Vows, commitments and modern life: Indulging in senseless conversation out of attachment.

If we spend much of our time doing this we incur a secondary downfall.

Earlier I explained that no activity is senseless from its own side, it only becomes senseless when we engage in it with a senseless mind.  The same applies to conversations.  But putting that aside, we can say that a senseless conversation is a conversation about nothing of importance.  There are countless examples of such conversations, but they all come down to a common denominator of the conversations help nobody.  They just fill time. 

It is surprising how many such conversations we have.  If we check our day, it is not uncommon for half or more of our conversations to fall into this category.  Like a bunch of nervous Nellies, we chatter away saying nothing to avoid awkward moments of silence.  Or perhaps our relationship with the other person is so superficial that there is no scope to discuss anything of substance with them. 

Does this mean we should become quiet and reserved and only engage in conversations with others if they want to talk about the Dhama, because after all, only the Dharma really matters!  No, that is an absurd way of thinking.  Because as explained earlier we need karmic relationships with others, we need to engage with others.  There is nothing decreeing our conversations with others have to be devoid of meaning.  It is not difficult to engage in substantive discussions with anybody.  It suffices to take a genuine interest in the person you are talking to and asking them about their life.  Within a few minutes you can be discussing something of value. 

But sometimes, yes, this is not possible.  There are some people who we seem to only cross occasionally in the elevator and the only thing that we can seemingly discuss is, “boy, it sure is cold today” before they get off on their floor.  So be it, it’s better than just ignoring them.  But in general, with minimal effort we can have meaningful conversations with pretty much anybody.

 

One thought on “Vows, commitments and modern life: Indulging in senseless conversation out of attachment.

  1. People want a release from their suffering. They want to experience something extra-ordinary. Samsara becomes boring for everyone because eventually it doesn’t deliver the happiness that it promises. It is deceptive.

    To alleviate much of that, many beings engage in play. Playful banter, worldly distraction, worldly concern.
    As Bodhisattvas we must come to understand this dynamic, we must embrace it. People want an escape.
    We can provide that escape. We can make all our conversations light and joyful, self-deprecating and playful. Why?
    Because it allows others to let go of their tight grasp of self. If we don’t take our I seriously, they won’t take theirs so seriously.

    We can also cherish others by ‘being the centre of attention’. We do this by being a centre of joy and bliss, not self-cherishing. Many people become anxious by being the centre of attention. We can provide a bridge into our dream-like storyline which is inspiring and happy. It’s a myth to think that cherishing others means interview-style all eyes on other attitude. It’s intimidating and unnatural. The best listeners are actually very intimidating for this fact because it means that someone is taking sincere note of you instead of their self, which is actually quite rare.

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