Wise/Right Speech

At the beginning of this calendar year,  my partner shared with me that one of his New Year intentions was to practice Wise/Right Speech. I am continuously amazed at his perception of the world and ideas such as this one.  I quickly agreed to also explore Wise/Right speech over this year and it has been a wonderful practice in awareness so far.

What is Right/Wise speech?  It is part of the Eight-fold Path, which is the Buddhist practice of living in such a way as to end suffering and achieve enlightenment.  Do I believe that this is the way for me?  I don’t know. (Stay tuned for a future blog in which I will share my thoughts on secular mindfulness vs. Buddhist meditation).  The purpose of Wise/Right Speech is to become aware and thoughtful in how we communicate with others and with ourselves.  The components include: being truthful/avoid lying, use kind speech/avoid abusive speech, don’t gossip/avoid idle chatter.  (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noble_Eightfold_Path#Right_speech).

Over the last few months, I have definitely become more aware of how I speak of others and the choice of words I use to communicate with others.  I think I have gossiped less and notice some negative feelings within me when I do speak of someone else, especially in an unkind way.  I have found myself pausing before I share some arbitrary event with my partner and recognize that I just want to create some sense of camaraderie.  There are other ways to connect.  This doesn’t happen all the time, of course.  I also notice more quickly when I am short or rude in my speech and am able to more quickly connect what’s happening within me with how I communicate.

I am starting to notice more often how my mind communicates with me: the anxiety stories, the harsh critic, the loving self, etc.  In the moments when I know it is just my mind doing its thing, I feel some more freedom from attaching to what my mind has chosen to ruminate over.

I read the following acronym somewhere, and I appreciate it.  I don’t know who the author is, so I apologize for not citing the source.

Before you speak, text, type…THINK:

Truthful (Is what I am communicating truthful?)

Helpful (Is what I’m communicating helpful?)

Important (Is what I’m communicating important?)

Necessary (Is it necessary?)

Kind (Are my words kind?)

 

Thank you for reading.

 

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About ogrocks

My current focus is to become 100% a human being rather than a human doing. I was introduced to mindfulness many years ago and began an active practice in 2007. The ebb and flow of my commitment has been curious and I am exploring...

Posted on April 22, 2014, in Mindfulness. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I love this, thank you for posting. It’s so difficult sometimes to be mindful of speech, especially when we are emotional. If I say things that I didn’t “THINK” about, I often have a semi-conscious notion that I will be using words of reparation later… I learned a new acronym (for me) that can also be helpful: HALT.

    Hungry
    Angry
    Lonely
    Tired

    If I feel any of those, it’s probably best to refrain from engaging in a situation/conversation until I have gotten back on track, so to speak. It’s all a work in progress. ;}

  2. Thanks for the comment!
    HALT is one of my faves. ;)

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