I had a great reminder today about the dangers of idle speech.
I try to be very careful with what I say, and avoid gossip and idle speech as much as humanly possible. I also try to avoid listening to it.
Today I was involved in a situation where there was a fair amount of gossip being spread – none of it particularly malicious – but it still caused a great deal of heartache.
People were given the wrong idea.
People were hurt, and caused unnecessary stress and suffering. Those people included myself and my loved ones.
And it made me even more determined to be very careful with what I say.
Iit reaffirmed my commitment to practice right speech: to use words skilfully, in a way that will bring peace and happiness to myself and the people around me.
Dogen said that idle talk disturbs the mind. A Buddha, fully mindful of his thoughts, words and deeds, does not speak idly.
“The man who is committed to abstinence from slander avoids tale-bearing.
He brings about reconcilation among those who are divided.
His words strengthen the unity of those who are already united.
He delights in seeing people in harmony.
He loves harmony, so he will make only the remarks that tend to encourage harmonious relationships.”