Skip to content

Cultivate Right Speech

The noble factor of Right Speech will become another edge to the practice. Sampajañña will serve you as you explore Right Speech. Pause and reflect before you speak. Examine whether or not speaking serves a purpose; notice what that purpose is and run an examination of your intention through the four categories of sampajañña. If speaking serves only to self-reference and inflates feelings of well-being, see if there are alternatives to speaking. If not, ask yourself how you might choose to consciously affect what you are saying. If attention is strong, see if you can identify the intention to speak, the feeling tone when speaking, and the results of speaking on yourself and on others. Check if what you are about to say is suitable to the situation. Ask yourself if the motivation for speaking is pure, unwholesome or mix of both. It is useful to consider the other person and your responsibilities in the community. If silence will make someone uncomfortable or cause confusion, it is Right Speech to offer your best and even chat for a short time. On the other hand, if silence is acceptable, try to use it.
Right Speech is also about listening. What is your posture while listening? Is there judgement, compassion or wanting to say your piece and get the discussion over with? Bring your attention to how you listen and try to add kindness and patience to your process if you hear yourself being unskilful. Just notice and try to listen more carefully. Recognize that the person to whom you are speaking is trying the best he/she can.