Advice from Shakespeare
There’s never a moment on this planet when no one is talking.
Humans love talking and thinking. You could say that most of the talking is just “audible thinking”. So these two favourite activities feed on each other, to the point where silence when people are around is almost a miracle.
We think too much and we talk too much.
Have you kissed the Blarney Stone? Millions have. They travel to Blarney Castle, near the city of Cork, in Ireland, climb to the top battlement, lean backwards over a parapet, purse their lips and kiss the cold, damp stone called Blarney.
Later, as they stroll the gardens of Blarney Castle, they find eloquent words spilling out of their mouths, almost unbdden. This is because the Irish goddess Clíodhna, queen of the local fairies, has rewarded their efforts. They now have the gift of the gab. I doubt I’ll ever get to Ireland to kiss the Blarney Stone, but I don’t need to. Words flow out of my mouth like water over Niagara Falls. Maybe they’re not as eloquent or persuasive as they could be if I made the trip and risked falling from a great height while bending backwards to kiss a rock, but they get me by.
What I need to do is talk less.
Shakespeare in King Lear:
Have more than thou showest, Speak less than thou knowest.
Perhaps I should do a variation of the Blarney Stone ritual. Before I speak I should bend myself backwards and kiss the air, then straighten up. By the time I’m ready to speak, the opening in the conversation I was going to enter will have passed, and those in my vicinity would’ve nervously drifted away because of my strange behaviour. There would be silence. And that’s a good thing.
Living with Mindfulness
What is the secret people need to talk about?
The world doesn’t need more talking. The world needs more wise words. And where are those wise words going to come from?
Eckhart Tolle in Stillness Speaks:
But what is wisdom and where is it to be found? Wisdom comes from the ability to be still. Just look and just listen. No more is needed. Being still, looking, and listening activates the non-conceptual intelligence within you. Let stillness direct your words and actions.
I want to access the non-conceptual intelligence that is within me. I want non-conceptual intelligence to direct my words.
I don’t need to book another 10-Day Silent Retreat in order to do this.
I just need to be still, look and listen.
And keep my mouth shut.
This is what the world needs me to do.
Do you want to try something that doesn’t involve talking?
Take the FREE 7-Day Mindfulness Challenge and you’ll discover better things to do than talk!
With love, Marlane
Original version published on Medium.com/Illumination