This morning Rebecca read to us from Joseph Goldstein’s book, Mindfulness, focusing on Mindfulness of Dhammas, particularly the concept of “Right” or “Wise” Speech.
The discussion brought up the importance of examining one’s intention when considering the wisdom of saying something critical of another. How tightly do we cling to the idea that we are right, or that the other person is wrong?
One suggestion given by the Buddha was to ask one’s self five questions before speaking:
- Is what I’m about to say helpful?
Is it kind?
Is it true?
Is it conductive to harmony?
Is it spoken at the right time?
“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.”