Magic Words - Elihu Genmyo Smith
Children are often told about the magic words "please" and "thank you."
Why are these magic words?
We usually emphasize the pragmatic aspects - that if a child says "please" they will more likely "get" what they want. (And we reward to reinforce this.) Similarly, there is the pragmatism of the child saying "thank you," which "might" get the child "something" in the future. While the pragmatic may be true, it is not what is most significant - for a child, and for all of us.
These words are truly magic words.
When we say "please," "thank you," we are letting go of self. It is a letting go, even if just for a moment, of pride, arrogance or self-centeredness; of "my," "mine," and "I want;" of entitlement and separation.
These words are magic because when we use them that can enable us to let go of delusion and attachment which hinders or blocks this life,enable us to be who we are, the wisdom and compassion of our Buddha life.
In the Jewish tradition, the Prophet Moses is characterized and honored as being "most humble."
Fu Daishi, in his preface to the Diamond Sutra, states
"What joy! Self and dharmas (phenomenon) extinguished - nonclinging to being and nonbeing!"
Fu Daishi (497 - 569 c.e.), The Forty-Nine Stanzas on the Diamond Sutra
So, please use these magic practice words often.
(c) 2012 Elihu Genmyo Smith