Author Topic: Speech  (Read 6704 times)

sonamdhargey

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Speech
« on: February 17, 2013, 08:41:03 AM »
by Thich Nhat Hanh

Aware of the suffering caused by unmindful speech and the inability to listen to others, I vow to cultivate loving speech and deep listening in order to bring joy and happiness to others and relieve others of their suffering. Knowing that words can create happiness or suffering, I vow to learn to speak truthfully, with words that inspire self-confidence, joy, and hope. I am determined not to spread news that I do not know to be certain and not to criticize or condemn things of which I am not sure. I will refrain from uttering words that can cause division or discord, or that can cause the family or the community to break. I will make all efforts to reconcile and resolve all conflicts, however small.

  There is a saying in Vietnamese, ``It doesn't cost anything to have loving speech.'' We only need to choose our words carefully, and we can make other people happy. To use words mindfully, with loving kindness, is to practice generosity. Therefore this precept is linked directly to the Second Precept. We can make many people happy just by practicing loving speech. Again, we see the interbeing nature of the Five Precepts.
Many people think they will be able to practice generosity only after they have accumulated a small fortune. I know young people who dream of getting rich so they can bring happiness to others: ``I want to become a doctor or the president of a big company so I can make a lot of money and help many people.'' They do not realize that it is often more difficult to practice generosity after you are wealthy. If you are motivated by loving kindness and compassion, there are many ways to bring happiness to others right now, starting with kind speech. The way you speak to others can offer them joy, happiness, self-confidence, hope, trust, and enlightenment. Mindful speaking is a deep practice.
Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva is a person who has learned the art of listening and speaking deeply in order to help people let go of their fear, misery, and despair. He is the model of this practice, and the door he opens is called the ``universal door.'' If we practice listening and speaking according to Avalokitesvara, we too will be able to open the universal door and bring joy, peace, and happiness to many people and alleviate their suffering.

Read more here: http://www.globalone.tv/profiles/blogs/the-fourth-precept-deep/

buddhalovely

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Re: Speech
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2013, 11:17:49 AM »
Speech is a very powerful tool. If we hit someone, it will hurt for a short time and then go away. But if we verbally attack someone, those words can stay with them for many years. On the other hand, well thought out words can stop conflict, make friends and heal rifts. This is the power of speech and this is why Buddha included Right Speech in the Eightfold Path.

Right Speech can be divided into four parts, namely refrain from lying, refrain from divisive speech, refrain from harsh words and refrain from gossiping.

When we tell lies it is obviously going to hurt and mislead others, but it will also harm ourselves. Nobody likes a liar, and once you get the reputation, it is difficult to lose it. Whenever you tell people things they will not believe you, even if it is true. They will try to avoid you and you will find it difficult to make friends. This will of course make you angry and frustrated but you will only have yourself to blame.

RedLantern

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Re: Speech
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2013, 02:59:16 PM »
The most effective effort is to listen to ourselves as we are talking.This effort brings attention to our speech.
When we do this ,we will hear when what we say doesn't fit the situation,when it isn't what we intended to say,or how we intended to say it.We will hear, with our own ears,the different emotional patterns that take over our intention,how it comes out of our confusion,how it doesn't quite fit with the situation.As we make this effort over and over again,we will find that we begin to speak with attention in exactly the same way that we come to breathe with attention in our meditation.This is how we practice.
Even if we do control ourselves,even if we do keep our speech proper,there's a danger of speaking out of self-righteous arrogance,rather than actual compassion or purity.This one must always examine one's motives as well as ones words and deeds.
When someone comes up and starts insulting our loved ones,or when we see someone saying something  terrible (kill all insect,religious etc ) controlling ourselves is really difficult.Therefore,we have to practice mindful
and kind speech  to bring joy,happiness and self confidence to others.

hope rainbow

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Re: Speech
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2013, 03:21:04 PM »
Speech is ambiguous.
Words do mean more than they say, and as someone's speaks, it reaches others and then gets subject to elaborate evaluations and interpretations.
For example, a person who constantly expects criticism will experience relatively harmless remarks as attacks and react in a defensive manner.
So sometimes, even if we listen to our won speech and find it harmless, it may not be experienced so by another. So is this still hurtfull speech (harsh words)? The motivation was not there, but the result definitely is there...

apprenticehealer

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Re: Speech
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2013, 06:06:03 AM »
When we make offerings of Body, Speech and Mind to the Buddha, it is not just the physical offerings of statues, Buddhist texts and Stupas.
I believe that the offering of Body is the offering of physical actions of good deeds, the offerings of Speech is the offering of kind and loving words and the offering of Mind is the offering of pure and devoted motivation and thoughts in one's mind.
Speech is very important in our daily lives, and we must be mindful of what we say. Words spoken cannot be retracted , especially unkind and hurtful words which can cause great distress to another person. Criticism , insults, scoldings are all considered verbal abuse and can leave devastating effects throughout a person's life, the cause of much sufferings are cause by words.
There is a saying that "if you cannot say anything nice, then keep quiet - nobody will consider you a mute."
We must always consider the other person's feelings before we just shoot off from our mouths.

hope rainbow

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Re: Speech
« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2013, 12:01:28 PM »
When we make offerings of Body, Speech and Mind to the Buddha, it is not just the physical offerings of statues, Buddhist texts and Stupas.
I believe that the offering of Body is the offering of physical actions of good deeds, the offerings of Speech is the offering of kind and loving words and the offering of Mind is the offering of pure and devoted motivation and thoughts in one's mind.
Speech is very important in our daily lives, and we must be mindful of what we say. Words spoken cannot be retracted , especially unkind and hurtful words which can cause great distress to another person. Criticism , insults, scoldings are all considered verbal abuse and can leave devastating effects throughout a person's life, the cause of much sufferings are cause by words.
There is a saying that "if you cannot say anything nice, then keep quiet - nobody will consider you a mute."
We must always consider the other person's feelings before we just shoot off from our mouths.

Dear apprenticehealer,
I read your post with great interest, thank you.
"if you cannot say anything nice, then keep quiet - nobody will consider you a mute", indeed, I think this is practicing attention to our speech, and to be able to realize that our speech is hurtful and to do something about it by remaining silent is already quite a hard thing to achieve! I say! But I guess we must do that first before attempting to kind speech, helpful speech, compassionate speech.
Eventually, this is the best speech offering to the Buddha, to apply His teachings into our speech.
 :-X

sonamdhargey

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Re: Speech
« Reply #6 on: February 24, 2013, 06:54:03 AM »
When we make offerings of Body, Speech and Mind to the Buddha, it is not just the physical offerings of statues, Buddhist texts and Stupas.
I believe that the offering of Body is the offering of physical actions of good deeds, the offerings of Speech is the offering of kind and loving words and the offering of Mind is the offering of pure and devoted motivation and thoughts in one's mind.
Speech is very important in our daily lives, and we must be mindful of what we say. Words spoken cannot be retracted , especially unkind and hurtful words which can cause great distress to another person. Criticism , insults, scoldings are all considered verbal abuse and can leave devastating effects throughout a person's life, the cause of much sufferings are cause by words.
There is a saying that "if you cannot say anything nice, then keep quiet - nobody will consider you a mute."
We must always consider the other person's feelings before we just shoot off from our mouths.

Dear apprenticehealer,
I read your post with great interest, thank you.
"if you cannot say anything nice, then keep quiet - nobody will consider you a mute", indeed, I think this is practicing attention to our speech, and to be able to realize that our speech is hurtful and to do something about it by remaining silent is already quite a hard thing to achieve! I say! But I guess we must do that first before attempting to kind speech, helpful speech, compassionate speech.
Eventually, this is the best speech offering to the Buddha, to apply His teachings into our speech.
 :-X

I couldn't agree more. I've personally encountered people who are so called Buddhist practitioners who preaches mindful speech and they contradict themselves when they are the one who couldn't control their speech and hurt others with their blunt and insensitive comments. Practicing good speech is to cultivate the habit to be mindful with our thoughts and words. It is very important for the Buddhist practitioner to transform to be a better person by practicing good speech in the first place.

Dondrup Shugden

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Re: Speech
« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2015, 09:39:20 AM »
The offer of Body, Speech and Mind, BODY means offering of good actions that will benefit others, SPEECH means offering of kind and compassionate words that will help others and MIND means pure motivation which will set forth good actions and speech.

However, the easiest way to fall off the virtuous path of spirituality is Speech.  It is very often and common for our speech to be hurtful and harmful. It is also the Speech that is easily heard and remembered.

The flip side is also that it is also the easiest to control just by thinking mindfully the words before speaking them. If no kind words can be spoken then just keep quiet. 

yontenjamyang

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Re: Speech
« Reply #8 on: March 23, 2015, 07:45:21 AM »
That is why we have 4 vows of the speech and 3 of each of the body and mind. On the ordinary level, speech is the quickest way one can commit the un-virtuous and the most number of times. Lying, divisive speech, hurtful speech and idle chatter are easy to commit and are so common that one commit these multiple times a day without even realizing it.
According to the Lamrim. the severity of these acts are lighter than that of the body and mind generally but the the occurrence is very much more numerous and can cause others' negative response much faster. Also, as karma un-purified can multiply quickly, speech is the worst of the un-virtuous acts in my opinions.