Not long after I met my Elder, Grandmother Pa’Ris’Ha she came to some of us living in the Ottawa region of Canada. She spent the evening telling us intriguing stories and making us laugh with her wonderful humor. I remember being quite pleased with myself at all the brilliant questions I was

thinking up to ask her. No sooner had she answered my question than another one leapt from my lips without even allowing her previous words to sink in.  I wanted to gobble up every possible opportunity with her to get the answer to everything that had ever felt curious about. (I believe they call this having a huge “ego!”)

After many more events like this one I began to notice when there was a large number of people participating I did not always have the chance to ask my questions, yet somehow they were answered. For a while I tested what would happen if I made a point of not asking anything, and then I tried to not even think about what I would like to ask. I practiced keeping an open mind and found the discussion inevitably came to a place where I had a profound realization, giving me precisely what inspired me the most in my current circumstances.

stillnessThen one day, Grandmother talked about asking questions, and how doing this was like having blinders on that did not allow a person to see the many possibilities.

Watch the process of your mind next time you ask a question. Do you already have an answer in mind? I can tell you that most of the time we do and if the answer given does not agree with the one in your head, there a conflict. We create an argument in our thoughts, and tend to express it aloud.  The argument locks us into what we already know and does not allow us to see the broader horizon.

Here’s a friendly hint…

When you have the opportunity to be in audience to someone that has more expertise on a particular subject than you, I suggest you allow a generous portion of your time to be in silence. It is respectful to give the expert the choice of the subject matter they wish to teach. An effective teacher usually provides a question and answer period after they have addressed the needs of the moment. It is highly likely you will learn more by practicing silence in the presence of a Master than you would if you used up the atmosphere with a bunch of your own words.

“Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck”. ~ Dalai Lama

~ Agi’sti Tis’stu

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