“Right Speech or speech as practice is also one of the aspects of the Eight-Fold Path. In addition to not lying, not slandering and not praising ones self, Right Speech includes avoiding idle chatter and gossip and not speaking harshly or using abusive speech. Through Right Speech, by not indulging in or listening to such things as lying, back-biting, harsh speech or gossip, we can establish a link between our mental activity and our conduct or between Right Thought and Right Action, two other aspects of the Eight-Fold Path.”
In Seeking the Heart of Wisdom, Jack Kornfield suggests practicing with Right Speech by trying to speak from the heart, and by avoiding gossip both negative and positive. This means not talking about people or talking behind their backs.
When the Buddha was asked what is right speech, he responded “Abstaining from lying, abstaining from divisive speech, abstaining from abusive speech, abstaining from idle chatter: This, monks, is called right speech.” The Buddha went on to clarify that there are five factors to Right Speech. “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.
I am still attempting to train myself in Right Speech, and am fully aware that mindfulness and Right Intention are critical to cultivating this.
One little trick that I have recently learned, is to try and observe my thoughts before my tongue gets into action.
This only takes a moment, but can really be helpful in avoiding hurtful or inappropriate words.
Thank you for this day and thank you for the dhamma. I am so happy to have this opportunity to practice.
May you be well, happy and peaceful.