Friday, October 23, 2009

The Buddha Would Approve: "No Self-Reference Practice"

It started as a tweet:

@Minddeep: noticing how hard it is to communicate without using 'I', 'me', 'myself' :)

Followed by responses from:

@Juliasnz: The tweet cloud at tweetstats is real good for external feedback on your most common words : )
@Kwansahn: Not possible yeah? But possible not to buy into it and use it to help others :-)
@ookiee: I now try to edit out as many personal pronouns as possible from communications. Oops - there's one there - at the beginning...

How about, once in a while practicing writing, talking, tweeting, blogging, without using any self-reference? How about that? It would be great to hear back from you . . . :)


  1. It's the opposite of e-prime, the version of English that deletes the passive voice. So instead of saying subjectively that "I was happy" or "My practice is going well," one would say, "Happiness is evident" or "Practice is amazingly good." There's no ownership of the subjective experience. By negating self, one negates other selves -- ones who may be suffering.
    In haiku, one doesn't just delete pronouns, one becomes a reporter of outside phenomena. "Frog jumps into the pond." No subjective/objective, and perhaps more what the writer aims at in this post. (Or should I say, "more what is being attempted in this post"?)

  2. Ellen, thank you so much for gift of added insight. Haikus, yes! Maybe more free form of haikus can be considered also. Writing this response highlights difficulty of practicing no self reference :)