Do Actions Speak louder than Words?

Some of us friends are trying to build a community near Bhopal. At a place called Barkheda Bazyafat. And there is this classic conflict of .. Lets not talk, lets take action. Action speaks louder than words. And all that jazz. Any ‘idea’ which is held on to .. becomes stale and is always incomplete.

The truth of any idea can be grasped only by embracing the paradox. eg. Unless we end the separation between words and actions, between thought and intuition, between doing and being.. the conflict will thrive.

This is an interesting conversation that we had around that. The piece by Rajesh Dalal captures the essence and some aspects that Shantanu and I have mentioned also add texture. And flavor to this heady-hearty mix of words that hopefully will take us beyond words.


Shantanu (Bazyafat) :

I cannot agree more that words are not enough to capture the essence of what transpired. Words almost always do not communicate completely and very often mis-communicate. In the note and also in the meeting, both seem to have happened. Aptly stated: ‘Jo bhi main kehna chahoon, barbaad kare alfaaz mere’.

Also, at one instance during the day, it was stated that talking is necessary and that I have also come to the meeting because I have a need to talk. I felt it would be inappropriate to counter this notion at that time, but I feel it is important to clarify that I truly do not have the need to talk when there is no action or decision to be taken. Personally, I prefer to communicate through my actions and decisions. I’ve found them sufficient so far. I would attempt to stick to them as far as possible in future.

The purpose of my attending this meeting or even initiating one outside Barkheda did not get met because too many people decided to give it a pass. The venue was suggested because it was more convenient to attend. A different purpose did get achieved though.

It was a pleasure getting introduced to Rajesh Dalal. Lots to learn.


Kiran (Pune) :

Dear Shantanu

One of the things that is clear to me is that the notion or idea that there is no need to talk- unless there is no action and decision required- is very different from the actuality of it. Anything made into a concept comes in the way of building community. We must always connect to the truth which is in the spirit of what is spoken.

And hence it is generally a good idea to see the limitation of an idea. For example, I find communication without too much agenda/decision/action-  has a place in our life and work- to simply relate as human beings. Like we saw.. Life comes alive in Relationship. Simply connecting as friends.. discovering what matters to each other.

And a great example is that like you say, “A different purpose did get achieved though.”  So making space to simply meet and share and explore together has a place in our human life.. And it is intricately interwoven with purposive action.

And certainly relating cannot be reduced merely to action or decision, is it not?

I feel that any kind of separation between action and talk, decision and communication etc.. breeds a ground for conflict. Lets recognise the beauty and the limitation of action and talk.

Healthy action requires healthy talk and vice versa.

This division that we often create is artificial.

And I am willing to listen to see if I have missed something.

Much love, Kiran


Rajesh Dalal (Talegaon) :

Dear friends,

This conversation may have value.
I agree – words are limited in their power to communicate. Silent action/behaviour speaks so much more than words. Words can and generally do deceive, unless they come from silence, care, beyond thought. The word is not the thing!

But how deeply, do we see this. Don’t most of our decisions and actions spring from knowledge, thought and it’s categorisations, gross or subtle? Often our speech, even listening is affected by thought. Thought has mostly distorted and limited life and deeper relationships.

However, words that draw attention to this ‘fact’ have great relevance. No? Moreover, talking freely and listening to our/others’ thoughts, haven’t you observed, is one important way humans, esp children, learn about themselves and the world?

So I suggest, we do not dismiss words. Let us explore whether we over or under emphasize words – what their intelligent place is, in our actual living. This exploration essentially is silent, though we may discuss. Also what other instruments of learning are available?

I don’t know if the above is simple and true, for you the reader. If yes, lovely. If not, reread with care, or ask for clarification or just forget it.
Whatever you do, your oral or written feedback will be of value. Rest assured, it will be read with a silent, non judgmental, learning quality.



Dear Rajesh,

You surely have a gift of communication, even with words. I understand and completely agree with the conversation in your mail.

Words surely have a utility and I will, in times to come, try and use them only as much – not more. I have a belief that it is possible to communicate just by being and would like to experiment.


Kiran (Pune) :

Dear Shantanu

When you see the wisdom of words in the way that RajeshD has described. And then you also say that

“I have a belief that it is possible to communicate just by being and would like to experiment.”

I see the truth in what you say that often words are cheap and we can keep talking and not take action. I also see the hesitation and caution with words. Possibly you feel that words are different /inferior to being. Or dilute being.

I sense that we are beginning to see something together. And this is also related to a few chats I/we have all had amongst us when we met. In which there has been an understandable ‘allergy’ to the spoken word and a preference for a certain kind of action.

Till such time there is a hesitation to use words or a need to use words, both can come in the way of simply flowing with what is required in the moment.

A shift from ‘believing’ to seeing something as a fact or not -is the invitation. We need to believe something only when we don’t see it totally. Eg. We dont need to ‘believe’ that we have 2 hands and 2 legs.

I find it useful to simply notice both an attraction to words and also any allergy to words that some of us – including I – may have. Talking has a place which we discover when we are simply mindful.

Words And actions which seem to have a separation in our mind –

Both can be born from being/congruence or from a fragmented sense of better/worse. I hope you see that what i am saying is not ‘opposed’ to what you are saying but am attempting to share something that can help us see and learn something together.

Love, Kiran



Dear Kiran,

I don’t feel (and have not felt earlier too) that what you’re saying is opposed to what I am. My communication was specific to my impressions & perceptions, which I thought were relevant to share. I don’t have an allergy to words or talking. I am in completely in agreement with what you’ve said about the place of words. They are not inferior, but overuse can be toxic.

What I sense behind the words in your mail is a deep concern for my learning. I feel grateful and assure you that I will be conscious not to let my beliefs and perceptions cloud my learning. You know that I’m learning a lot through these experiments of mine and interactions, whether I pen them or not. I am yet to fully understand the ‘together’ aspect of learning. I can comprehend the aspect of learning from one another, I can also comprehend that two people realise the same fact/truth at the same time, but I don’t know if there’s anything more to learning together.


Rajinder (while visiting from Barkheda) :

I am loving the conversation and I feel as if I am physically there with Kiran and Shantanu……while sipping tea made on my biogas chula in the tower room while it is raining outside…..thank you guys



Kiran (Pune)

Rajinder.. thoda cup pass karo yaar.. I am getting the fragrance already.

Shantanu.. there is something about your being which is very endearing..

the simple raw contact with reality perhaps.

And willingness to take deep dives and learn..

Yes, overuse of words can be toxic- agreed.

Even I don’t know what learning together means. Because when that happens it seems that I am not quite there. Nor is the other.. its all part of a flow. Which I sense we have all seen and felt. Now and then.

Love, Kiran

Individual Clearings and Collective Consciousness

This emerged out of a conversation that Sangeeta and I had at Peter Donuts.

We often see the ‘distortion’ or ‘pain’ located in us or another person.
And we also know that it is in the ‘whole’.

There is a ‘me-ness’ .. and the very nature of the ‘me-ness’ is to identify – thats like a virus that prevents us from seeing the truth of oneness.
Just as there is a ‘one-ness’ which is ‘real’ experienced as ‘being’ .. there also seems to a
“one-ness” that could be better called “human-ness” which is our ‘self’ which feels separate and identifies.

It is important to hold the paradox of individual responsibility and seeing the whole.
You and I are part of life and the whole of life. The mind cannot capture this.

Sangeeta has written beautifully as she always does. Enjoy her serene reflections.. which will hopefully mirror something in the vastness of your being..

Serene Reflection

You may have felt that “this only happens to me”. “Only I know how this feels.” But it is not true.

As we peel away layers of our trapped emotions, patterns and limiting beliefs, we begin to see that there are many angles that contribute. While the details and intricacies will vary, there are common threads that unite our human experience.

Love is universal.  As is suffering.  We make it more real, solid and dense by becoming identified with it as ‘me’ and ‘mine’.

It is not only the apparent conditioning and environment that influences us.  Traces of the culture, ethos, history and emotional experience of our ancestors are embodied in us.  Our own energies carry information from across lifetimes and dimensions. The larger collective contributes to us in known and subtle, unknown ways and our own evolution contributes back to the collective.

We are tempted to cling to our…

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Your wounds are not your ‘faults’ …

This morning I woke up and as I was churning.. this insight emerged. And I posted it on fb..
Some very dear friends are grappling with love and intimacy. And I see in them a reflection of how I struggle with the same. Or better put, the sense of a me that is separate is where the struggle resides.

I saw clearly – just now – that unless I can be utterly intimate with myself. Nakedly so. And see the rawness, the fears, the desires, the complete human-mess which lives in me.. there is a fat chance that I an be truly intimate with anyone. Being intimate is being real.

There is a honesty that is radical. A vulnerability that is total. That reveals the truth of there being no other. I wonder if I am willing to totally and irreversibly enter that. Its scary. But I have run away for far too long and its tiring. I pray that I get tired fast and rest for good.
In the only real resting place which cannot be known. Where I am no more.

And then I saw this.. posted my a very dear friend, Rhea..

You take yourself too seriously. You are too damn important in your own mind. That must be changed ! You are so goddamn important that you feel justified to be annoyed with everything.

You’re so damn important that you can afford to leave if things don’t go your way. I suppose you think that shows you have character. That’s nonsense ! You’re weak, and conceited !
Self-importance is another thing that must be dropped, just like personal history. As long as you feel that you are the most important thing in the world you cannot really appreciate the world around you. You are like a horse with blinders, all you see is yourself apart from everything else.
It doesn’t matter what you say to a plant. You can just as well make up words; what’s important is the feeling of liking it, and treating it as an equal.
So, all in all, the plants and ourselves are even. Neither we nor they are more or less important. ”

-Don Juan.

And then this was the icing on the cake which came from a dear friend:
Don’t hide your wounds, friend.
Let them into this last candlelight.
I won’t judge you. See, we are all broken.
There’s no shame in being wounded.
You have fought many battles.

Your wounds are not your ‘faults’.
Illumined, they are reminders of a deeper healing.
Illumined, they are invitations to the Unbroken.

I smell your wounds festering from denial.
Quick, tear off those bandages.
I will take you exactly as you are.

Right there at the heart of your wounds,
infinitely deeper than “enlightenment”,
a silent Hallelujah stirs to wake.

You are only a fucked up mess
compared to some second-hand image
of “perfection”.

-Jeff Foster

And I can see how life is weaving an incredible tapestry.
An intricate design.. simply to wake us from the dream!

And another dear wise friend added when he read this poem:

“..we are all in that mess Jeff Foster speaks off. Reality is messy. Not neat like stories. I wish there was a forward flow of narrative i could offer you because you have contributed so much to bring things to this poised moment. And yet what will happen will happen. “Is” beats the “ought” hands down. Always…”

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