on the dharma shelf | “the transformation of silence into language + action”

“Each of us is here now because in one way or another we share a commitment to language and to the power of language, and to the reclaiming of language which has been made to work against us. In the transformation of silence into language and action, it is vitally necessary for each one of us to establish or examine her function in that transformation and to recognize her role as vital within that transformation.”

“We can learn to work and speak when we are afraid in the same way we have learned to work and speak when we are tired. For we have been socialized to respect fear more than our own needs for language and definition, and while we wait in silence for that final luxury of fearlessness, the weight of that silence will choke us.

The fact that we are here and that I speak these words is an attempt to break that silence and bridge some of those differences between us, for it is not difference which immobilizes us, but silence.

And there are so many silences to be broken.”

~ Audre Lorde, The Transformation of Silence into Language and Action

I cannot think of a reading that is more aligned with Sangha’s study of Skillful Speech, Skillful Action, Skillful Livelihood. This trio of ethical actions on the Noble Eightfold Path holds deep resonance with our commitment to living into community where inclusion and liberation are seeded, watered and nourished!

Read the full essay (via Cal State @ San Marcos).
Look back at skillful understanding and skillful thinking and the qualities of skillful communication.