“OH…FUUU–DGE…” on Right Speech (the eight-fold path)

Post 3/8 in #8weeksofmindfulness

First off, Merry Christmas Eve! I intended to have this up by last night to have you all ready to go for your family functions! Hopefully you will still find this enjoyable or of use.

As with most principles / practices in Buddhism, there is both an emphasis on renunciation as well as cultivation of certain patterns/habits (see previous post for reference).

The primary aspects of Right Speech the Buddha emphasized were as follows: abstinence from false speech, malicious speech, and abstinence from idle chatter.

When we allow ourselves to relinquish speech which is not promoting happiness and harmony among people, we are allowing ourselves to be aware of energy we are putting out, which generally increases positive interactions.

This awareness is imperative, always, but especially this time of year.

It can be difficult to reunite with family members, perhaps estranged, or otherwise distant. It is easy to make sarcastic remarks and to engage in hostile conversation, perhaps out of frustration, due to the high levels of stress associated with the Christmas season.

But I challenge you to take your time, to take a breath, to think before you speak, to ask your self: Is this compassionate? Is this necessary? Is this helpful?

I invite you to see if your interactions with family members can be better than ever this year, if you apply this awareness during your holiday visits. Maybe you will find renewed closeness, perhaps it will just make your holiday more bearable, if you add a little sweetness to your speech!

Give it a whirl and see for yourself ! =)

It may help you more than you know. I wanted to keep this brief, since it is the time to be enjoying with your loved ones.

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!

Namaste ॐ

-A.K.

Our World: Shaped by Shape?

Imagine for a second what life might be like in a world where we didn’t, as humans, classify each other by body type, or physical characteristics at all …

Or as females, if we didn’t  refer to each other as  “b*tches?” and every other derogatory word in existence as if they bear no connotation or consequence.

 Does this seem too idealistic/Utopian? Perhaps, impossible?

While everyone wants to claim they are a feminist these days,

there are many women who seem to be confused about what feminism is. Feminism is about equality for both genders. Feminism isn’t belittling other women, or equating their worth with the size/shape/ appearance of their physical body, in the same way men are often accused of being judgmental/sexist for.

If you are a female who frequently reduces other women down to their physical appearance, or uses the same profane terms that have become commonplace to use interchangeably with the word “women” as in pop-music/culture: “b*tches”/”hoes”, et cetera, then you must realize you are continuing the trend for men to also use the term.  If you are okay with that, fine, but don’t anticipate change.  

If you take issue with your humanity being reduced to “lesser than”, then I suggest that we redefine the ways we choose to define each other, that we choose to be more mindful of the way we talk about each other, what we call each other,because we all deserve so much more. We all have such light inside of us that does not deserve to be dimmed or dulled by words that pale in comparison to our inner beauty.

As a woman, and as someone who has been referred to as a “skinny b*tch” more times than I could ever count, I have a general distaste for the culture of labeling each other, mainly because I believe it only furthers the divide between individuals, rather than coming together, in support of each other, as a human community. It seems we are continually alienating ourselves from each other as we obsessively place each other into categories.  It’s in our nature to want to put everyone into groups, as if that’s the only way the world will make sense to us.

Wouldn’t it be refreshing to change things up?

What would it be like if media/music/ conversation didn’t feature language and images which cause women to equate their worth by what is deemed “aesthetically pleasing” to onlookers, whether it be men or other women?

I like to believe that we have endless potential for change and compassion in this world,

if only we continue wanting it enough,

if only we never stop striving for it,

if only we never give up hope.

-A.K.

 

bod

 

This article, in part, inspired this post, and raised some interesting points:

 

I love not man less but nature… less???

One recent point of contemplation for me has been,

Who are we?

When I say we, I’m referring to my so-called generation of  Millennials. It seems so often we are defined in articles all over the web and elsewhere, by word-of-mouth hasty generalizations, making us into some hopeless robots standing for:          nothing much.

We are depicted as children who grew up with screens in front of our faces– or at least by the time we hit middle school. We are often cast as individuals who have turned to this new cyber world, gone into hiding, remaining unapproachable behind it.

It is suggested at times that we are lonely, anti-social, immature, inarticulate, (at least in verbal communication, if not also in writing, a result of over-abbreviations and lingo born from AIM and texting, as a redefining of language as we know it)  having been shaped by technology that our preceding generations developed.

But, then, there is the occasional post or conversation that hints at Millennials having a slightly more admirable identity…

There is a conversation of this generation being more open and inclusive than those who have come before, one that eventually leaves prejudice, racism, gender stereotypes to be things of the past, one that is redefining roles in society and breaking down barriers.

Are we individuals who are paving the way for social, societal and global change? Can we be?

A current goal of mine is to attempt to answer this question, to find out

What is it that defines us? What is it that we do love?

I would like to suggest that we are a compassionate generation with limitless potential and love for fellow humanity, regardless of our many perceived differences.

More to come…

to be continued.

 

-Alyssabeth Knerr