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The Power of Words April 25, 2013

Posted by nrhatch in Meditation, Mindfulness, Word Play.

IMGP2584bA meditation master was asked to heal a sick child by saying a few prayers.

A skeptic scoffed at the  idea that words could have such power.

The master replied, “What do you know?  You’re an ignorant fool.”

Enraged, the skeptic shook with anger, “How dare you call me an ignorant fool!”

The master nodded and smiled, “If so few words have the power to anger you, why should they not have the power to heal as well?”

Aah . . . that’s better! 

Paraphrased from The Zen of Eating, p. 113

Related post:  Hidden Messages in Water


1. Don - April 25, 2013


nrhatch - April 25, 2013

Isn’t it great? I bumped into this gem while reading The Zen of Eating and had to share it.

2. aawwa - April 25, 2013

Yes, words can have great power!

nrhatch - April 25, 2013

When we are mindful, we can buffer/negate the effect that harmful words and unearned insults have on us . . . and a reminder that we should be careful of the words we choose to use with others (and with ourselves).

3. Pix Under the Oaks - April 25, 2013

Very good!

nrhatch - April 25, 2013

And it’s not just what THEY say to us that has power . . . it’s what WE say to ourselves that has the most import. 😀

4. SuziCate - April 25, 2013

Love this! How true it is!

nrhatch - April 25, 2013

When I first tuned in to my “inner voice” . . . I realized how critical I was of myself, saying things that I would never have left unchallenged if someone else had vocalized them.

That awareness allowed me to be more mindful about what I say to myself and to others ~ it is true, helpful, kind, etc.?

5. gita4elamats - April 25, 2013
6. katecrimmins - April 25, 2013

Good one!

nrhatch - April 25, 2013

What we say to ourselves and to others has a profound impact on our net happiness.

7. spilledinkguy - April 25, 2013

Well-played, meditation master…

nrhatch - April 25, 2013

Aah, grasshopper . . . you old sport! 😛

8. adeeyoyo - April 25, 2013

Excellent, Nancy! Words can hurt more than anything else because they replay in your mind over, and over…

nrhatch - April 25, 2013

When we pay attention to those endless loops, we can choose to press the “MUTE” button. But we should take care in what we share with others and what we say to ourselves. Words sting and bite.

adeeyoyo - April 25, 2013

So very true.

9. Sandra Bell Kirchman - April 25, 2013

Thus, the word “master” 😉

nrhatch - April 25, 2013

True dat! 😉

10. Three Well Beings - April 25, 2013

Oooh! This is a good one! I see it’s from The Zen of Eating…I really do want to get that book soon! ox

nrhatch - April 25, 2013

It’s a soothing book . . . about the power of the thoughts we think as we make choice after choice in our busy days.

11. colonialist - April 25, 2013

As with the insult, it isn’t so much the words as the power they invoke. Well illustrated, here!

nrhatch - April 25, 2013

Exactly . . . we choose what power to give words by the BELIEF we place in them. We can shrug them off or absorb them fully.

12. dearrosie - April 25, 2013

Absolutely brilliant Nancy.
I cleaned out my bookshelves at the end of last year and said out loud to Mr F “Read my lips I’m NOT going to buy any more books!” And now you keep mentioning this book… and it sounds brilliant.
“Its not fair,” she shouted at her computer.

nrhatch - April 25, 2013

I would hate to be the one to make you fall off the wagon. And I would have suggested borrowing from the library . . . but I just read your comment about bedbugs. 😯

13. Barbara Backer-Gray - April 25, 2013

So true!

nrhatch - April 25, 2013

And what we tell ourselves may be the most potent of all.

Stuart Smalley had the right idea with his affirmations . . . “I am good enough. I am smart enough. And, dog-gone-it, people like me!” 😛

Barbara Backer-Gray - April 25, 2013

Yup. 😉

14. diannegray - April 26, 2013

Fantastic! 😀

nrhatch - April 26, 2013

Here’s to the power of words! 😎

15. jannatwrites - April 26, 2013

Oh that is so true. I just love that response – it’s subtle, but in-your-face 🙂

nrhatch - April 26, 2013

Perfect example of Show, Don’t Tell! 😛

16. Booksphotographsandartwork - April 27, 2013

I can’t believe I have never thought of it that way before! That is so simple and too the point! Love it.

nrhatch - April 27, 2013

It’s a great way to illustrate the power of words. Especially when we absorb them into our being rather than shrugging them off.

17. kateshrewsday - April 27, 2013

What a lovely way to teach that particular lesson, Nancy!

nrhatch - April 27, 2013

One reason I adore ZEN wisdom is its proclivity for brevity.

18. sufilight - April 28, 2013

Good one! I will never forget this Zen lesson!

nrhatch - April 28, 2013

Yay! Glad it resonated with you. Learning a life lesson that has true staying power is the best. 😀

19. Grannymar - April 29, 2013

Words have power for good and evil, but once said, they cannot be retracted.

nrhatch - April 29, 2013

When in doubt . . . best to keep quiet.

Or as Abe Lincoln once said: “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.”

20. 2e0mca - May 5, 2013

Words do hold the power to heal – but use them sparingly for too many may be misconstrued.

nrhatch - May 5, 2013

Yes! Sometimes “too much” is just “too much.” 😛

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