June 24, 2012

How to practice right speech

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It's not enough to simply resolve to speak only what is "truthful, helpful, kind and timely." After all, we scarcely know which of the hundreds of voices in our head is going to "grab the mic" next. Vajrayana teacher Ken McLeod suggests we begin with a pretty straightforward method in his discussion of verse 34 of the 37 Practices of the Bodhisattva.

Here's how it works:

When you speak, listen to the sound of your own voice as if you are listening to another person talk. When you do this you hear immediately when what you are saying or how you are saying it is out of sync with the situation. If you are angry but aren't unaware of it, you hear the edge in your voice...you also hear when there's fear...or when you are trying to sell someone an idea, or when  you are trying to seduce someone against their will.... There will be a little insistence or insincere charm in your voice. You may be surprised to hear your mother or father speaking..."

You can hear more of Ken's teachings on the 37 Practices of the Bodhisattva here.

For more teachings by Ken McLeod, visit Unfettered Mind.

 

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Video

patrick83's picture

" Speak when you`re angry and you`ll make the best speech you`ll ever regret ". Well said.

Dominic Gomez's picture

These days the challenge is how to practice right text.