Joseph Goldstein – Insight Hour – Ep. 38 – The Eightfold Path: Right Speech

Right Speech

Joseph continues his series on the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path. This week: Right Speech.

Right Speech is the application of mindful attention to the way we communicate. Joseph discusses the many facets of Right Speech and methods of practicing it in our lives.

Click here to catch up with part one of the Eightfold Path series.

Show Notes

Integrating Mindfulness (Opening) – Many Buddhists focus their practice on meditation when there are other practices equally necessary on the path to liberation. Joseph discusses the need to integrate all forms of mindfulness practice equally. Of these important practices, right speech is among the most important because of the power our speech holds.

“Our speech conditions our relationships. Our speech conditions our minds. Our speech conditions karmic results as they unfold in the future.”

Telling Truths (5:30) – One of the most basic aspects of Right Speech is truthfulness. Joseph talks about the many flavors of truthfulness and asks us to examine the motivation for our dishonesty.

“Lying is a great corrosive force because it corrodes trust in our relationships. It really undermines our ability to trust.”

Self-Deceit (15:35) – Even when we do not go out of our way to be deceitful, our mind still has the tendency to shade things in our favor. Joseph addresses self-deceit that comes when we believe ourselves to be a person who does not lie.
Slander and Gossip (25:15) – The second major aspect of Right Speech is to not slander or gossip. This is the kind of speech that causes disharmony and division. Joseph examines why we so often revert to these patterns of speech.

“Is our intention, in speaking of others to someone else, to divide or bring people together? If we just practiced asking that basic question, it would transform the world.”

Good Communication (40:30) – We need to stay mindful and conscious of the energy behind our words. Joseph talks about how the quality of communication affects ourselves and others. He discusses how we can communicate what we are feeling in a way that promotes connection.

“At the most basic level, good communication is what Right Speech is all about.”

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Photo via COG International