Week 8: COMMUNICATION — No blah blah

For the final of the 8 Week Challenge, I had a long screed written, but upon re-reading it the next day, I realized it is just indulgent blah blah. So, nevermind that!

Then, I considered that in my life’s efforts to make Communication an aspect of Love (as opposed to just self-indulgent blah blah), my best teacher is Right Speech. This, as you may know, is contained in the Buddha‘s teachings on the cessation of suffering, & is part of the Noble Eightfold Path. “Right” is not being used here as a  moral judgment, contrasting with “bad, evil, wrong”. In this context, “right” means bringing about happiness for oneself & for others. Substituting ‘best’, or better yet ‘skillful,’ makes this more clear. Seen in this manner, many of the common forms of communication might suddenly be viewed quite differently. A helpful set of ‘guidelines’, which I first came across as attributed to Sai Baba, are these:

Is it kind?

Think: Gossip. Building yourself up at someone else’s expense. Mean-spirited, oppressive put downs. Spreading rumors.

Is it necessary?

‘Unnecessary’ would include: Talking just to hear yourself talk. Trying to always have the last word. Bragging. Meaning to shock others. Self-indulgent blah blah.

Is it true?

Obvious, right? Lying. Misrepresenting. Tearing down your opponent. Demonizing ‘the other’.

Does it improve upon the silence?

There are times when it’s not possible to be better than simply silent: Being ‘present’ to someone dying, or in pain. Holding someone’s confidence. Refraining when in emotional turmoil. Not rising to the bait. Considering: Do I really know what’s best??

(((I’m curious about your experience with these ideas)))

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THEN, I realized that the best way I know of to express Communication as an act of Love, is this:

Shhhhh ………. Listen …………….

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