What I do


Speech and silence interest me equally. The speech that I have in mind hovers around ideas–from philosophy, literature, poetry, classical Buddhism, non-buddhism, and beyond. The silence that I have in mind is something like meditation, but without all of the swaggering braggadocio that that term too often displays.


Useful things begin to happen when we discuss ideas with others. For instance, it is usually necessary for us to clarify our thinking; we stumble over our own hidden beliefs; and, whether we like it or not, we are shown new perspectives. Through silence–again, whether we like it or not–we become more fully present to our environment, more sensitive to sounds, feelings, touch–to what it is to be alive.


In my writing and teaching, I explore what both cultivated silence and engaged dialogue might offer the individual and society. And what might that be? I don't know. But I do find the exploration to be the most bountiful when all participants courageously range between the searing sizzle of idea and the creative coolness of the still.


What else do I do? Well, is saying doing? I use expressions like: passion; rollick; who knows?; beautiful; look! bullshit; guffaw; do you really believe that?; is it really so important; what's the point? soar; flight of imagination; who knows?; don't take my word for it; ha ha ha! enough already . . .


The older I get, the more I shrug my shoulders.