Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Conditioning Verbal Action

If you are tempted to reveal
A tale to you someone has told
About another, make it pass,
Before you speak three gates of gold.
These narrow gates: first, “Is it true”
Then, “Is it needful? In your mind
Give truthful answer. And the next
Is last and narrower, “Is it kind?”
And if so reach your lips at last
It passes through these gateways three,
Then you may tell the tale, not fear
What the result of speech may be.
…….. Ancient Arab saying

In his teachings the great Buddha said:
“And how is one made pure in four ways by verbal action? There is the case where a certain person, abandoning false speech, abstains from false speech. When he has been called to a town meeting, a group meeting, a gathering of his relatives, his guild, or of the royalty, if he is asked as a witness, 'Come & tell, good man, what you know': If he doesn't know, he says, 'I don't know.' If he does know, he says, 'I know.' If he hasn't seen, he says, 'I haven't seen.' If he has seen, he says, 'I have seen.' Thus he doesn't consciously tell a lie for his own sake, for the sake of another, or for the sake of any reward. Abandoning false speech, he abstains from false speech. He speaks the truth, holds to the truth, is firm, reliable, no deceiver of the world. Abandoning divisive speech he abstains from divisive speech. What he has heard here he does not tell there to break those people apart from these people here. What he has heard there he does not tell here to break these people apart from those people there. Thus reconciling those who have broken apart or cementing those who are united, he loves concord, delights in concord, enjoys concord, speaks things that create concord. Abandoning abusive speech, he abstains from abusive speech. He speaks words that are soothing to the ear, that are affectionate, that go to the heart, that are polite, appealing & pleasing to people at large. Abandoning idle chatter, he abstains from idle chatter. He speaks in season, speaks what is factual, what is in accordance with the goal, the Dhamma (teachings), & the Vinaya (Discipline). He speaks words worth treasuring, seasonable, reasonable, circumscribed, connected with the goal. This is how one is made pure in four ways by verbal action.”
….. Anguttara Nikaya 10.176

Jesus called the crowd to him and said, “Listen and understand. What goes into a man's mouth does not make him 'unclean,' but what comes out of his mouth, that is what makes him 'unclean’…….. Don't you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man 'unclean.' For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. These are what make a man 'unclean'; but eating with unwashed hands does not make him 'unclean.'” … Matthew 15:10-20

Let extreme care be taken as to what comes out of our mouth, for no power on earth or in heaven can erase the effect it has on the receiver. Let our speech be like the narrow beam of light, highly focused and effective.

Love to you all

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