Fourmonks prepared to meditate without talking for two weeks. Priorto starting the meditation, they agreed to light a candle as a symbol oftheir practice. By dusk on the first day, the candle flickered under thewind and went out.Thefirst monk exclaimed: “Oh, no! The candle is out.
“Thesecond monk said: “Aren’t we supposed NOT to speak?”Thethird monk said: “Must you two always break the procedures?”Thefourth monk laughed and said: “Ha! I win! I’m the only one who didn’t talk.”In life, 95% of all talking covers only two things:· Theperson whose mouth is open.· Thethings that are (usually) outside our control.The first monk got distracted by something outsidehis control and he felt caused to point it out. He could’ve just re-lit the candleand continue meditating.The second monk thought that he had to remindeveryone of a rule that had already been broken.
He could’ve just keptmeditating until the end of his practice.The third monk couldn’t control his annoyancesand felt he had to pour out his irritation. He could’ve just remainedcalm and finish his meditation.Now, the fourth monk got carried away with hisego. He could’ve just enjoyed his little advantage in silence andcontinued meditating until he realized the real success. These four have something in common: They sharedtheir thoughts without filtering them, something that did nothing toimprove their position but instead broke the entire process. If there hadbeen a fifth monk, a wiser one, he would have continued silent and keptmeditating.
He would’ve shown the other four monks their weaknesses withoututtering a word. The more people speak, the more prone they are tosay something foolish. When you’re not talking, you have time to observe theposition and identify an essential clue or even a moment that can provide aquick fix. Only speak when what you have to say has a significant, constructiveimpact on a condition.
It’s no wonder we’re alwaysencouraged to listen more. Listening leads to understanding. Wisdom isdeveloped in silence.