Wednesday, April 20, 2011
If you can't say something nice ...
I love it that Sonny Rollins spent so much time playing his saxophone on the Williamsburg bridge. His decision to do so was very practical - he could play as loudly as he wanted without disturbing anyone. He's a sensitive guy, oh yeah.
What I love about it, though, is thinking about how he poured beauty out into the world every day (weather permitting). Water carries sound powerfully - so there's a way in which, even moreso than in concert, by standing on the bridge and playing his ass off, he was able to infuse the world with his beautiful music. (Here's a tiny pic of him playing on the bridge.)
Something else I love: when people think before they speak. I believe the Buddhists call it "right speech." Oh yeah.
I hear stories every day from clients and friends about alleged healers, including doctors, psychic readers, midwives, massage therapists and every other kind of healer, of the most heinously NOT RIGHT speech. It gets on my last nerve.
Not saying here that I am always in synch with right speech, but when someone is lying on the treatment table, disrobed and vulnerable, I am VERY careful about what I say. When people put themselves into a passive yoga like that, in order to receive healing, anything I say is likely to go in at a deep level.
One of my friends and teachers sometimes asks people who say stupid things, "What kind of reaction were you hoping to achieve by saying that?" This is a smart question - wow - and perhaps easier to ask when one is upright, fully clothed and coherent. Among friends, or during a lively discussion, things are often said too hastily, or thoughtlessly. I've stuffed my foot in my mouth repeatedly in social situations, oh yeah.
But for healers, there should be a filter, always, always. What we say is like Sonny Rollins playing his saxophone under the bridge: it goes out into the world, into the hearts of our clients. There is no way to take it back. What we say should be as beautiful as possible. Or we should keep our mouths shut.
May we all speak thoughtfully whenever we can! So may it be. Shalom.