Written by Yesica Pineda.
How many times a day do you feel you have been misunderstood? How many times a day do you have trouble understanding what others are saying to you? Or how many times have you seen yourself involved in confusion and drama due to a misunderstanding created by what people have said to each other?
It only takes observation to notice that the most helpful skill for communicating with others besides modesty and truthfulness is clarity. Words are only words, but words are important; a true noble person always says what he/she means, and always means what he/she says. Therefore the importance of choosing clearly the use of words you speak and think by what they mean; especially if you want to be listened to.
The adage say: you don't know what you have until you loose it. This is also true with words. During a Vipassana meditation course www.dhamma.org, 10 days of silence are observed. A vow of noble silence is taken in order for the environment to be appropriate for meditation. Easy, but the question might arise about why being silent makes the environment appropriate for meditation.
For a successful meditation it is necessary to observe a moral conduct conducive to a peaceful mind. This moral conduct is the universal moral conduct that all cultures share:
- Don't harm others
- Don't speak lies
- Don't steal
- No sexual misconduct
- No taking of intoxicants
This moral conduct allows you to develop the mastery of your own mind which is bound to lead you to wisdom.
But, why silence? None of the precepts say you must be silent.
The explanation is simple. Human beings, unless enlightened, have really a hard time maintaining a noble speech. Observe, ignorant people are usually either lying, omitting the truth, or exaggerating it; that is not counting the time spent in unnecessary chattering, gossiping and judgmental criticism of others.
It is to help you maintain the moral conduct necessary for the evolution of your practice that silence is asked of you when you retreat for meditation.
What to do in every day life? Is Silence the best approach for communication?
In every day life, when we must engage in communication with each other, when social interaction is part of life, I used to choose silence most of the time when communicating with others. I though keeping silent I would avoid breaking my moral conduct, and also avoid affecting others by any confusion or even more, avoid getting affected by others confusion. Of course, I still was misinterpreted most of the time, for by my silence the other is left with only the reflection of his/her self and assumptions of what I might think about this or that run wild! It can be madness!
Cheers, I discover CLARITY. Suddenly I Remembered the Universe was created by the WORD. The power of speech creates my everyday Universe. My environment, my relationships, the content of my mind, what I manifest, all are affected by the words I choose. Even when I joke, now I make sure people hear exactly the words that I mean.
- If I feel happy, I speak clearly: I feel happy.
- If I feel sad, I speak clearly: I feel sad.
- If I feel angry, I speak clearly: I feel angry.
- If I want to be left alone, I speak clearly: I would prefer to be left alone.
Whatever the example, you get it, don't you?
Easy enough, instead of creating dramas to manipulate how people pay attention to you, or expect that people should know how you feel just by knowing you, be honest and say what you mean. And don't you worry; it is the duty of the other to evolve enough to respect the truth of who you are every moment, moment by moment, without judgment or reaction. Truth is truth and that is what it is. Others should feel the love in being told the truth, even if it is not what they would like to hear.
Clear speech, truthful speech, is noble speech.
And noble people make a happy, peaceful world.
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