Hello dear readers,
We’ve all heard it and we’ve all done it; talkin’ trash. This includes gossip about others, lies and/or harsh condemnation of ourselves or others. The entire US Culture/Media thrives on gossip and Reality TV. Is it just a little “guilty pleasure” or something more insidious? Let’s explore this further.
“You got your tongue talkin’ trash and now you try to bring your garbage to me? I’ve got some words for your a$$, you’d better find somebody else up this tree.” ~ Jack White
The old Buddhist master sat before the assembled yogis. “Tonight I would like to speak to you about wise speech,” he began. “According to the Buddha, wise speech is truthful, gentle, helpful, spoken from a kind heart and timely.” Then he spoke at great length about the harm that can come from words that are mean spirited, harsh or careless.
A young yogi raised his hand and said, “Venerable sir, I do not understand how this can be. A stone can bruise. Theft can deprive. Brawling can cause bleeding. But words are just sounds. They have no substance. I must disagree with you when you suggest they are so powerful.”
The old man replied, “If you weren’t such an idiot, you’d understand. So sit down, shut up and stop interrupting with your ignorance.” The young man dropped to his cushion and the master continued his dharma talk. Fifteen minutes later the young yogi jumped to his feet without raising his hand and yelled, “You are a fraud! You cannot possibly be the great teacher you pretend to be.” His face was red, his eyes were bulging, his fists were clenched, his body shook. The old man turned to the yogi and said, “You seem perturbed. Your gentle disposition is shattered. What happened to you?” “You hurtled insults I did not deserve. No man of wisdom could speak so harshly. You are a fraud.” The old man responded, “Ah. I see. It was my words that had such a transforming effect upon you. It seems you have changed your philosophy. It seems you and I agree that speech can be quite powerful.”
The young man’s face went blank. His angry flush subsided. A shy smile formed at the corners of his mouth. He bowed slightly, “You are certainly a wise teacher. I shall never forget this lesson. Speech can be very powerful.” – Doug Kraft
What is right speech? The Buddha said there are four kinds of unskillful speech. They are false, malicious, harsh, and gossip or idle chatter. Those four kinds of speech always increase suffering. – Kusala Bhikshu
We have also all been on the end of a verbal tirade or vicious retort at some point in our lives. For those that are empathic or highly sensitive, harsh words can be like tiny barbs that get under our skin and continue to torment and cause pain. Blaming, judging, accusing, gossiping and complaining are forms of negative egoic patterns in action. When we engage in these darker forms of communication we actually give energy and power to the aspects of ourselves and others that is FALSE. Since in truth there is only ONE of us here, what we say about our brother/sister we are saying about ourselves at the most basic of levels.
“The ego is a false sense of self based on mental concepts. It is identification with the body and mind-identification with form, which primarily means thought forms.” ~ Eckhart Tolle
There is also the pesky little issue of what the Akashic Wisdom Keepers call “offloading.” This is actually the attempt to move out negative or uncomfortable energies onto someone or something else. Many people do this unconsciously all the time. For people stuck in habitual and repetitive negative patterns of mind, this can become a way of life. Keep in mind however, that many people that do this have not had the benefit of the dharma or other spiritual teachings in their life, and they are just repeating the unconscious programming that they got from dear ol’ mom and dad. We can have compassion for them, but we also don’t have to abide excessive negativity in our lives in any form. That is also extending compassion to ourselves.
The whole “Talk to the hand,” thing isn’t just a cute catchphrase here. Remember dear readers that we have the right and power to determine what we wish to experience in our lives. For example, some years back I had an extended family member that was so habitually negative that I used to get headaches just talking to her on the phone (that’s another blog post topic!) I had to regulate the amount of time that I spent in conversation with her. Some years later (when I finally developed the nerve,) I told her that I under no circumstances wanted to participate in gossip and I don’t. She still tries to get me to “bite the hook” and at first I used to take the bait, but I don’t anymore as I am aware of what is going on. That type of conversation just spreads poison around and no one is the wiser for it.
Spiritual teacher Don Miguel Ruiz speaks of the “black magic” that is created by condemning others, especially children. I can’t tell you how many adults I have worked with in counseling over the years that though they can’t remember the kind words from their grade school teachers, they remember every slight, judgment and insult from them, and in some cases this is thirty+ years later! Proof positive that words do indeed have the power to injure and scar. They also have the power to inspire, encourage, heal and raise up others in the most magical of ways too.
There is no doubt about the power of speech and words, and this is something that in my opinion could do well to be taught in public school. Not from a religious context, but from a secular/humanistic one. Speaking to others the way that we would like to be spoken to; the Golden Rule in action. We are heading into a very spiritual time on the planet with the advent of the Aquarian Age that inspires compassion and respect for all beings. Right speech is up there along with right action, which will assist in creating positive experiences and karma for us all.
Wishing you all love, starlight and abundance in these powerful times.
Rev. Irma Kaye Sawyer
© Irma Kaye Sawyer 2011-2016. Please feel free to share these messages as you are guided with author and copyright information included. Thank you.