-you-part clause of the marriage contract). My husband Barry was a good man and celebrated 30 years in AA. I am overly educated, with an MBA. My life felt terminally in-limbo while caring for a sick husband, but I am free now. I see all things as being in transition. Impermanence is the ultimate fact of life. Nothing remains the same, good or bad.

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