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Language - Right Speech

I once asked someone with a wide experience of attending dharma talks what was most useful for them: 'Hello thought, goodbye thought', was their reply.

Still think that is relevant for me ...

As we communicate on NewBuddhist via a written format, language is our primary transfer.

The diversity of 'right speech' is sometimes too wide for some. For example what use is humour, feelings, personal events, images, nutrition etc? They too communicate principles, attitude, empowerment, widening etc IMO. I would suggest we find according to how we hear ...

So what have you heard, that has changed your understanding of 'right speech'?

Comments

  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran

    That people who feel they demonstrate "right speech" are often deluded.

    lobsterInvincible_summerKundonamarupa
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    "If you can't say anything nice - shut the hell up."

    Abrupt and to the point.....

    mmo
  • silversilver In the beginning there was nothing, and then it exploded. USA, Left coast. Veteran

    That my grousing about this, that n the other thing isn't exactly right speech. :3

    lobster
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    I tend to think of right speech as 'right expression'. In a sense everything we are 'speaks' and everything we encounter 'speaks' to us.

    Becoming independent of the processing, which in essence is accumalated clutter and filters allows a lesseng of distortion.

    So for me right speech includes a large amount of pause.

    rootsInvincible_summeryagr
  • bookwormbookworm U.S.A. Veteran

    I think the right speech that is noble and is accompanied by right view, and right intention, brings a complete change in oneself, one enters into it, when one does all future wrong speech has been abandoned in that instant, it is to be developed and maintained.

  • BuddhadragonBuddhadragon Ehipassiko & Carpe Diem Samsara Veteran

    Any thread dealing with Right Speech can't be really my department.

    The line between right and wrong speech is as fine as that saying about the word belonging half to the person that pronounces it and half to the person that listens to it.

    The intention behind a comment could be good, even if the chosen wording does not do it justice.

    lobstermmoKundo
  • rootsroots Veteran
    edited June 2015

    It's all in how you say it.

    Some people have a slow, composed, compassionate inner dialogue that transforms any challenge into a pathway.

    Some people think like a hamster in a ball, telling themselves they can feel peace once all of this and that is taken care of.

    If one slows their mind a bit they may have time to choose kinder words, maybe uplifting themselves enough to make more positive connections throughout the day. They might be happier, and enjoy peace along the way.

    Seriously, try it. Talk to yourself like you are your own best friend.

    JeffreylobsterDhammikaVastmind
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited June 2015

    I talk to myself the whole time, To the point that I've had a couple of mildly embarrassing moments when I've been overheard.... Nutter.....

    I have to admit though, I usually win any argument....

    rootslobsterKundo
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    "So what have you heard, that has changed your understanding of 'right speech'?"

    My understanding is changing all the time :)

    lobsteryagrVastmind
  • rootsroots Veteran

    @federica

    Ha-ha yea me myself and Irish.

  • rootsroots Veteran
    edited June 2015

    @Shoshin said:
    "So what have you heard, that has changed your understanding of 'right speech'?"

    My understanding is changing all the time :)

    Yup. Every time I peal a layer there is another layer. I'm like Pandora's onion, or one of those fancy Russian dolls in dolls in dolls.

    Shoshinlobster
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    ..."Pandora's onion"....? O.o

    I'll have to look that one up.... :D

    roots
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    "I'm a strange creature, for I satisfy women, a service to the neighbors! No one suffers at my hands except for my slayer. I grow very tall, erect in a bed, I'm hairy underneath. From time to time a beautiful girl, the brave daughter of some churl, dares to hold me, grips my russet skin, robs me of my head and puts me in the pantry. At once that girl with plaited hair who has confined me remembers our meeting. Her eye moistens."
    --Risqué-seeming riddle (Number 25) in the Old English Exeter Book, first made public in 1072 by Leofric, first Bishop of Exeter. The answer, of course, is "An Onion."

    Kundo
  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran

    I try to remember that my thoughts are dependent on causation and so should not always be blurted out without weighing their impact.

    I am not my thoughts.

    lobsterVastmind
  • BuddhadragonBuddhadragon Ehipassiko & Carpe Diem Samsara Veteran

    @ourself said:
    I am not my thoughts.

    Hopefully, I can convince everyone that I am not my wrong speech... ;)

    WalkerlobsterKundo
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    @DhammaDragon said:

    The line between right and wrong speech is as fine as that saying about the word belonging half to the person that pronounces it and half to the person that listens to it.

    Yes indeed. Allowing for the group of potential differences in reception is where right speech or rather skilfull speech comes in, if at all ...
    I would suggest we are ripples that effect the whole of existence [lobster faints ... but makes a quick recovery] What a responsibility! I'll just gibber quietly in the corner for a while ...

    The intention behind a comment could be good, even if the chosen wording does not do it justice.

    Most people, especially on a 'spiritual' forum are well intended. Our beloved moderators tend to weed out the occasional mal-intent ...

    The marriage between intention and implementation is not easy and perhaps not always possible in some situations ... <3

    BuddhadragonVastmind
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    @roots said:
    Seriously, try it. Talk to yourself like you are your own best friend.

    Good advice.
    http://www.lionsroar.com/dont-give-up/#

    ... and nowback to right speech ...
    http://www.berzinarchives.com/web/en/archives/sutra/level3_lojong_material/specific_texts/eight_verse_attitude_training/8_cleansing_att.html

  • yagryagr Veteran

    @lobster said:
    I tend to think of right speech as 'right expression'. In a sense everything we are 'speaks' and everything we encounter 'speaks' to us.

    Becoming independent of the processing, which in essence is accumalated clutter and filters allows a lesseng of distortion.

    So for me right speech includes a large amount of pause.

    Hello friend. The Buddha had a disciple, I do not remember his name. Some of the Buddha's other disciples would complain about his slowness of speech, he would pause for some time before responding to anything. I seem to recall that the Buddha was quite generous in his defense of this man.

    lobster
  • I think any speech that is truthful and not harmful is right speech. Sometimes sacrifices has to be made in order for the right one to prevail over the other, sometimes no sacrifices are necessary.

    lobster
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    ^^^ Exactly so.

    If we risk making the situation worse, then we sacrifice the speech. If the 'words' are of no consequence, only the effect is of service, then even 'wrong speech' is right.

    The ideal is the harmonisation of all expression.
    Right in appearance, right in hearing, right in effect.

  • I have recently had several experiences where stating the truth has made matters worse. Perhaps silence is the best option in such cases. If only "be honest and forthright all the time" was the best policy, it would make matters of Right Speech much simpler!

    I wonder sometimes if a lie can be Right Speech. I think it can, but maybe I'm not seeing the big picture. Maybe a right lie is only necessary because of previous Wrong Speech and so it could be considered part of the whole of Wrong Speech.

    lobster
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    No, a Lie can never be 'Right Speech'. (Please people, let's not get into the 'lying to the Nazis to protect the Jews' issue, again!)

    This is quite a good read....

  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran

    I'm not so sure.
    I recently had a friend who had to have gall bladder surgery.
    She asked me if I ever knew anyone who had gall bladder surgery, and if so, how well did they get through it.
    Here would have been the honest answer: "Yes, a colleague principal I knew fairly well, about 45, and she died during the surgery."

    lobsterrootsmmo
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    "...but unfortunately due to ~whatever complication arose~ she died during surgery. Countless thousands go through this kind of surgery every day, and completely recover to live perfectly normal happy pain-free lives. If you've got concerns, you really should talk to your doctor."

    People don't die of 'gall-bladder surgery'. They die because of a complication arising during the process.

    Come on, @vinlyn.... Rolls eyes, grinning.....

  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran

    No, I do not know why she died during the surgery, whether it was a medical complication, a doctor error, or a problem with anesthesia. I just know she died during gall bladder surgery.

  • rootsroots Veteran

    Pema Chödrön's commentary sure hits home. That's the closest I've come to a Buddhist document about what I've been studying so far.

    When I first started on my journey I attempted to be selfless in my life and meditation - but, lol, I had no sense of self, and a really bad self-relationship. I believed very early in my life that I was unloveable. I guess it's hard to comprehend the suffering of another if you are in denial about your own.

    To hope to become selfless, I had to become selfish. I needed to give myself the love that I didn't get very early in my life. I needed to put myself first, instead of seeking the approval of everyone I loved. My needs, my health, my voice first. Period.

    This came counter-intuitive to most docturine that I came across, and admittedly, most concepts were lost in translation ( ;) ) .

    Thankfully, by being even closer to self-realisation via a much better relationship with myself, I can start to realise there is more to "right speech" then I might casually interpret (especially the first time).

    lobster
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    @roots said:
    Thankfully, by being even closer to self-realisation via a much better relationship with myself, I can start to realise there is more to "right speech" then I might casually interpret (especially the first time).

    Right speech is a form of dance or expression and combining of fluidity with the needs of liars, inner demons, the thought and heart police and those free form wastrels the Buddhas like Milerepa ... Cue the music ... I think I hear the band ...

    Sing, dance ...
    http://www.enlightened-spirituality.org/Milarepa.html

  • rootsroots Veteran
    edited June 2015

    @lobster said:

    Interesting.

    I've inturpreted that my inner demons are the result of my trauma and suffering I've been holding on to. I can visualize my pain and anger as physical entities - often they come in the form of a demon (some fantastical mishapen character or an over-the-top persona). Their symptoms are addictions, negative thinking patterns, negative self beliefs, etc.

    I communicate with them in an effort to investigate their source.

    In the spirit of Chöd practice, with compassion and understanding, I can transform them - although I think the tibetian shamans transformed the demons they came across into spirit forms or animal forms. Mine mostly turn into a vision of my inner child - usually at the age where the negative self-belief was originally created. By offering care, protection, reasurrance (etc) to this vision of my inner child, I can heal the wound and move into grieving, and then healing. Letting the damn !$%&% thing go.

    I guess I'm learning right speech on my inner healing - but I'm getting to a point where I can see the mountain peak, and I understand that I can start to apply all these skills to my communication habits with other people. With a healthy dose of mindfulness and a quick run-through of all I've learnt so far, I understand what it is to communicate with others witout bringing baggage or judgement into the equation. I can just 'be' and let them be as well. And the fears and anxiety I once had, well, it flows back into the earth through the roots of my feet.

    I might have a victimized, or a controlling, or a judgemental part of my brain - fair enough. But they don't run the show. I have control of me, in an unattached, airy, compassionate kind of way.

    I wonder if this is a version of right speech, or if I'm being a tad literal :p .

    lobster
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    @roots said:
    I wonder if this is a version of right speech, or if I'm being a tad literal :p .

    In tantra anyone who believes yidams/deities/archetypes exist as anything but a skilfull 'lie'/personification/expression is not aware of the potential of saying the 'wrong' thing to the right part of ourselves ...
    http://seanrobsville.blogspot.co.uk/2009/11/c-j-jung-buddhism-tantra-and-alchemy.html

    Shoshin
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