Useless Talk

After giving Moggallana advice for combating drowsiness, the Buddha instructed him to avoid two kinds of behavior that lead to restlessness.

First, he should abstain from pride, because pride will cause him to become upset, and then he will be excited, which will cause him to lose self-control, and his concentration will suffer.

Second, he should avoid contentious talk, which will cause wordiness, and then excitement, a loss of self-control, and cause his concentration to suffer.

I’m a sucker for the intellectual satisfaction of debate, and I’ve been known to harbor some pride. Pride is easy enough to replace with gratitude and a realistic view of myself (easier said then done, but the solution is apparent and accessible).

The energy that goes into contentious talk can be put to use in more productive ways instead. That’s one solution. But looking for a direct replacement, I can instead engage in useful talk that takes into account where I’m at, where the other participants are at, and considers what can be said to move us all a little closer to the truth.

Tags: meditation