“The greatest way to reduce suffering in our lives and the lives of others is to take care of our bodies, along with our speech and our thoughts” (Thich Nhat Hanh).
“Body, speech, and mind are considered the three doors to enlightenment” (Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche).
In Buddhism, Mind, Body and Speech are the doorways to enlightenment. Or happiness. Or health, creativity or joy. Mind, body and speech are pathways to a meaningful life. Speech refers to how and what we communicate. What we put out into the world with our words. Right speech is encouraged. We want our words, and the consequences of our speech to have integrity, to have a positive impact.
The Buddha defined right speech as “abstinence from false speech, abstinence from malicious speech, abstinence from harsh speech, and abstinence from idle chatter.” (I can't claim for a fact the Buddha said this, I wasn't there to hear it for myself. The Buddha did not write anything down. The earliest known scriptures were recorded hundreds of years after the Buddha's death. Still, the Buddhavacana. Words of the Buddha, are claimed to be the literal utterances of the Buddha as the Sangha orally maintained them since the Buddha's death.)
Right speech means not lying, not using speech in ways that create discord among people, not using a cynical, hostile or angry tone of voice, and not engaging in gossip. These guidelines urge us to say only what is true, to speak (and write) in ways that promote harmony among people, to use a tone of voice that is kind, and express ourselves mindfully in order that our speech is useful and purposeful. Right speech helps people connect to one another.
Messaging the world through our blogs, books, letters, texts has consequences. Any time we have a reader we are influencing this person. We are making contact and having an impact on them.
I am influencing you right now.
We can make the world more beautiful and resilient through our speech. We can empower ourselves and others through our written words and through every conversation. Our words inherently hold a reciprocity. Every shared word has a karmic imprint.
When it comes to your speech consider the impact you want to have on others, along with the karmic imprint this creates on your life's path.
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