I have been going over the Precepts again as I am preparing to do a Jukai ceremony ( a buddhist initiation where the precepts are given) to Clouds in Water Zen Center's prison sangha, The Unpolished Diamond Sangha, and to our own sangha. There are several precepts under the category of Right Speech and I have always found Buddha's admonitions on Right Speech very helpful. They are, of course, in the tradition of Buddhist instructions that are categorized with sets of numbers. Here are some of them:
The four ways of verbal
action (SN 45.8, AN 10.176)
Abstaining from lying,
I don’t know
I haven’t seen
I have seen
doesn’t consciously tell a lie for the sake of himself, for the sake of another
or for the sake of reward.
is firm, reliable, no deceiver of the world
from divisive speech,
does not gossip to break one group from another
loves concord, delights in concord, enjoys concord, speaks things that create
from abusive speech
speaks words that
Are soothing to the ear
Go to the heart
Appealing and pleasing to people at large
from idle chatter
in accordance with the goal of the dharma and
words worth treasuring, seasonable, reasonable,
circumscribed, connected with the goal
Five keys to right speech
spoken at the right time
spoken in truth
spoken with a mind of good-will,
The Criteria for deciding
what is worth saying (MN 58)
Do not say things you know are unfactual,
untrue, unbeneficial (ie. not connected with the goal), unendearing and
disagreeable to others.
Do not say things that are factual and true, but unbeneficial, unendearing and disagreeable
Do not say things that are factual, true,
beneficial, but unendearing and
disagreeable to others. Have a
sense of the proper time for saying
Do not say things that are factual, true, unbeneficial, but endearing and
agreeable to others.
the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be factual, true, beneficial,
endearing and agreeable to others, he
has a sense of the proper time for saying them. Why is that?
Because the tathagata has sympathy for living beings.
The 5 conditions for
speaking (An V)
Do I speak at the right time, or not?
Do I speak of facts, or not?
Do I speak gently or harshly?
Do I speak profitable (beneficial) words or not?
Do I speak with a kindly heart, or inwardly
Labels: Buddha's instructions on Speech, precepts, Right Speech