Proverbial Thursday – Global Wisdom

Proverbs and sayings often provide us with wise the world.  Best savoured a little at a time, these sayings are passed down from generation to generation.

Each Thursday, I post a Proverb or Saying and a quote that I find thought-provoking. 

I hope you think so too.

Continuing with our African series we have a proverb from East Africa:

The one who is too talkative leaves his mouth empty

and a poignant quote from the Japanese Zen master: Hakuin Ekaku

Nirvana is right here, before our eyes.

Hakuin, 白隠 慧鶴, (1686 – 1768)

Heidi at the Arch.jpg

Hakuin was one of the most influential figures in Japanese Zen Buddhism.  He is credited with sparking a renewed interest in the philosophy with rigorous training methods integrating meditation and koan practice.

Is your Nirvana before your eyes?

And what do you make of the East African Proverb? It is not meant in a literal sense,

is it?



9 thoughts on “Proverbial Thursday – Global Wisdom”

  1. You know Mel & Suan, I find ‘talky’ people never run out of things to say. They are extremely adept at making conversational connections and fluent in the flower of conversation. Although at times, some fail to adequately listen to what the other party is saying. I feel the quote could bed alluding to this. Furthermore, the empty mouth could also refer to missed opportunities. They might occasionally miss out on what other people can offer them as they are absorbed in telling their side of a story. For some sensory vulnerable people, talkative souls can stress them a little, and tire them as it takes concentration you fully listen to another, giving someone 100% attentional focus. This often applies to introverts versus extroverts. Introverts might need a break from maintaining eye contact and auditory focus. They excuse themselves and move away from the talkative soul. Do you think all talky people are inclined to be extroverts?


  2. People who talk a lot often have very little to say. You know – quality is always more important than quantity. Actions, indeed, speak louder than words.

    As for nirvana, yes, it’s often before us, in the most unexpected of places. People are always searching far and wide for the best things in life, the meaning of true happiness, etc. And, surprise! It’s usually right there – in the simplest of forms. My dog, for example, provided me with incredible peace and happiness. Simply caressing his face or massaging his back relaxed me like nothing else. Fortunately, I realized that long before his death last October at the age of 14. I always said he was the only individual in this world who truly understood me!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Quality is more important than quantity, Alejandra. I will always agree with that. However, some people aren’t comfortable with awkward silences and pauses, and for them, talky people and their quantity of words takes the pressure of them to keep the conversation going. As is often the case with proverbs, aiming for a balance or a midddle ground between the two extremes is a good approach.
      I concur with your view of Nirvana and that of Hakuin. Nirvana can be an attitude of mind, as can happiness. Although I feel contentment is a slightly different concept. But Nirvana, can change so much from moment to moment. Each moment of our lives has the potential to be a kind of Nirvana, if we open our eyes. Life is precious, passes all to quickly and ever so transient! Grab a hold and give your full attention to those special moments of joy, for then you can recall them again and again. LIke your example of your dear companion. Dogs are just marvellous examples of pure unconditional love, and have the ability to reach people in ways other people can’t. I recently lost my 15 year old dog that was a very, very special intuitive companion. I didn’t think I could live without her and yet, although I would never forget her and she is completely irreplaceable, our other dog has ably filled her place in my heart! And they do relax and calm by their presence. Magically so! And they do understand their master, more than we think they do! Wonderful creatures.


  3. Very good and appropriate proverbs today. I have often found myself guilty of that. I’ll get to talking and find stupid stuff just fell out of my mouth and I so wish I could shove it back in. I think that’s why I avoid social situations. Social anxiety has plagued me all my life. I get nervous and my brain shuts off. Sometimes I bite my cheek to keep quiet. I was always a chatterer in school because we were not allowed to speak at home. Now I’m working on the fine art of LISTENING! As for Nirvana, if it’s not in front of your eyes, you are not going to find it. Everything in your life has the potential to be that blessing if we look at it right. Most of us are chasing it out there when it’s right here.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Such wise words in respect of Nirvana, Marlene. You know, I would really like to have someone like you around. You take away the pressure of constant conversation with those people that I don’t feel close enough to open up and speak to, in a frank and full manner. It doesn’t matter if you don’t Listen all the time, as nearly all people don’t. They concentrate on formulating their answer or sharing their experiences, rather than listening. As I mentioned listening takes concentration, something that seems to be diminishing with each generation due primarily to technological distraction. I am surprised that you suffer with social anxiety. Usually chatty people don’t – whereas shy people often do. Social anxiety is very prevalent in my family too and particularly one member has had one hell of a struggle with it. But perserverance pays off. It is often a matter of management of the social anxiety and not a ‘cure.’ It can be severely debilitating and I also have a degree of it. It was never labelled as such. In my day, it was simply labelled shyness. Have you found anything that specifically helps?
      Spot on with the Nirvana. We should look for it in front of our eyes.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I agree that listening is a skill and I’m still actively working on it. I think you have to work on it each time you are engaged in conversation. I still make more than my share of faux pas. I have moved so much of my life that my natural outgoing nature has not always been a welcome addition to groups already established. I tend to be an extroverted introvert. 🙂 I force myself to be social or I would be forever only in my own company. We are meant to share of ourselves so I trudge on. I learn from each person I meet so really enjoy others company. But I’m usually the odd duck somehow trying to fit in with the geese. I think getting old and not caring so much what others think of my oddness has helped the most. Lots of therapy over the years too.:)

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I am sorry that it has been a bit of a struggle for you socially, Marlene. But I can relate. Firstly being an self confessed extroverted introvert too, and secondly being someone that understands and suffers with a certain degree of social anxiety. We all find our tribe although it doesn’t help if you have to move frequently. I think aging can be a very levelling facet of life. At some point, one gets to the Thinking, ‘oh I am just too old for this same old shitty feeling,’ has certainly helped me in certain situations. A sort of can’t be bothered philosophy. What the hell/sick of this shit/type of thing? Does that make sense?

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Yes, it does make sense and I’m pretty much at that point. If it doesn’t feel good, do something else. 🙂 Letting go of so many old feelings and behaviors that don’t work.


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