‘Now I’m wondering: is there a way to disentangle the story from the information? Yes, we need to take care of ourselves and each other. Yes, we need to stay aware and intentional, particularly considering the most vulnerable among us. But is there a way to do it with less ego and more observing tenderness?
It turns out, the interpretation of life is relentless. The suspension of interpretation, while brief and groundless, can be a sweet relief. I want less ego-building exercises and more compassion experiments in my life moving forward. I want less roller coasters and more clouds. I want less fear and more love’ -Courtney Martin
Courtney E. Martin is an American feminist, author, speaker, and social and political activist.
The Four Elements of Right Speech
‘Loving, truthful speech can bring a lot of joy and peace to people. But producing loving speech takes practice because we aren’t used to it. When we hear so much speech that causes craving, insecurity, and anger, we get accustomed to speaking that way. Truthful, loving speech is something we need to train ourselves in.
In Buddhism there’s a practice called the Ten Bodhisattva Trainings. Four of these 10 relate to Right Speech. A bodhisattva is an enlightened being who has dedicated his or her life to alleviating the suffering of all living beings.
A bodhisattva is someone who can speak with gentle, loving speech and who can listen with compassion.
The four bodhisattva guidelines of the Ten Bodhisattva Trainings for Right Speech:
- Tell the truth. Don’t lie or turn truth upside down.
- Don’t exaggerate.
- Be consistent. This means no double-talk: speaking about something in one way to one person and in an opposite way to another for selfish or manipulative reasons.
- Use peaceful language. Don’t use insulting or violent words, cruel speech, verbal abuse, or condemnation.
When we don’t, repercussions are brutal and, sometimes, irreparable. -dayle
‘Our suffering has been trying to communicate with us, to let us know it is there, but we have spent a lot of time and energy ignoring it.
We know that the suffering inside us contains the suffering of our fathers, our mothers, and our ancestors.
Our suffering reflects the suffering of the world. Discrimination, exploitation, poverty, and fear cause a lot of suffering in those around us. Our suffering also reflects the suffering of others.
If we understand our own suffering it will become much easier for us to understand the suffering of others and the of the world.
But unless we can listen to and acknowledge our own suffering, we will not really be able to help.’
Remembering Thich Nhat Hanh, Brother Thay
‘The Venerable Thich Nhat Hanh, revered Zen master, teacher, and poet, died on January 22, 2022, in his native Vietnam. Brother Thay, as he was known by his community and students, transmuted what he had experienced of chaos and bloodshed in his country and his life into an ability to speak with equal measures directness and compassion to the many conflicts and bewilderments of contemporary life. Martin Luther King Jr. nominated him for the Nobel Peace Prize. He was a great teacher of the wonderful practice of “walking meditation.” He taught a way of living to face suffering, fear, and violence inside and beyond ourselves and yet to become “fresh, solid, and free.” Krista sat with him for this rare conversation in the early years of this show, and it has touched many. It is astonishing to re-experience the deep, enduring wisdom this monk leaves for our world now.”
Host Krista Tippett.