Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘communication’

I’ve been reminded of how easy it is to feel that I’m having one conversation with someone, while they are having a completely opposite conversation with me. We each have our framings, our schema into which our words and phrases fit. Therefore, what appears so clearly one way to me will just as clearly appear diametrically apposed to them.

In this case, I was trying to speak to how hopeful and optimistic I am with the way I’ve observed positive change in this world. Not everything has been transformed to paradise, but so may people have awoken to a happier vision of the future on personal levels. I find this wonderful. However, as I was speaking to someone who feels global paradisaical transformation is required for there to have been positive change, I came across as contradictory and irrelevant.

I’m choosing to be okay with this. I’m disappointed they are unhappy with this world we share, and I’m disappointed I didn’t do a better job at communicating why I’m happy, even hopeful. But we’re both doing the best we can with the brains we have, and I can only keep working on mine.

That said, I still wish them all the happiness in the world. After all, I feel our world can use all the happiness and hope we are prepared to accept.

Read Full Post »

I’ve had on my mind today how difficult it can be to shape a challenging situation through the careful, compassionate use of words. I was in a situation this past week where things could have gotten pretty argumentative and ended up rather poorly. I managed to make sure everyone felt their concerns were given due weight, and then also helped alleviate them by showing how some things weren’t quite as bad as they may have seemed.

It’s something I’m still practicing. I’ve got this koan on my mind as an example of how it can be done right.

Obedience

The master Bankei’s talks were attended not only by Zen students but by persons of all ranks and sects. He never quoted sutras nor indulged in scholastic dissertations. Instead, his words were spoken directly from his heart to the hearts of his listeners.

His large audience angered a priest of the Nichiren sect because the adherents had left to hear about Zen. The self-centered Nichiren priest came to the temple, determined to have a debate with Bankei.

“Hey, Zen teacher!” he called out. “Wait a minute. Whoever respects you will obey what you say, but a man like myself does not respect you. Can you make me obey you?”

“Come up beside me and I will show you,” said Bankei.

Proudly the priest pushed his way through the crowd to the teacher.

Bankei smiled. “Come over to my left side.”

The priest obeyed.

“No,” said Bankei, “we may talk better if you are on the right side. Step over here.”

The priest proudly stepped over to the right.

“You see,” observed Bankei, “you are obeying me and I think you are a very gentle person. Now sit down and listen.”

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: