“This is the way of Zen, not to say things to their completion. This has to be understood; it is a very important methodology. Not to say everything means to give an opportunity to the listener to complete it. All answers are incomplete… This way, if somebody is trying to understand Zen intellectually he will fail. It is not an answer to the question but something more than the answer. It is indicating the very reality….” ~ Osho Zen Cards, ‘Completion’
You know the sort of person (perhaps we’ve all been them at some time); they can’t stop talking, they chew your ear off, they have some kind of alarming verbal diarrhea bubbling up from deep inside them, and they never listen. They’re messy… desperate… somehow trying to convince everyone that they’ve got it sorted; know exactly what they’re doing. They’ve forgotten how to be still.
Listening to the space between our words is very meditative. That way we are not only listening to ourselves, but to others. We’re filling in the gaps. In many ways people have forgotten that 99% of communication is non-verbal. Aside from eye-contact, we need space. We need pure receptivity. We need to listen.
Once you have meditated for a while – say one month, you begin to notice the ‘subtext’, or motivation behind everything others say. Perhaps you become sensitive, and it hurts. You see their projections on you, their vulnerability. You become empathetic, you become clean. Your perception sharpens – perhaps you didn’t want to know! But this is closer to reality than you were before you started.
Not saying things to their completion also involves keeping your integrity. Keep secrets for yourself. Don’t tell everyone everything, keep some of it just for you. In this way you start up more of a dialogue with the ‘self’. My-self, myself and I; in talking to them as if they were separate from you, you become better at not taking them so seriously.
They’re just voices. Not morally corrupt shadows seeping through the floorboards. Not the shameful subconscious who would never admit to thinking such horrible things. But thoughts dissolved by the emptiness of the void. The void is that silence.
If you express it – that is, let it attach to your sense of self, your ‘ego’, or even worse, continually repeat it verbally to those around you, you are expressing your word, your art – your creation with sloppiness. A good teacher lets their student find the words. The word is misleading. It can be corrupted and misinterpreted. It’s too direct; too on the nose. It has no integrity, no honour.
If you look, you will discover that those who hold a deep and unwavering respect for themselves and others never say things to their completion. They are selective and impeccable with their word, they know how to sculpt and manifest.
“Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.” ~ Don Miguel Ruiz
Because that’s what it really comes down to. Manifestation. We know that if you constantly repeat negative or downtrodden crap about yourself, then you’re going to get it. You are ‘completing’ the energy… stamping and sealing it and labeling it. Not giving it room to breathe. This comes from a great desire to control and a fear of not knowing who or what you are.
If you use your word to strengthen and embolden your power then, even if it doesn’t feel true at first, then slowly, slowly it will begin to come true. But even then, don’t overdo it. Don’t spout positive affirmations all over the shop. Just a few. Everyday, just a few.
Try to be silent every week for at least a morning. Try to be silent in a crowd. When someone asks you a question, watch yourself desire to allow the lava-like flow of diarrhea to pour out of your mouth in an opportunity to vent spleen and express the ego in all its unwholesomeness. Only, resist. Watch, but don’t say anything.
Perhaps trick yourself into saying the opposite. Select only one part of the monologue and keep it simple. Shave down the fluff and be direct and honest. Watch your old self dance to other people’s tune and then surprise them all.
The more we shut up, the more we soak up what is around us and gather energy rather than expend it. The more we listen to the silence within, the more we are able to perceive other’s silence; what they’re really all about.
We become better at reflecting them to themselves, and they become better mirrors for us. Not saying things to their completion breeds awareness, and protects our energy from getting into the wrong hands. It safeguards us and heralds wisdom. In this extrovert society, for once, lets all just shut the f*** up.