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Thread: Kind Speech Love Words

  1. #1

    Kind Speech Love Words

    Kind Speech” means, when meeting with living beings, first of all to feel compassion for them and to offer caring and loving words.
    Broadly, it is there being no rude or bad words. In secular societies there are polite words “take good care of yourself!” and there is the disciple’s greeting”how are you?” Speaking with the feeling of “compassion for living beings as if they were babies” is kind speech. We should praise those who have virtue and should pity those who lack virtue. Through love of kind speech, kind speech is gradually nurtured. Thus, kind speech which is ordinarily neither recognized nor experienced manifests itself before us. While the present body and life exists we should enjoy kind speech, and we should not regress or deviate through many ages and many lives. Weather in defeating adversaries or in promoting harmony among gentlefolk, kind speech is fundamental. To hear kind speech indirectly etched an impression in the heart and in the soul. Remember, kind speech arises from a loving mind, and the seed of a loving mind is compassion. We should learn that kind speech has the power to turn around the heavens; it is not merely the praise of ability.

    -excerpt from: Shobogenzo, Bodisatta-shishobo- Master Dogen-
    Translated by Master Gudo Wafu Nishijima and Chodo Cross

    Love words
    -From the Eiheiroku-

    Love Words should always be used when we keep company with others. We should not utter violent words. With the people in general it is an important etiquette to greet them with the polite and sincere wishes for their good health.
    Among the Buddhist priests, there prevails a custom to inquire after their health feeling grateful for one another. And again they are to love their parents telling nothing of it to others.
    When we speak to others in genuine love-expressions such as we use to our babies, we are practicing love words. Let us praise the virtuous; let us show pity to the virtueless. When we are anxious to give the love words, their enlivening power will gradually expand. Then will come forth such precious love words as are usually hidden from us so long as we remain indifferent strangers to them.
    When we use love words while we live in this world of ours, we shall be adamantine to any change of destiny. Even a deadly foe will be made to yield to the power of love words; still more, perfect harmony will come to be realized with the virtuous people.
    When we hear people speak the love words, we feel calm and peaceful both within and without.
    When we hear them spoken for the people having no chance to speak face to face, they will take root in the deeper part of our inner life.
    Indeed the love words come straight out of the love mind, which is no less than that the reflection of benevolent pity. We should learn that the love words sincerely given have the power to transfer a big mountain to the sea. But only to appreciate a person’s ability does not have this much effect.

    -Master Dogen-
    I have felt pretty strongly about these things for quite some time, I may have linked them in the past. But I think maybe it would be good fore everyone (my self included) to review them every once and a while, particularly in times of pressure.

    In gassho,
    Jordan

  2. #2
    Thanks Jordan. I'll sit with this tonight.
    Particularly helpful with my mind on Dirk.

  3. #3
    Great post, Jordan. I think there is one other aspect to right speech that may be helpful to us. There are ways to express opinions and disagree without causing harm. Here is a link--the advice is a little fluffy but basically sound.

    http://johnplaceonline.com/achieve-b...out-offending/

    Here are two suggestions that particularly struck me:

    strategy #5: Just the facts, ma’am.

    At one particular Internet forum, I was constantly impressed by a member who had an amazing talent for communicating complicated (sometimes controversial) ideas without making anyone angry. So what did this Zen master of persuasion do that most of us do not? Simple: He stuck to the facts and kept his ego out of it.

    The block-quote immediately below is a hypothetical example of how not to foster a persuasive conversation, intended to contrast the genius of the real-life forum example from our Zen master, further down the page:

    TV-Forum Newbie: Hey guys, I think all televisions are the same. I can’t understand why some of you would pay 5 grand for a TV when the one for 500 bucks is just as good. Could someone explain this to me?

    Mr. Ego: I completely disagree with you. All televisions are not the same. Why don’t you read some product reviews so you’ll be able to tell the difference? You will find differences in black level, brightness, video processing, colorimetry, geometry, contrast, and other variables. Again, all televisions are not the same, and I completely disagree with the premise of this question.

    Okay, so what’s wrong with the way Mr. Ego responded? At first glance, his response seems fine. I mean, it certainly could have been worse! But only one sentence in his response focuses on the facts. The rest could easily be interpreted as a selfish assertion of ego, a quest for distinction and superiority, whether intentional or not.

    So how did the Zen master handle this particular exchange? He used that one sentence I’m referring to, the one sentence that answered the question and stuck to the facts (see below):

    Newbie: Hey guys, I think all televisions are the same. I can’t understand why some of you would pay 5 grand for a TV when the one for 500 bucks is just as good. Could someone explain this to me?

    Zen Master: You will find differences in black level, brightness, video processing, colorimetry, geometry, contrast, and other variables.

    Not very interesting, is it? But the thread from which I copied this text proceeded smoothly, with the newbie asking questions and the expert responding with simple, uncolored facts. The expert was eventually recognized for his expertise, the newbie left with newfound understanding, and no one became upset. In short, a mind had been changed.

    All because the Zen master stuck to the facts.

    Strategy #6: Sometimes, it’s what you don’t say that counts.

    The preceding example was important not merely for what was said, but for what wasn’t. We’ve already mentioned the benefits of avoiding ego driven statements, but here’s a more comprehensive list of statements that derail persuasion more often than not:

    * Assertions of Superiority: I do it the right way; This is unacceptable; My way is better; Why can’t you do it like so-and-so; Your way of thinking is flawed.
    * Assertions of Independence: I disagree; We don’t see eye to eye; We’re not on the same page; My position is different than yours.
    * Personal Attacks: Your thinking is stupid; I can’t believe how dumb you are; Hearing you say that makes me question your morality.


    Aside from the personal attacks, many of the preceding statements have their place. The key is knowing when to use them. Usually, the person seeking to persuade is better off letting the strength of his argument establish both his superiority and independence without explicitly claiming them.
    I think it is important that we feel free to express our opinions, but in a manner that doesn't get in the way of learning.

    Gassho,

    Linda

  4. #4
    Hi all –

    Linda’s post linking to the page on how to disagree and persuade others without offending was interesting. It led me to think about the Emotional Intelligence literature (Daniel Goleman and others). While there is intellectual appeal to a “just the facts, ma’am” approach, I think that the literature on emotional intelligence invites us to consider the role of emotions further – understanding how we recognize emotions in ourselves and others and how we can express emotions skillfully.

    Emotional inputs direct our attention. That is evident in the focus of recent threads. But our emotional reactions can also lead us to the more extreme end of our perceptions. As we express our fears about what we don’t want to happen, it may appear as if we think it is already happening.

    A common theme that I see in the postings is the desire to promote a healthy atmosphere for learning in this Sangha. And that was the message at the bottom of Linda's post as well.

    We are emotional, passionate beings -- that may be more evident in some posts than others. And that’s fine with me – just the facts ma’am or something expressed with feeling – either way, come as you are. I view the recent discussions not as a call to exclude anyone’s voice, but rather a reminder to consider the consequences of your speech.

    Best regards to all,

    Janice

  5. #5
    Stephanie
    Guest
    Janice,

    Gassho--

    Methinks you should mediate disputes for a living!

    Am grateful for your expressions of equanimity and acceptance.

    Stephanie

  6. #6
    Stephanie
    Guest

    ~@

    My kind speech and love words
    Go like this--

    Love doesn't always feel like you think it will
    Kindness doesn't always look like you think it will
    Love and kindness go as they will.

    You may practice refined speech
    And courteous manners
    For the empty eon

    And find it is all as nothing
    When you are overwhelmed by a moment
    Of spontaneous compassion.

    The people most in need of your kindness
    Are often the hardest to love.

  7. #7
    Stephanie wrote
    Janice,
    Gassho--
    Methinks you should mediate disputes for a living!
    Far from it - I work as a professor of accounting! Though like most labels, that can feel too narrow.

    Maybe you are picking up on my sun in Pisces :lol: (recalling your references to Pisces a few weeks ago).

    All the best,
    Janice

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Janice
    Emotional inputs direct our attention. That is evident in the focus of recent threads. But our emotional reactions can also lead us to the more extreme end of our perceptions. As we express our fears about what we don’t want to happen, it may appear as if we think it is already happening.

    A common theme that I see in the postings is the desire to promote a healthy atmosphere for learning in this Sangha. And that was the message at the bottom of Linda's post as well.

    We are emotional, passionate beings -- that may be more evident in some posts than others. And that’s fine with me – just the facts ma’am or something expressed with feeling – either way, come as you are. I view the recent discussions not as a call to exclude anyone's voice, but rather a reminder to consider the consequences of your speech
    Well said, Janice. Thank you.

    Gassho,

    Linda

  9. #9

    Re: Kind Speech Love Words

    Bumped

  10. #10

    Re:

    strategy #5: Just the facts, ma’am.

    At one particular Internet forum, I was constantly impressed by a member who had an amazing talent for communicating complicated (sometimes controversial) ideas without making anyone angry. So what did this Zen master of persuasion do that most of us do not? Simple: He stuck to the facts and kept his ego out of it.
    Hi y'all,

    I would to disagree with "keeping one's ego out of it" and say that, for me, it is a matter or keeping pejoratives out of it. What is the tone of my post? Particularly am I being snide, belittling, denigrating, sneering, etc.? Am I careful to present my ideas as MY reality (and thereby be respectful that other people each have a different reality)? For me, this approach is simpler since I am not sure what this "ego" is that I must keep out? And I am not sure it is possible, since I believe that my view, my understanding is always subjective, i believe that everyone has their/our own particular and unique reality.

    thank you for your time,
    rowan
    who really should take that grammar class.....

  11. #11

    Re: Re:

    Quote Originally Posted by ros
    strategy #5: Just the facts, ma’am.

    At one particular Internet forum, I was constantly impressed by a member who had an amazing talent for communicating complicated (sometimes controversial) ideas without making anyone angry. So what did this Zen master of persuasion do that most of us do not? Simple: He stuck to the facts and kept his ego out of it.
    Yes, I am a bit doubtful about that strategy too, Linda. It's okay if you're talking about a matter that can be reduced to hard facts as in the example that he used. But when you're talking about something more nebulous and controversial it's not so easy to find any concrete facts that everyone will agree to. Like, why do we practice zazen ? To achieve enlightenment of course....This was explained to me in another forum as an obvious fact....hmmmm.....

    in fact I think it's better as Ros says, to try to make it clear that anything I am expressing is not dogmatic, incontrovertible, hard fact, but only my own opinion. And I think any such opinions should be held lightly and be subject to change in the light of new evidence. Also, in philosophy forums that I used to participate in, using ad hominem (personal) remarks just meant that you had lost the argument.

    My main gripe about posting on Internet forums is that people often just skim messages - (ok, I do it myself) - and don't really understand what has been said before replying, and this often creates misunderstandings,

    Gassho,
    John

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