Saturday, October 5, 2013

Right Speech

During the month of October, we are awakening and strengthening our practice of Right Speech.  Below are two dharma readings and a chant to support this practice.  You might like to read them everyday.  I will be reading them in class throughout the month.  What a blessing to support each other on the path of practice.

The Fourth Mindfulness Training
(from pg. 84, The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching: Transforming Suffering into Peace, Joy, and Liberation)

"Aware of the suffering caused by unmindful speech and the inability to listen to others, I am committed to cultivating loving speech and deep listening in order to bring joy and happiness to others and relieve others of their suffering.  Knowing that words can create happiness or suffering, I am determined to speak truthfully, with words that inspire self-confidence, joy, and hope.  I will not spread news that I do not know to be certain and will not criticize or condemn things of which I am not sure.  I will refrain from uttering words that can cause division or discord, or that can cause the family or the community to break.  I am determined to make all efforts to reconcile and resolve all conflicts, however small."

Invoking the Boddhisattva's Names
(from pg. 17, Plum Village Chanting and Recitation Book)

"We invoke your name, Avalokiteshvara.  We aspire to learn your way of listening in order to help relieve the suffering in the world.  You know how to listen in order to understand.  We invoke your name in order to practice listening with all our attention and open-heartedness.  We will sit ad listen without any prejudice.  We will sit and listen without judging or reacting.  We will sit and listen in order to understand.  We will sit and listen so attentively that we will be able to hear what the other person is saying and also what is being left unsaid.  We know that just by listening deeply we already alleviate a great deal of pain and suffering in the other person."

To invoke this energy in ourselves and set our intention for loving speech and deep listening, we are chanting to honor the bodhisattva of compassion, Avalokiteshvara.  Bodhisattva means awakened being.  The monks and nuns of Plum Village are chanting here.  It is lovely.

Our beautiful soundtrack for today's class was Jai Jagdeesh's CD: Of Heaven and Earth.  When we absorb such beautiful vibrations and meaningful messages, we restore our freshness which allows us to be completely present, to tune into our inner wisdom, our truth.  When we are grounded in mindfulness we are on the path to Right Speech.  

Here is Jai Jagdeesh singing Hallelujah.  This song is on her new CD.

Here is her facebook page:

Here is her website:

What music, experiences, sounds and sights restores your freshness?  The beautiful Autumn leaves?  The cool crisp air?  Feel free to post below : )

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