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Words are doors that are sometimes locked - they can conceal more than they reveal.

Like a Zen monk trying to pierce the wall of illusion of his own mind, we can spend years staring at a wall - a wall of words. From the time we first learned to speak, we have been encouraged to describe our experience of the world in words - to speak "about" it.

Our words have separated us from reality. Not that there is anything inherently wrong with words - it is the way we use them that's the problem. We need to speak the world, not speak about it. Our role, our "job" in the universe is to be a "vocal" point, to speak the world into being, to be an agent of the Divine in Its never-ending creative process.

Speaking directly, and not descriptively, is the answer that the Zen master is looking for when he or she poses a koan to a student. There is no intellectual answer to the question "what is the sound of one hand clapping?" Each student will answer in a unique way, and each answer will be an expression of the immediate moment. It's when the universe speaks us that our words are true.

Savaite Hindus say that the secret to saying the sacred mantra "Om nama Shivaya" is to say it at the right place at the right time. The right place is the center. The right time is now.

Jesus spoke directly when he said, "Before Abraham was, I am."