Have you noticed how people respond to questions or comments with; “No, yes it is…” People often respond initially with a negation even when the answer is affirmative.
For example, you may say; “That is a very nice shirt.” And the response will be; “No, yes it is very comfortable.”
I asked a friend from Colombia whose job takes her to every country in the Caribbean, Central and South America, and another friend in Indonesia who also lived in Italy. I have seen this in many countries myself; Canada, USA, New Zealand, and many of the other 74 countries I have been to where I can understand the language.
People do this in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Bahasa, Italian etc.
It’s automatic and widespread. Everyone is like robot, no one is thinking about what they say. This is a key factor in the repetitive foot in the mouth epidemic.
Every time you say something out of place, you will either feel like a fool and chip away at your self-esteem and self-confidence, or you will hurt someone and feel guilty, or regret ruining a relationship.
This exercise is a way to practice being awake and present. By catching the ‘no’ in others and yourself, and changing how you speak, you will change how you speak all the time on any topic.
It’s more effective than one hour of daily meditation because it takes zero time to do, yet is done every moment you are listening to another person, even watching people on TV.
I am not negating the value of meditation, but the advantage of this exercise over meditation, aside from it not requiring one second out of your day or a special quiet place to do it, is that it serves the same benefits of being present and aware, and you cannot sleep through it and think you had a great meditation when you just had a nap.
Its purpose is to show how humans, including you, are robots which do not think about what we say. If we can become more aware of this, we will become more spiritually and consciously awake and will not make as many mistakes or hurt other people by accident with inappropriate words.
One must put in effort to experience reality in order to understand it well enough for any change to take place. Knowing something intellectually is like getting a collection of coffee mugs from every city you have been to and having them in boxes in the storage room, but not having one in the kitchen to be useful when you want a drink.
Intellectual knowledge without direct experience is often as useless as the cups you do not remember you have.
Click HERE to watch a 10 minute video which explains the concept and exercise in greater detail.