Advice about right speech.

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Stutters
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Advice about right speech.

Post by Stutters » Wed Aug 01, 2018 1:32 am

Hi!

Im looking for some advice regarding right speech. There are 2 situations I often find myself into and I'm wondering how to handle them.

1- Gossip. I'm not the kind of person that speaks about other people, but sometimes a colleague of a friend will talk with me and engage in gossip. I don't really want to get into it because first I'm not rly interested in it, and second because I want to respect right speech. Thing is, I never know how to react. I don't want to offend my college or friend by accusing them of gossip, and I don't want to make them feel bad about what they do. I don't rly feel like explaining the path and the practice and why I don't gossip Everytime either. I feel like I'm trapped and there is no way to handle the situation without offending anyone.

2. Jokes. I've been really close to the same group of friends for more than 20 years now. I'm really glad we never lost touch, and my friends are a great and important part of my life. We know each other so well that we often pick on each other. It's always in a humourous way, never meant to actually hurt each other, but we can be very direct with each other. Everytime I want to make a joke about one of my friend i always think about right speech. I know my joke is funny and that my friend won't be mad about it, but I feel kind of guilty still. It became a very thin line for me to walk on, keeping a good relationship with my friends and still respecting right speech.

I'm just looking for your take on this, any advice are welcome.

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Grigoris
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Re: Advice about right speech.

Post by Grigoris » Wed Aug 01, 2018 7:54 am

Stutters wrote:
Wed Aug 01, 2018 1:32 am
Hi!

Im looking for some advice regarding right speech. There are 2 situations I often find myself into and I'm wondering how to handle them.

1- Gossip. I'm not the kind of person that speaks about other people, but sometimes a colleague of a friend will talk with me and engage in gossip. I don't really want to get into it because first I'm not rly interested in it, and second because I want to respect right speech. Thing is, I never know how to react. I don't want to offend my college or friend by accusing them of gossip, and I don't want to make them feel bad about what they do. I don't rly feel like explaining the path and the practice and why I don't gossip Everytime either. I feel like I'm trapped and there is no way to handle the situation without offending anyone.
Change the topic. Ask them how they are doing, what they have been up to, how their family is, deflect the conversation into something meaningful for the person.
2. Jokes. I've been really close to the same group of friends for more than 20 years now. I'm really glad we never lost touch, and my friends are a great and important part of my life. We know each other so well that we often pick on each other. It's always in a humourous way, never meant to actually hurt each other, but we can be very direct with each other. Everytime I want to make a joke about one of my friend i always think about right speech. I know my joke is funny and that my friend won't be mad about it, but I feel kind of guilty still. It became a very thin line for me to walk on, keeping a good relationship with my friends and still respecting right speech.

I'm just looking for your take on this, any advice are welcome.
Why do you believe that good natured joking amongst friends is antithetical to right speech?
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

muni
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Re: Advice about right speech.

Post by muni » Wed Aug 01, 2018 9:15 am

Great advice by Grigoris. Gossip, spoken or even in thoughts, are beloved mental constructions.
They are foolish, I am holy.

Care is necessary because "gossip" is not so innocent, it can be very harmful, pollute own mind in the first place.

*Om Mani Peme Hung*
“ Only the development of compassion and understanding for others can bring us the tranquility and happiness we all seek. ”
H H Dalai Lama

"Relax." nirvana-samsara do not stray from spaciousness.

Stutters
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Joined: Tue Jul 31, 2018 7:29 pm

Re: Advice about right speech.

Post by Stutters » Wed Aug 01, 2018 5:28 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Wed Aug 01, 2018 7:54 am
Why do you believe that good natured joking amongst friends is antithetical to right speech?
idk, i guess im just overthinking it. thank you for the advice about gossip, that actually makes a lot of sense

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Aryjna
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Re: Advice about right speech.

Post by Aryjna » Wed Aug 01, 2018 7:50 pm

Joking is not bad if the intention in good, if the intention is not good I suppose it could fall under 'harsh speech,' or idle speech. It is always a matter of intention. If the intention for the jokes is even slightly negative then it is not good, such as to tease, or even to make yourself look better, or distract yourself to pass the time. Then again it is not that easy to always be perfect at every detail and this seems quite minor.

This is a useful text, though not directly applicable to the situations mentioned here, but it shows how intention is the most critical when it comes to the 10 non virtuous deeds and it's interesting to read. http://www.lotsawahouse.org/tibetan-mas ... iderations

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Emmet
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Re: Advice about right speech.

Post by Emmet » Fri Aug 31, 2018 12:14 pm

First & Second Precept; how many ways can my speech kill or steal from someone's happiness, reputation, self esteem, trust, and relationships?
Third Precept; how many ways can my speech shame or hurt someone simply because of their gender or sexuality?
Fourth Precept; "I resolve not to lie but to speak the truth."
Fifth Precept; look at our socio-political discourse today; how many ways can speech be delusive and cloud the mind?
Sixth Precept; "I resolve not to speak of the faults of others, but to be understanding and sympathetic."
Seventh Precept; "I resolve not to praise myself and disparage others, but to overcome my own shortcomings."
Eighth Precept; generosity includes generosity of spirit. Does my speech give others the benefit of the doubt? Does it assume the best or worst of others?
Ninth Precept; "I resolve not to indulge in anger, but to exercise restraint."
Tenth Precept; If you're in the United States, Buddhists make up about 1.2% of the population. It's very likely that you are the only Buddhist someone encounters. Whether we like it or not, we're all teachers; we're all demonstrating to others how a Buddhist functions in the world. Does my speech uphold the Three Treasures, or the opposite?

"Monks, a statement endowed with five factors is well-spoken, not ill-spoken. It is blameless & unfaulted by knowledgeable people. Which five?
It is spoken at the right time. It is spoken in truth. It is spoken affectionately. It is spoken beneficially. It is spoken with a mind of good-will.
A statement endowed with these five factors is well-spoken, not ill-spoken. It is blameless & unfaulted by knowledgeable people."
Vaca Sutta

Eihei Dogen zengi once recommended that before we speak we pause and reconsider in light of the above whether or not what we wish to say still appears to be as appropriate as we first thought.
Something I definitely need to work on.
May all beings plagued with sufferings of the body or mind be quickly freed of their illnesses.
May the frightened cease to be afraid, and may the bound go free.
May the powerless find power,
And may people think of befriending each other.

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