Right speech

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This post is about a year and a half late, but better late than never.

I struggle with Right Speech, and while I can never hope to speak always calmly and kindly, I was looking for a way to trigger a reminder to myself and catch the cycle out earlier whenever the urge to speak in haste or in anger arose.


I was listening to a talk on the ‘Mindfulness of Speaking’ by Gil Fronsdal, and he offers several guidelines which I plan to internalise. They come in the form of questions to ask ourselves before we speak, and in this age of email and text messaging, before we write; they are:

  • Is it true?
  • Is it kind?
  • Is it useful?
  • Does it foster social harmony?

I write these from memory, but I don’t think they have been misrepresented. The trouble is, I revel in words: I do so love the witty turn of phrase, the sting of irony, and the mental deftness of allusion. I think this is where Right Intention (or Resolve) enters into the matter.

Image: ICO_SP2. Source: stock.xchng

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