Sunday, December 20, 2009

8. Not Engaging in Vain Talk

"Realizing detachment from arbitrary discrimination is called not engaging in vain talk; when one has fully comprehended the character of reality, one will not engage in vain talk.

"Buddha said, 'O monks, if you indulge in various kinds of vain talk, your mind will be disturbed. Even if you leave society you will still not attain liberation. Therefore you should immediately give up vain talk which disturbs the mind. If you want to attain bliss of tranquility and dispassion, you should extinguish the affliction of vain talk.' "

(From "The Eight Awarenesses of Great People," translated by Thomas Cleary in "Shobogenzo: Zen essays by Dogen.")

(Photo: Chain link fence shadows on a bridge between Long Island City, Queens, and Greenpoint, Brooklyn, last weekend.)


  1. I'm not sure I quite understand this one. Can you translate? It seems to be something different from my idea of vanity.

  2. Wise men and women are always depicted as people who don't speak much. I love to talk, but it does distract me, and wastes energy, too.

    Great pic today, Steve. Are you better??

  3. I laughed as I saw the topic of your post; I just got back from a holiday party, capping more than a month of seemingly non-stop gigs and events at which I have felt varying pressures to chat, schmooze, network, and, yep well then, engage in sometimes vain talk. I feel in synch w/your topic.
    Great photo...