October 01, 2012

Week 1 of Vishvapani Blomfield's Retreat on Right Speech

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In this retreat, Vishvapani Blomfield, a member of the Triratna Buddhist Order, explores the concept of "right communication." The Buddha, Vishvapani says, emphasized the importance of practicing Right Speech on the Eight Fold Path. But then again, the Buddha wasn't on Twitter. In this day and age, we're constantly communicating, not only through face-to-face interactions but also through writing in all its forms, including texting, emailing, Skyping, Tweeting, and Facebooking. During this election cycle, as the American public collectively engages in heated political discussions, practicing Right Speech takes on an even greater importance.

Throughout the retreat, Vishvapani shows us how to engage in Right Speech by asking ourselves, no matter what the medium: Is it truthful? Is it effective? Is it beneficial? Is it kind? When practiced wisely, Right Speech can have powerful and transforming effects and allow us to express true wisdom and compassion in all our interactions.

The first installment, "Communicating with Truthfulness," emphasizes the fidelity to truth at the heart of all ethical action. Vishvapani quotes the Buddha, who says "for anyone who has no shame at intentional lying, there is no evil that that person cannot do," thus rejuvenating the injunction, often thought of as trite, not to tell lies. Vishvapani also helps us make sense of those little white lies.

The first of week of this retreat is available to all Tricycle members. Join the retreat here.

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