“Speak with kindly motivation. Speak what is true and helpful, speak in due season and to the benefit of all.”
~ The Buddha
With so much anger and vitriol in the world, where people are refusing to listen to another person’s point of view, the Buddhist concept of Wise Speech feels very much on point.
This fall, I took an Insight Meditation course with a wonderful Buddhist teacher I had studied with in Berkeley. The course ended a few days after Israel was attacked, and all of the participants were struggling to handle the sorrow and the fear while keeping our hearts and minds open.
As a communications expert, I’ve been thinking a lot about Wise Speech, and how we can bring it into our everyday lives as we attempt to deal with this very divisive world.
In his book, The Wise Heart, Buddhist teacher Jack Kornfield suggests that we take a pause during our next argument or conflict. Hold everyone’s struggle in compassion. Whenever things get difficult, sense your wise motivation. From there, it will all flow better. When we connect with our highest intention, we learn to see with the eyes of compassion, and everything becomes more workable. This is the secret of Wise Speech.
When people ask me what makes someone UNSTOPPABLE, I explain that it’s a pattern of living with purpose, unflinching values, and focus. The more I think about it, I also believe there is a spiritual aspect to being UNSTOPPABLE.
Sylvia Boorstein is an ideal example of an UNSTOPPABLE woman. As a psychotherapist, author, activist, and yogi, she has spent her life simultaneously teaching, learning, and standing up for causes she feels passionate about. As a member of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Sylvia is an outspoken political advocate. She combines her spiritualism with her politics, saying “Everyday life IS mindfulness practice. There is no situation where paying careful, kind attention would not be the most helpful response.”
I attended many workshops with Sylvia at Spirit Rock, her spiritual home in Northern California. She was as down-to-earth, humorous, and helpful in person as in her books, That’s Funny You Don’t Look Buddhist, Don’t Just Do Something, Sit There, and Pay Attention For Goodness Sake.
To learn more from this wise, wonderful, UNSTOPPABLE woman listen to her podcast Really Important Things to Know.