Right Speech

A forum for discussion of Buddhist ethics.
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RavenclawLotus
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Feb 09, 2020 6:23 pm

Right Speech

Post by RavenclawLotus »

Hi everyone,

I hope this forum is the right place to post this query. I'm finding it quite difficult to implement right speech. When I'm frustrated, I can find myself complaining about people. How does everyone practise right speech in their every day life?

Thank you.

:namaste:
RL

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PadmaVonSamba
Posts: 3782
Joined: Sat May 14, 2011 1:41 am

Re: Right Speech

Post by PadmaVonSamba »

Frustration arises because things don’t go the way we want them to.
Things don’t go the way we want them to because we cling to a “self”.
We cling to a “self” because we are attached to sensory experiences.
We cling to sensory experiences because we don’t realize they are illusions.
They are illusions because they have no true existence.
They have no true existence because they only occur as the result of temporary conditions.
They are called temporary conditions because very soon they will change.
Since they will change, there is no reason to attach yourself to them.
If you don’t attach yourself to them, your experience won’t result in frustration.
If you don’t experience frustration, then that won’t be a cause for negative speech.


Profile Picture: "The Fo Ming (Buddha Bright) Monk"
People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.

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明安 Myoan
Former staff member
Posts: 2493
Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2012 7:11 am

Re: Right Speech

Post by 明安 Myoan »

There was a discussion recently about Coarse Speech that you may find interesting.

Methods that use speech, such as chanting sutras, verses, or continuously repeating a mantra or buddha's name, can help you cultivate your speech, as well as reminding you of the teachings.
Eight Verses of Training the Mind wrote:By thinking of all sentient beings
As more precious than a wish-fulfilling jewel
For accomplishing the highest aim,
I will always hold them dear.

Whenever I’m in the company of others,
I will regard myself as the lowest among all,
And from the depths of my heart
Cherish others as supreme.

In my every action, I will watch my mind,
And the moment destructive emotions arise,
I will confront them strongly and avert them,
Since they will hurt both me and others.

Whenever I see ill-natured beings,
Or those overwhelmed by heavy misdeeds or suffering,
I will cherish them as something rare,
As though I’d found a priceless treasure.

Whenever someone out of envy
Does me wrong by attacking or belittling me,
I will take defeat upon myself,
And give the victory to others.

Even when someone I have helped,
Or in whom I have placed great hopes
Mistreats me very unjustly,
I will view that person as a true spiritual teacher.

In brief, directly or indirectly,
I will offer help and happiness to all my mothers,
And secretly take upon myself
All their hurt and suffering.

I will learn to keep all these practices
Untainted by thoughts of the eight worldly concerns.
May I recognize all things as like illusions,
And, without attachment, gain freedom from bondage.

source
Regarding complaining specifically, there are the Ten Mahayana Precepts. They include not speaking of others' errors and faults, not praising ourselves while blaming others, not harboring or inciting anger...
Bringing to mind recommendations like these can help you consider whether something needs to be said, or whether it serves only to spread one's dissatisfaction.

Habits can also take a long time to overcome.
With a heart wandering in ignorance down this path and that, to guide me I simply say Namu-Amida-Butsu. -- Ippen

Reciting the nembutsu and believing in birth in the Pure Land naturally give rise to the Three Minds and the Four Modes of Practice. -- Master Hōnen

DharmaN00b
Posts: 378
Joined: Sat Jul 15, 2017 4:12 pm

Re: Right Speech

Post by DharmaN00b »

Complaining about others suggests to me not establishing boundaries. We are to be firm and gentle. That means we stand for something so that we do not fall for everything. Another cliched expression is to say not to throw the baby out with the bathwater. That's like saying we do hold others dear, but we are also not complaining if actions are creating danger for self and others down the road.

Consider the example of Sophie Scholl, a German student and political activist. She railed against the German war machine in a non violent manner and effectively martyred herself by standing on the tail of the snake, remarking "such a fine sunny day and I have to go" at the end. She spoke out over matters that many were thinking at the time but were too afraid to. Was it worth it?

So is right speech about being the little man, not treading on anyone's toes for fear of rocking the boat, staying and knowing your place? Is it more than this? Is there fruit to be born from saying something? Will we reduce obscuration's from a persons eyes or will speaking lead to further suffering?

I will end this post with a quote to give you a little more thinking about what 'right speech' can mean- not just thinking wise- but in everyday life:

“The real damage is done by those millions who want to 'survive.' The honest men who just want to be left in peace. Those who don’t want their little lives disturbed by anything bigger than themselves. Those with no sides and no causes. Those who won’t take measure of their own strength, for fear of antagonizing their own weakness. Those who don’t like to make waves—or enemies. Those for whom freedom, honour, truth, and principles are only literature. Those who live small, mate small, die small. It’s the reductionist approach to life: if you keep it small, you’ll keep it under control. If you don’t make any noise, the bogeyman won’t find you. But it’s all an illusion, because they die too, those people who roll up their spirits into tiny little balls so as to be safe. Safe?! From what? Life is always on the edge of death; narrow streets lead to the same place as wide avenues, and a little candle burns itself out just like a flaming torch does. I choose my own way to burn.” Sophie Scholl

Simon E.
Posts: 7652
Joined: Tue May 15, 2012 11:09 am

Re: Right Speech

Post by Simon E. »

From a non gradual POV Right Speech is a result not a means.
This should not deter us from using speech as skilfully as possible, but that is a two edged sword. An important component of this is actually Right Listening..
Until Enlightenment true Right Speech is an aspiration.
“You don’t know it. You just know about it. That is not the same thing.”

Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche to me.

tkp67
Posts: 1739
Joined: Sun May 12, 2019 5:42 am

Re: Right Speech

Post by tkp67 »

RavenclawLotus wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 6:36 pm
Hi everyone,

I hope this forum is the right place to post this query. I'm finding it quite difficult to implement right speech. When I'm frustrated, I can find myself complaining about people. How does everyone practise right speech in their every day life?

Thank you.

:namaste:
RL
.
Once frustration sets in right speech becomes harder. Pro activity is key in this regard. However we can't always be proactive to the unknown. Since I suffer a mental illness that projects intense negativity and because at this moment I am suffering some malignant behavior IRL from "trusted" contemporaries I am struggling with the same but like it is on steroids (it bears heavily on me constantly).

In reaction I have been meditating more and really engaging practice. After some days of struggling to avoid this dynamic internally (emotion rising from thought of this malignant behavior) I was able to by some head space meditating and had this epiphany, wow this is great exercise for my practice. Even though I am still having a hard time being compassionate directly regarding this issue I can appreciate it as a true cause to dive deeper into practice.

This is normally when the situation turns for me, at least the part of it that is MY mind. Being able to address frustration, agitation, anxiety and other real human conditions in this way is invaluable. I am hopeful over time that I will recall this fruit of practice more quickly in response to rise of emotion and foster my ability to remain calm and clear.

The tl/dr being if you can't find compassion for the person frustrating you (which I believe should be the end result) realizing that this frustration is an obstacle this practice was meant to address may be the catalyst that lets you address deflate the frustration. At that point compassion is more accessible.

:anjali:

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