I want to start posting some thoughts on Friday’s to help you wrap up the week and send you into your weekend. These posts will be more of personal essays rather than tips, tricks, and lists. I want to give you some things to ponder as you sit back and enjoy a couple of days off from work (if you work a typical 9-5 schedule that is!).
I’ve thought a lot this week about patience, and a friend of mind once told me in the most beautiful way that patience to her is “being in the present.” She said:
“Satya was nearly a year old when I realized, for me, patience means being in the present. If I am in the present moment, I don’t need to try to “have” patience. There is nothing left to have, your mind is in the present and nowhere else. What happened a moment ago or what will happen a moment later is irrelevant.”
Perfect. Let’s carry that thought with us through this journey! She also reminded me that the potential of Buddhahood is present in every being. Which is what inspired today’s focus!
Right Speech; as per Buddha’s Eightfold Path. I am nowhere near an expert on Buddhism, so for those of you who are Buddhist, I’d love for you to join in this conversation and elaborate on what it is you might also be seeking with Right Speech, as you will likely help provide everyone with an even deeper understanding. I’ve never felt tied down to any one religion in particular, so I’d love to explore and try to understand what each one has to offer.
My understanding of Right Speech is to be conscious of your thoughts and words and thus avoid criticism, condemning, gossiping, and harsh language (among others). According to AccessToInsight.Org, Right Speech is “…abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, and from idle chatter.” All of the info on that link is very interesting and worth reading, and there’s so much of it that I won’t try to reproduce all of it here.
I much too often find myself being critical of others or just not being positive with my language, sometimes just in thoughts and sometimes in a whisper to the person I’m with. But I never say anything aloud to the person the criticism is about, so I’m not being mean to them, right? Wrong. Kind of like your mom probably always told you, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” Mom’s onto something! ;-) And my own mama always said, “ALWAYS be nice to EVERYONE, no matter what.”
There’s so much bullying going on these days in so many forms, whether it’s road rage induced, or in a tiny little grade school classroom, or on the Internet. Maybe if more people adopted a Buddhist approach and took each part of it seriously, there would be less bullying… less feelings hurt… more love. Anyway, that’s another topic in itself.
I’m reading Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert and there’s a great page (p. 121) in there where she describes a yoga teacher once asking the question during a practice, “Why do we practice yoga?” She goes on to explain how yoga in Sanskrit can be translated as “union” and “…the task at hand in yoga is to find union– between mind and body…” There’s obviously a LOT more to yoga than that, but today what I want to take from that is finding the union between my body, my thoughts, my actions, and Right Speech.
After all, not only am I a member of society, a teacher, and a photography business owner, but most importantly I’m also a wife and a parent, and “with great power comes great responsibility.” ;-) What kind of example do I want to be setting, especially for Maximilian and Oliver? This needs to not only start with my words and actions, but on a more difficult level: my thoughts.
Where do you feel you stand with “Right Speech?” Have a wonderful weekend, friends!