Everyday Wisdom #61

Watch your words

Today, become aware of what you say as you say it.

Which words do you habitually use?

These words offer a clear insight into your state of mind, and how you are projecting yourself (and therefore how others see you).

How often do you use negative statements such as “I’m not sure” or “I don’t know”, or “I hate…”.

Simply noticing which words you are using is the first step towards thinking and acting more in line with your intentions.

And also adds to your sense of wisdom.

 

Whatever words we utter should be chosen with care for people will hear them and be influenced by them for good or ill.
Buddha

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Why did you say that??

I am a HUGE fan of Gil Fronsdal and his dharma talks.

It’s actually on my ‘bucket list’ to travel to Redwood City to listen to him talk in person at the Insight Meditation Centre (just putting it out there universe! ūüôā )

One dharma talk of his that especially stayed with me was “Mindfulness of Speaking”.

I am planning on doing a whole post dedicated to mindfulness of speech (because it’s such a wonderful subject to explore), but there was one thing he said that really resonated with me, and changed the way that I think.

And it was:

“If you want to jump-start your mindfulness practice, to go deep in Buddhist Practice, then here is the direct path…

Be aware of why you are saying what you are about to say

 

So when you speak Рwhat is the motivation behind what you are saying.  And what exactly are you sharing?

Are you sharing delight?

Are you sharing information?

Or are you really trying to say something about yourself?  

How many times, when you speak, does what you say contain useful information that needs to be passed on?

How much is opinion?  And gossip?  And trying to accomplish something subtly?

 

There can be multiple agendas and purposes behind what we are saying.

It’s a wonderful and enlightening exercise to think about what you are going to say before you say it.

To take note of your intention before you speak, and your state of mind.  

Is it calm?  Relaxed?  Friendly?

Your speech will likely follow your state of mind.

For me, listening to this talk – and following Gil’s advice – created a paradigm shift.

It changed my way of thinking forever.

 

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‚ÄúSmile, breathe and go slowly.‚Ä̬†‚Äē¬†Thich Nhat Hanh