Right Speaking

Mar 10, 2016 by


As a teacher in a Mystery School, I am often called on to practice what I preach, which is after all, where the rubber meets the road.


Just on the tail end of teaching heart and throat chakra class, I had an opportunity to do just that. In the Energy Medicine Institute, we teach that our voices are designed to speak the words of our hearts. So often we run this energy backwards and speak our minds. Considering how cluttered and off kilter our minds are, this generally doesn’t do us any favors.


The real work is in opening up and speaking how you FEEL, even when it’s tough. And it almost always is, isn’t it?


During the weekend one of my dear friends and fellow teachers said something snippy to me. I did refrain from my very mature impulse to stick my tongue out at her. (All that personal growth and communication training is paying off!)


But I held onto it, that feeling of anger, the baby beginnings of hurt, a grudge.


I was at a pretty important choice point in my relationship with my dear friend. I could suck it up, be “nice” about it and let it go, which considering how conflict avoidant I am by nature, would be the easiest road.  But I have been down that road, I know it leads to nowhere good. Small hurts build up over time and you begin to withhold your energy from that person. Maybe you avoid them a little bit. Maybe you don’t share as deeply as you used to and into that space between you, something wicked begins to grow.


Or I could choose to lean into it, tell her how I felt and clear it up.


I did just that.  It felt a little risky, would she be mad? Would there be a fight?  There wasn’t. We are both well trained in these things and I said how I felt and she said how she felt. She had a very good point and low and behold, her feelings where just as valid as mine!


In this case, she was right and I was wrong. Not that that mattered, really. But when I saw her point of view, I could let go of all the energy that I was holding onto. My heart opened up again and suddenly I appreciated her all over again.


Yay! The sun came out, the birds sang, and all was right in the world again.


I love the Buddhist concept of Right Speech. It means taking full responsibility for both our speaking and our listening.   Our word is part of our deepest power as human beings and is a measure of our personal integrity and we must handle that power with respect. It takes courage to do this on a regular basis considering that most people in our culture don’t have the training for this.


It bothers me greatly when I hear people use the New Age truism of “Speaking Their Truth” as a carte blanche for saying whatever the heck they want to say. I have heard someone lambast another person with the worst kind of evil vitriol imaginable and excuse it all by saying they where “just speaking their truth.”


What would the Buddha say?  (Pretty sure he’d be rolling his third eye on that  one…)  Speaking that kind of poison in the name of truth is bad for your karma, never mind your relationships.


Right Speech is for the person speaking more than the person listening. We can never control how people will hear us.  We say it because we need to say it, releasing any expectation of how it will be received.  Speaking rightly is always  for the benefit of the speaker. 


We can be diligent about how we speak.  We can be careful and attentive.


We start by owning our own stuff with “I statements.” (“I think you are an asshole!” is not an I statement, BTW…)


“I felt hurt when this thing happened…” is more like a real I statement. Then we must practice Right Speech like a spiritual practice every time we open our mouths.  There are many ways to do this, but I favor this simple method.


Consider before you speak-


  • Is it true?
  • Is it necessary?
  • Is it kind?


Clearly, gossiping, trash talking, spreading lies and rumors is not the way to go.  Those things have a way of coming back home to roost, since the energy we put out to the world boomerangs right back at us.


Carolyn Myss says that our ability to speak is the most powerful gift of being a creator. We create our reality in the minds of others when we speak. We plant seeds with our words and we carry our entire frequency and vibration in the tone of our voices. That is some powerful magic!  Let our magic be the good kind!


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