Monday, January 21, 2013

Still Talking

My no-speaking experiment could be called a total failure, as I made it only about two hours between making the decision and speaking to another human.  I put my dog Snickers into the car and drove to a large off-leash area north of where we live; figured I'd be safe with the dog for company.  As she galloped away, I climbed the crest of a small hill after her.  As I topped the ridgeline, a beautiful young Dalmation cruised past me, and shortly behind her came a talkative fellow named Bob.  What could I do after he introduced himself?  Our social conventions do not allow for the possibility of non-response when a stranger tells us his name and offers his hand.  Soon we were chatting amiably on a topic easy for all dog people:  our dogs! -- their names, their ages, their favorite treats, and so on.

I thought of my friend Jim, now deep into his ten-day Buddhist retreat, and I realized that stopping speech could be best done in a controlled environment such as the one he chose.  Jim's experience will be more strict than anything I could handle:  no books, no writing paper (!), and of course no electronic devices.

I'm greatly looking forward to hearing about Jim's experience.

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