All we hear is the sounds of empty talk and vanity which weigh us down, destroying our health and well being both physical and mental; sounds such as we and you hear all the time nowadays until we are sick and tired of them. But even then we cannot refrain from speaking and hearing them because they are like food left over at the bottom of the pot- if we don't eat it, what will we eat?

-- Ajahn Maha Boowa

In the part of the book I took this from Ajahn Maha Boowa is talking about the type of conversation that takes place between two Bhikkhus when they are talking about their citta.

What struck me about it was how easily I identified it with my own relationship to the way that I listen to music. I had been looking for a long time, trying to find something that described the way that pop music sounds to me. It always seemed a little selfish to just say that I would only like to be listening to something that is immediately relevant to my own situation. That is to say, something that is only really speaking to my experience or something. Like I said, it felt immensely obvious to me that I was going to need to find a quote by somebody else to accurately describe it. This may seem to be a little ironic to some, but for me it makes a whole lot of sense.

What is being said here is that, when it comes to what is important in one's life, the heart, it is incredibly important to discard with empty chatter and talk. It is easy enough to stand in a crowded grocery store and be unable to do away completely with the content of all the empty chatter going on around us. But when it comes to music, one is talking about a deliberate consumption. When we choose to deliberately consume something such as music that can "destroy the health and well being both physical and metal," things change a great deal.
There is a different part of the book where Ajahn Maha Boowa is either speaking for himself or relating something that Ajahn Mun said about the nature of music. He mentions something about how the song of nature and the music of the forest is a part of the life of cultivating the citta. And that music which one hears throughout the "world" is not good for anything but destruction. Or something like that...I'm paraphrasing here.

What I want to express is that there was a great amount of time and effort put into making sounds which weren't a destruction of any health or well being. After I met this quote, I realized just how much I had been consuming that may not have been uplifting at all. I am resigned not to beat myself up about it, but to move forward and start making sounds that are important to me and aren't just what is left over at the bottom of the pot.

love always,

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