Treeleaf Founder and Priest
Saying More With Less ...
I love good debates and discussions (don't get me started!!) :wink: I can (and often will) go on all night!
But a Zen Sangha must be a place primarily of silence. We must talk some about our Practice, but only with great reluctance. We can reason about what we "do". But often, the more we reason and analyze, the further we are from its truths. (In that regard, it is precisely the difference between silence, and talking about silence). A Zen Sangha is an endless silent retreat, with a few words of guidance and encouragement here and there.
We all have to be careful about getting caught by the racing mind. Ideas are fascinating, but there can be too many sometimes to allow for sound Zen Practice (which requires a solid dose of "quiet" ... a Practice of "non-thinking"). That does not mean that we should do without all words or discussion ... far from it. But we should often keep to a philosophy of "less is more". Do you know that, in Chinese and Japanese painting (like Zen Practice) ... the portion that speaks the greatest truths is empty space?
The way to practice silence and simplicity is so often silence and simplicity.
How about I make a suggestion to everybody in the Sangha (except folks who never or infrequently post ... THEY SHOULD POST MORE! ): Cause yourself to skip two out of three postings you wish to make, and answer with silence.
It is like Mushin's excellent practice of looking for the space between breaths (which I fully support ... just not during Shikantaza). We need to respond to more ideas and questions with silence and simplicity, the spaces between words ... not animated conversations in the hallways. PLEASE DON'T STOP POSTING AND COMMUNICATING (just like we should not stop breathing), keep great thoughts and inspirations coming to be shared by all, but be reserved ... hesitant to speak ... of few words ...
Sometimes, maybe most times, we can best talk about "Zen" ... and these topics ... with stillness, silence, a Buddha's smile.
By the way, the foregoing applies to everybody but me ... because every word out of my mouth is pure gold! :shock:
Am I clear, or have I said too much?