Monday, February 14, 2011

Fragrant Flowers

Daily Heart Sutra (DHS) 172

I think we've all been in situations where you are sitting there listening to someone speak, all the while knowing without question that the words are completely empty, completely without value, that the speaker neither believes nor really means what they are saying. The words are being spoken solely for the purpose of supporting their image of themselves and nothing will ever come of them.

Sometimes it may be appropriate to call their bluff and force the situation but more often than not it's just not worth the trouble. More importantly, much more importantly, is to accept it as a lesson and a reminder to look at your life, your words, your intentions. Use the occasion to review your recent words and see if they have been true words. Review your recent actions and see if they have been, if not in support of others, at least not harmful to them.

Even more importantly, though, i try and look at my recent intentions in all areas of my life. Have my intentions been solely to promote myself, solely to make myself look good in the eyes of others, solely to advance myself at the expense of others? If so, in part or in whole, i use the occasion to reflect on the what's and why's of those occasions, and vow to try to do better.

This from my favorite rendition of the Dhammapada, by Thomas Byrom.

Look to your own faults,
What you have done or left undone.
Overlook the faults of others.

Like a lovely flower,
Bright but scentless,
Are the fine but empty words
Of the man who does not mean what he says.

Like a lovely flower,
Bright and fragrant,
Are the fine and truthful words
Of the man who means what he says.

Chapter 4

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