Choices of Words

Yutang Lin

Although straight mind and spontaneous response are good,
Failure to recognize aspects of the situation renders it willful.
Choices of suitable words implied wisdom and compassion.
One should apply teachings on selflessness in daily activities.


In Buddhist literature there are many praises on spontaneities, such as, "Straight mind is a place for Dharma practice." Before one had emerged from the cage of conceptual mind spontaneities would be a very good goal as well as ways of practice. Nevertheless, if one had reached only spontaneous actions but could not objectively recognize and discern situations encountered, then one would still remain in the sphere of being all along willful, and such a state would readily incur others' annoyance and is still very far from wisdom and compassion in harmonization. In daily life choices of words and expressions, action or inaction, advance or withdraw, are all opportunities and tests of how one could behave appropriately to situations, without losing one's integrity, and yet still reveal wisdom and compassion in congruence. If one could be mindful to all these aspects and practice accordingly, then it would constitute genuine application of selflessness in daily life. May all Buddhist practitioners be able to pay attention to this!

Written in Chinese on September 9, 2004
Translated on September 19, 2004
El Cerrito, California

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