Relationship and Talking to myself

The more I know, the less I know.  Sometimes, everything makes sense.  Then, things turn upside down.     Usually, I can manage my “stuff” just fine.  It’s navigating in relationship with others that the water may get murky.  Although I’m working on it, I can somewhat control my responses.  If only I could remember to practice the Four Gates of Speech before reacting, every time.

The Four Gates of Speech (vāc)*

Is it truthful?

Is it necessary?

Is it timely?

Can it be said with compassion?

Maybe 1 more

I’d like to add to the list by reminding myself to enter into the first gate after pausing for a few moments.  Rarely am I called upon to answer or react IMMEDIATELY.  Some situations need a relatively quick response while others need time to settle and simmer before plundering through without utilizing the Four Gates. 

The Practice

“I’m being my future self” (or something like that) which I learned from Professor Douglas Brooks floats into my mind occasionally.  The Four Gates are a sweet little tool to keep me from saying something to someone that I may later, deep heartedly, regret.   This is part of my practice.

 I will undeniably open my mouth and the wrong words will come out too quickly.  I will react incorrectly to a situation somehow, somewhere.  Another part of my practice is to apologize gracefully hoping for forgiveness from the one I have offended and from myself.

Digging Deeper

Talking with a dear friend recently, the conversation turned to why some people annoy us.  It was fun to talk about and sort out together. Through our yogic journeys we have learned that we are every character in the story.  Every character is an aspect of our personalities.  Is the annoyance a reflection, however minuscule, of something we really don’t like about ourselves?  Umm, maybe.  How do we respond or react towards the reflection?  Take it from the top, pause, approach Gate #1, etc.