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Right Speech

Living the Noble Eight-Fold Path, we intuit the interplay of the steps. We see that just looking is not deep insight and we intuit that thought is always compounding our understanding of moment. Right Speech is a noble effort which means understanding view and thought enables reducing suffering through our speech. But first let me debunk an ole saying, "... Sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me." How is this wrong speech? Each of the Noble Steps begin with recognizing and denouncing volitional suffering-inducing karma through body, speech or mind. That is, each step invokes abstaining from creating suffering. First we must not tell lies that in turn cause ripples of consequences and once let loose can never be recalled only moderated. Second, we must not defile others by constant belittling them. This creates a lingering pale or overcast on the individual. Third, gossip is the proliferation of hearsay that, as in the childhood game of "Operator," continues to distort the actual statement to the point it become unrecognizable from the first comment. Fourth, idle chatter is wasting time/moment in needless conversation rather than using it to reduce suffering.

There is the story that Shakyamuni Buddha had the ability to speak the right words to a large audience so that each person heard exactly what each needed to reduce suffering. Here is how this can work using the first three steps in our Noble-Dance. First Having looked deep into the life and teachings of the Buddha, and seeing connections and relationships I intuit understanding the significances to me. Second these thoughts, weighted and explored produce intent-the transformational step allowing speech and action. Third, I speak knowing the power of my words and how they may affect others and, knowing if I speak in an ignoble manner, I can dig a rut of shame and remorse causing me more suffering and potentially pulling others into a deep ditch of despair.

In WWII, there were many saying for people at home to see and hear tuned to preventing gossip that could harm the fight against the Axis powers. One was..."loose Lips Sink Ships." A not so subtle koan, its ask people to pause (think before they spoke) before translating insight into intent into words. Today with an array of communication options like email, or Twitter we can press a button and cause harm. Today, our words seem to have been enabled with thicker sticks and bigger stones, thus employing us all to better understand the need to embrace Right Speech...


Mark your calendar: Our Spring Sesshin will be April 28 starting at 6:00PM and concluding at Noon on April 30, 2017. It will be held in Falmouth at the lake house of Enjitsu Chris Charyk. You may stay at the house Friday and Saturday night or return for each day's sessions. There will be more about the agenda in the next view weeks.

1. Next Month we will discuss Zen In The Art of Archery. You can read more about this under our archives section of this Blog.

2. Each January-March, we return to the basics, that is discuss the life and teachings of the historical Buddha as the foundation of our Soto Zen practice. This will include the Five Turnings of the Dharma Wheel, The Three/Four Seals, The Four Noble Truths and Noble Eight-Fold Path. This is a good opportunity for new comers to explore these teachings. Please ask friends to join you and us as we do so!

3. Like String for Beads, is a compilation of my Dharma talks, notes, poems and Facebook comments I have produced over the last five years. Special thanks to Enjitsu-san Chris Charyk for pulling the pieces together in this book! There will be copies available every Tuesday night, or let me know if you want me to mail you a copy. The book is $25 for the first copy and $15 for extra copies while they last.

4. Visit our new library named for Diane “Yugen” Tucker. The cart was a donation to the Sangha by Kyoshin Elin Kinney as Dana for her Jukai on November 5, 2016…many bows! The books will be added over the next few weeks and Kyoshin-ni has agreed to be our Librarian. A donation of $1 is recommend to check out books and magazines for up to three weeks. It really is a cute cart drop-by and see it soon. Oh, we wheel it out each Tuesdays and for zazenkai and sesshin, or if you would like to see if we have a book you want, get in touch with Elin <>.

5. Meditation is also held each TUESDAY at 10:00AM at the Falmouth Senior Center.

6. Our Zendo is open at 6:30PM (good time for newcomers to get aquatinted) at the UUFF, 840 Sandwich Road, for our weekly service which starts at 7:00PM.

Silent Thunder Order (STO) ACTIVITIES: See our website for details.

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