Friday, July 18, 2008

The acquisition of wisdom

I just found the quotation below and it intrigues me. How very interesting that silence is first on the list. I agree. And, yet, how we resist it! The important thing to remember is that we come by that resistence honestly. Keeping silence is profoundly countercultural for westerners - especially Americans. So let us be patient with ourselves in the difficulty but let us still be willing to persevere in the effort.

The first step in the acquisition of wisdom is silence, the second listening, the third memory, the fourth practice, the fifth teaching others.

-Solomon Ibn Gabirol (11th Century C.E.)


  1. What a great quote. Thanks.

  2. Anonymous9:31 AM

    Why memory, do you think? esp. with Buddhist emphasis on living in the moment...

  3. Well, without memory, how would we remember the teachings enough to apply them?

    I don't think memory means that we live in the past or abandon the moment. I think rather that it means (as is taught in the Karma Kagyu tradition) that nothing is wasted - that it's all material. We put what we remember about the past to good use. But we don't dwell on it or grasp after it.


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