So hello, and welcome to this third talk on why speech and then calling and why speech includes the idea of kind speech, or speech which supports healthy relatedness healthy relationships with others, and bring that to the forefront, that we want to establish healthy relationships that are beneficial, that are mutually supportive, that are caring, that express love and respect. And it's all too easy for our words, to not do that, our words to carry with them, sometimes hostility, sometimes our frustration, sometimes our critical illness of others, and in that the habit formation and then of saying things which are mean or harsh, saying things in which the relationship doesn't come together into some kind of connectivity or, or, you know, real, real healthy relatedness. But actually the opposite. We're pushing people away, we're creating bigger divisions between people, bigger rifts between people, by what we say. And if and when extreme versions, relationships might take a lot of work to repair. Or maybe some times when we use our, our harsh voice. We do it to strangers, and we never have a chance to repair anything, if it it's clearly created a kind of we push people away. And maybe that's what we want to do, yelling at someone who's driving we don't like and, and we'll never see them again. And but it is a contributor to the society, a society of angry people or frustrated people of people who somehow feel defensive or feel more likely to be triggered and stressed by everything. And so, why speech, supportive speech, speech that connects people, bring the creates unity, unifies people, not divides people. And these are teachings cleared instructions from the Buddha, he talked about the importance of speech, which unifies and rather than divides. And the he he talked about abandoning malicious speech, which divides people, but speaking in supportive ways and kinds of ways that unifies people brings them together. So one of the ways I knew that, in terms of these five areas, five ways of why speech, the Buddha talked about speaking with ay ay, ay. Sometimes it's translated as a gentle, gently gentle speech, pleasant speech, soothing speech, these are all translations of the Pali word. And, and I think of it as speech which are a speech which the Buddha says goes straight to the heart. So in a good way, speech which is pleasing to the ear. And so, here, we're still looking at the question is, how does our speech connect us to other people? How does it unify us? How does it create good bridges between us and other people? And, and what in addition to that, when what way can we speak that brings out the best in people that touches them in a good way. And how we speak is really, really important, so to speak with a tone of voice that is not harsh. Tone of voice, a speed of voice, a loudness of voice, which doesn't come across as harsh, doesn't come across as unpleasant, doesn't make people cringe or pull back or shut down, but to speak in a way in a pacing tone, a, a loudness, a choice of words, which is nice to listen to pleasing to listen to. goes right to the heart. doesn't shut the heart. It opens it, it warms it it helps kind of supportive, warm heartedness. And so this is much more than so one of the aspects of this is to be conscious, be mindful enough of how we speak when we're speaking on a habit, energy, habit, speech, where we're not to be conscious of what motivates us to speak. And we're speaking impulsively. And often when we do that we're asserting ourselves and other people. We're asserting our wishes, our attitudes, our feelings, onto others. And in order to get our way. And sometimes, within reason, that's okay. We need to do something like that. But to assert ourselves in such a way that it's unpleasant for the other person. Is that really necessary? Is there another way? And I liked his Yes, more often than not, there is another way. There is another way of caring for ourselves and taking care of ourselves in a situation. But doing it in a voice that is, is not perpetuating the divisions not perpetuating the harshness, the unkindness that can exist. And, and sometimes it's by saying things like, wow, that was difficult to hear. But to say that in a kind voice to say that in a gentle voice, wow, that was difficult to hear, or, wow, that was quite something. And can we pause a little bit? Or can you? Can you, you know, did I hear right? What was that about? And, as opposed to immediately coming back with something harsh and critical. Make space and something like that? Oh, that was hard to hear, or I don't think I heard that properly. To say that Nick kind voice highlights for the other person, what they just said, so they can become more conscious. Some people, then we'll give it a second thought some people will become aware of their impact that they've had had, maybe this wasn't the best thing to say. Rather than meeting a harshness with harshness, is you meet it with some other way, that of what you can do. And the and I think of this kind of gentle, pleasant speech is one where we maybe are caring for ourselves and trying to find out trying to get what we want. But we're not asserting ourselves and others, we're not pushing on others. We're not diminishing the value of others. It's done with respect for others, and the respect that they can feel in how we're speaking. Is this too much work Is this too much of a burden, to pay attention to how we speak and speak in a nice way? It is, if that's, that's the only thing we're doing. But hopefully, for people who meditate, we're doing it on a foundation of being settled on ourselves, maybe even feeling at home and connected to ourselves. When we don't feel settled on ourselves, we don't feel connected to ourselves, then for mindfulness practitioners, it's a high priority to find a way to do that. Because if we're not settled, if we're not at home, if we're not comfortable in ourselves, or really present for ourselves, some modicum of calm, that that's when we're more likely to do things that we later regret. And so we want to, and so on that foundation of well being, then speaking, kindly, pleasantly caringly. For others, it goes right to the heart is not we're not forcing ourselves or doing a should we're, it's welding up from within, in a way that seems natural, of course, we want to do this way. And so, so not just to take these as admonition speak kindly, but take it as a as a encouragement instructions that speak kindly, yes, but do the inner work so that you have a foundation of well wishing of well being yourself that from which speaking kindly seems like a natural thing? That speaking harshly feels like you're doing violence to yourself? Why would you do that? And and speaking, kindly speaking, gently speaking pleasantly becomes something which nourishes ourself. Something that is supportive for ourselves, we feel the benefits. It goes right to our hearts it comes from our heart, rather than closing it or or your retaining it or, you know, harming ourselves in the process.
So, to spend time care to Speak gently, kindly, respectfully, politely, maybe, I don't know what the best word is for you're in a tone of voice that's not harsh. And, and it's pleasant to hear that it's pleasant to speak. And if you can't do that, maybe there's it's time to take a pause, and really kind of do a check, do a, and sometimes these kind of checking in with yourself doesn't have to take long. There is what I call the three minutes, three breaths journey. Just take pause for three breaths and really connect to yourself. And those three breaths doesn't take long, but that might be enough, where it just feels more easy and natural to avoid harsh speech. And so I want to end with a I think a very
inspiring at least for me, but also instructive and challenging. Quote from Mahatma Gandhi, is this is from his autobiography. My hesitancy to speech, which was once an annoyance, is now a pleasure. Its greatest benefit has been that it has taught me the economy of words, I have naturally formed the habit of restraining my thoughts. And I can now give myself the certificate, that a thoughtless word hardly ever escapes my tongue or my pen. I do not recollect ever having to regret anything in my speech or writing. I've been spared many a mishap and a waste of time. Experience has taught me that silence is part of the spiritual discipline of the seeker of Truth. proneness to exaggerate, to suppress or modify the truth, wittingly or unwittingly is a natural weakness of people. And silence is necessary in order to surmount it. A few, a person of few words will rarely be thoughtless in his or her speech, he or she will measure every word. So I'll end with the idea that
if silence is the better option, don't speak. Doesn't mean don't speak at all. Don't prefer silence. But when silence is the better option, maybe you don't speak. If you're going to make the situation worse, through your speech, maybe you should not speak or at least pause and be silent and see what you can find. So as you go about this day, if you're interested, you might try. First, look, to establish yourself in some little modicum of well-being or settledness are connected to yourself. Maybe do that lots of times through the day, the three breaths journey, just be quiet and just attend to three breaths. And then go about what you have to do or say and, and see if you can experiment with speaking words that go straight to the heart that come from the heart and go to the heart that are pleasant to hear, pleasant to speak and, and experiment with that and see what it's like. See how you benefit from that and see how it might benefit the relationships you're in the people you're with the connection you have with them. So thank you, and I look forward to continuing tomorrow.