Today in my reading of “Becoming Bodhisattvas” by Pema Chodron, I read this: Mindful speech can be a difficult practice, speaking honestly is hard, but but to speak with MODERATION is an even greater challenge. It can be embarrassing to see how much prejudice we convey with words. Without blame, guilt, or justification, If we practice mindfulness we can catch ourselves before our unkind thoughts become words. This can spare us and others a lot of pain. We can learn to keep silent.”
This is not asking us to abandon our principles, stay quiet in the face of abuse, or to avoid telling the truth when it needs to be said. It is HOW we communicate these thoughts.
Right now in the world there is so much frustration, anger, depression due to the pandemic. People are looking for places to drop their justified anger and here is the truth: When we attack another person, even if we believe we are in the right, we harm ourselves. The point of any discussion is to be heard and understood. If your goal is the highest good for all, and not simply lashing out or revenge, then we must choose our words carefully to bring about connection and understanding. Sometimes it is better to keep silent until you have your own mind under control, which may feel odd at first because we have become accustomed to jumping online to react to our world rather than sitting with the discomfort and asking, “How can I express myself with love and respect for me, and convey to this person my feelings so that they are able to hear me?”
“Today I will give myself the gift of keeping silent until I have gained control of my mind. I will seek to connect with my words, mindfully. “