Who are you telling to shut up?
More and more I am coming to see that so much of our conversing is beyond a waste of time. It is also a cultivation of less than mindful stories, drama, disturbance, opinions and distraction. In addition to the interpersonal conversations that we all have with others, the social media front has become a non-stop stream of trivial laden garbage that our brains take-in and spew back out at a fervent pace.
And if this practice is to purify the mind, then I do not see how the constant babble and dribble of daily communication with others has any benefit to our own peace, happiness or enlightenment.
In the Abhaya Sutta, the Buddha shows the factors that go into deciding what is and is not worth saying. The main factors are three: whether or not a statement is true, whether or not it is beneficial, and whether or not it is pleasing to others. The Buddha himself would state only those things that are true and beneficial, and would have a sense of time for when pleasing and unpleasing things should be said.
How often does our own speech meet the standards that the Buddha laid out for us? And do not think for one moment that I will leave myself unscathed from this! Quite often I feel strongly compelled to stop writing, remove myself from Facebook and just keep my mouth shut. Time is so very precious, and so much is wasted in useless conversation every day. And a far more Noble and beneficial path is clearly to be mindful, meditate, and study the suttas. Basically learning to shut up and get over myself.
All of this does not mean that any of us should no longer talk to one another, but instead put our words to the test before they exit our lips or our keyboard. Is it true, is it beneficial, is it pleasing to others.
And if these criteria are not meant, then no words need be shared. We can observe these thoughts rising and falling, without attachment, story building, or proliferation. Just as this breath will pass, so to will these useless thoughts that arise and fall away. The volitional formations (sankhara) which are only a further cause of kamma and samsara.
So will this then be my final post? Perhaps. But only because I cannot predict the future, nor do I wish to waste time with that type of delusional thinking.
What I will say however, is that a focus on becoming more of a silent observer is the path that I see toward increasing my own wisdom and virtue. And just as we enter and leave this World alone, we each walk this path alone as well. I believe this to be true, beneficial, and offered at a time that may be pleasing to you.