Fundamental Teachings of Buddhism: Right Speech

The practice of Right Speech is to try to change our habits so that our speech arises from the seed of the Buddha that is in us,  not from our unresolved, unwholesome seeds.

Speech is our way for our thinking to express itself aloud. Our thoughts are no longer our private possessions. One part of our consciousness has to play the role of editor.

Sometimes there are blocks of suffering in us which may manifest as speech or actions without going through the medium of thought. Our suffering has built up and can no longer be repressed, especially when we have not been practicing mindfulness. 

Here are some things to practice in the coming week as you begin to practice right speech:

  • Speak truthfully:  If it’s green, we say it’s green. Don’t say one thing to one person and another thing to another person.
  • Refrain from division or discord: Don’t speak cruelly – don’t shout, slander, curse, encourage suffering or create hatred. All of us with a good heart don’t want to hurt others but sometimes we allow toxic words to escape our lips. When we say something poisonous, it’s usually because of our habit energies. Words are very powerful. They can take away their purpose in life, they can drive someone to suicide, we can’t forget the power of our words.
  • Speak with joy, self-confidence
  • Speak with the intention to mend or reconcile
  • Speak without embellishment or exaggeration: don’t dramatize unnecessarily. Don’t make things sound better, worse or more extreme than they actually are. If someone is a little irritated, we don’t say they are furious.
  • Practice deep listening