Monday, November 27, 2006

“Kind Speech”

“Kind Speech” means, when meeting with living beings, first of all to feel compassion for them and to offer caring and loving words.
Broadly, it is there being no rude or bad words. In secular societies there are polite words “take good care of yourself!” and there is the disciple’s greeting”how are you?” Speaking with the feeling of “compassion for living beings as if they were babies” is kind speech. We should praise those who have virtue and should pity those who lack virtue. Through love of kind speech, kind speech is gradually nurtured. Thus, kind speech which is ordinarily neither recognized nor experienced manifests itself before us. While the present body and life exists we should enjoy kind speech, and we should not regress or deviate through many ages and many lives. Weather in defeating adversaries or in promoting harmony among gentlefolk, kind speech is fundamental. To hear kind speech indirectly etched an impression in the heart and in the soul. Remember, kind speech arises from a loving mind, and the seed of a loving mind is compassion. We should learn that kind speech has the power to turn around the heavens; it is not merely the praise of ability.

-excerpt from: Shobogenzo, Bodisatta-shishobo- Master Dogen-
Translated by Master Gudo Wafu Nishijima and Chodo Cross

This may look a lot like the previous offering by Master Dogen but it brings up a slightly different reaction in me. In 2000-2003 I was a recruiter in Milwaukee Wisconsin and was putting in many hours just trying to get the “goals” set by higher headquarters. I had little experience in dealing with rejection and the long hours we put in as recruiters. There was one Recruiter who excelled at his job and seemed to be out of the office enjoying quite a bit of time off while still getting his “goals.” He had made it. He was a “successful” recruiter. At that time someone passed a little gem of wisdom on to me. “Fake it till you make it.” Of course you are not really faking anything. You are doing quite a bit of hard work honestly trying to show young people how they can benefit from serving. But you are “Faking” being successful at it. And in that faking being successful soon I started to believe I was successful. Shortly there after I became successful.

Tying these together: Life for most of us in the secular world is all about achieving goals and unfortunately in our busy lives we often seem to have little time for compassion. I am not endorsing you to “Fake” compassion, but if we just try and take little steps toward it and we can begin to soften our hearts. Using kind words and not using bad words is a start towards the direction of having compassion for all living beings. Try using kind words, even if it is a struggle, perhaps you will make them a part of you.



Blogger oxeye said...

hi jordan, I have enjoyed your posts for some time, reading them on various blogs. You have a amiable manner. I am happy to have found Slow Zen. You have showed me some things I needed to learn. Thanks

Thursday, 30 November, 2006  
Blogger Jordan & The Tortoise said...

Thank you for your comment and it is great that you have some found benifit in my posts.

A deep bow of gratitude.

Thursday, 30 November, 2006  

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