Avoid idle talk

Discuss and learn about the traditional Mahayana scriptures, without assuming that any one school ‘owns’ the only correct interpretation.
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Odin
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Avoid idle talk

Post by Odin » Tue Sep 12, 2017 4:59 pm

He kept himself(Buddha) free from idle talk, and then wished that all might know the blessedness of a sympathetic understanding.

What does sympathetic understanding mean here?

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jkarlins
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Re: Avoid idle talk

Post by jkarlins » Tue Sep 12, 2017 5:53 pm

I don't know. What is the source? Is there a website you got this from?

Jake

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The Cicada
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Re: Avoid idle talk

Post by The Cicada » Tue Sep 12, 2017 6:00 pm

Odin wrote:What does sympathetic understanding mean here?
Idle talk leads to gossip, leads to the macaque-like monkey mind and hindbrain jockeying for group power... because that's what we asinine humans are dispositioned to do?

Jeff H
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Re: Avoid idle talk

Post by Jeff H » Tue Sep 12, 2017 6:20 pm

I don't know, but I agree with Cicada. I think idle chatter distracts us from harmoniously tuning in to those around us. And I relate "blessed sympathetic understanding" with "harmoniously tuning in".

This was brought home to me quite vividly 35 years ago as a Christian on a personal, one-week, silent retreat at a small monastery (Episcopal). I'd been to the monastery several times and more or less knew the monks. By the end of my silent retreat, however, I had a very different, much richer sense of who they were.

Chatter is good for writing a biography, but simply "being with" is better for getting to know someone.
We who are like children shrink from pain but love its causes. - Shantideva

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jkarlins
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Re: Avoid idle talk

Post by jkarlins » Tue Sep 12, 2017 7:01 pm

Idle chatter is generally looked down on in Buddhism. But it's hard to guess at the actual meaning without a little more context.

Odin
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Re: Avoid idle talk

Post by Odin » Tue Sep 12, 2017 9:20 pm

jkarlins wrote:I don't know. What is the source? Is there a website you got this from?

Jake
From a book. Quoted from Teaching of Buddha page 18. From the society of the promotion of Buddhism.

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jkarlins
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Re: Avoid idle talk

Post by jkarlins » Wed Sep 13, 2017 11:10 am

https://books.google.com/books?id=QFvC1 ... g.&f=false

Very strange. Not sure about this source, I'm short on time this morning. It is a book, about that you're right.

Basically what people have said is correct. The training of avoiding idle chatter is important. Maybe the author means by avoiding needless talk, we can start to understand just by feeling, beyond words (through "sympathy" or intuition).

Jake

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Vasana
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Re: Avoid idle talk

Post by Vasana » Wed Sep 13, 2017 4:15 pm

Rather than getting caught up in the idiosyncrasies of a particular author or translation, seek out alternative authors and translations to see if the same passage makes more sense elsewhere. You might also get to the core meaning of any particular teaching much sooner that way.

Learning to avoid Idle-chatter is quite a big current challenge of mine. I have quite a surreal and non-sensical sense of humour and I find it hard to avoid mindlessly bullshitting and playing with words with friends due to habit even though I can now see a link between my humour style and any discursive/associative thought patterns. Maybe I can keep the weird humour if I can work out how to make the self-&-other-making ego the butt of the joke. :thinking:
"The changing cycle of joy and sorrow, like the changing seasons –
As a time of suffering will surely come around to me,
May I truly practice the sublime teachings."
- Dudjom Rinpoche

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jkarlins
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Re: Avoid idle talk

Post by jkarlins » Wed Sep 13, 2017 4:57 pm

It's such a tricky issue. For me, I went to the opposite extreme for a long time, getting very quiet, really avoiding any gossip or small talk. People get so uncomfortable! :tongue:

I like what Trungpa said about this in Shambhala, something like we are afraid of space when we fill it up with words. So speech is about space, relating with space.

Jake

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Vasana
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Re: Avoid idle talk

Post by Vasana » Wed Sep 13, 2017 5:31 pm

jkarlins wrote:So speech is about space, relating with space.
Well said, succinctly put and with multiple levels of meaning. :thumbsup:
"The changing cycle of joy and sorrow, like the changing seasons –
As a time of suffering will surely come around to me,
May I truly practice the sublime teachings."
- Dudjom Rinpoche

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jkarlins
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Re: Avoid idle talk

Post by jkarlins » Wed Sep 13, 2017 6:38 pm

thanks!

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