July 23, 2010

The Hardest Precept

Today’s Daily Dharma:

For most of us, the hardest precept to honor is to speak the truth. I’m not talking about staying clear of bald-faced whoppers that cover up sordid affairs or some headline-grabbing misdeeds, but about our everyday exaggerations, self-aggrandizements, and self-image facelifts. In other words, what usually happens when we talk uninterrupted for more than a few minutes. Besides, even when we do speak the truth, are we able to listen to whoever is talking without an agenda or obsessing about what we’re going to say next? And how comfortable are we if there is nothing to say?

Like surfing, staying present is always a challenge, but doing it while interacting with others tends to be like managing in choppy, cross-current seas. We have not only our own thoughts and impulses to contend with but also those of our conversational partners. So if we can stay present and compassionate when, say, a coworker is kvetching, odds are we can do it anytime.

-Marshall Glickman. "Talk Like a Buddha" (Summer 2008)

Read the complete article here.

Image: ©Cynthia Abbott

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