Memorable Quote: “Mindfulness is silent honesty. Honesty is mindfulness out loud.”
Synopsis: Before approaching right speech we must cultivate right intention, says Pablo Das. The three right intentions are to be kind, to be compassionate and to renounce that which stands in the way of seeing clearly. The Buddha discusses right speech from two angles. The first is what to abstain from, namely false speech, harsh speech, divisive speech and idle chatter. For the developments of our hearts and minds, we put aside these four practices. When the urge to transgress arises, Pablo encourages us to investigate what’s underneath that, what is behind the motivation to lie? What makes being harsh with another so tempting? Our Anger? Our Fear?
Sometimes our unwise speech can also arise because we are uncomfortable with silence, or are addicted to things outside of ourselves. Thus the Buddha also discusses right speech in terms of practices we should adhere to: our speech should be true, useful, kind, and well-timed. At the same time, being Buddhist doesn’t mean we always have to be “nice,” or what Pablo calls the “Buddhist doormat syndrome.” Instead, we can be firm with others and establish our boundaries, while at the same time maintaining an attitude of kindness and love toward all.
I like: I like Pablo’s easily accessible discussion of the many facets of Wise Speech.
I wish: I wish he said more about what it means to “lie.” I’m not sure that telling the truth is such a straightforward idea, and instead believe it to be negotiated in a complex, situational fashion.
More about the speaker: Pablo Das has been empowered to teach Vipassana meditation and Buddha Dharma by the Against the Stream Buddhist Meditation Society founder Noah Levine. He teaches regularly at A.T.S. centers in Los Angeles and at various A.T.S. groups and in retreat settings nationwide. Pablo is an advocate for a Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender and “other identified” voice in american Buddhism. Here more of his talks here.