Thursday, June 18, 2009

Harmless Speech, Harmless Mind

We're well into the second month of the Harmless Speech Agreement. Though it's still early, I'm wondering whether people are beginning to notice a difference in their mind activity.

Do you find that you're not taking others' inventory as much?
Do you find yourself less apt to think negatively?
Are you thinking less of what others are thinking?
Is your mind more peaceful?
Do you feel more loving?

Habitual patterns are deep and it can take awhile to break their hold. But the discipline of harmless speech can help speed up the process of developing a harmless mind.

The longer I go, the more I remember that it's really impossible to know what anyone else is thinking or experiencing. All I can know is my own experience. In fact, all I can know is that I am experiencing. To ponder others is pointless and to comment on them as if I knew their experience is ridiculous.

I learned the value of rigorous speech first from Landmark Education. When someone would say something as fact that was clearly just their perception, they might be asked, "Are you making that up?" At first it was a jolt to the system but it clearly pointed out that if we were saying something we didn't know for sure was true, it was a lie. We all learned to guard our speech so that when we spoke, it meant something. We were taught to keep our word and BE our word. If we said something, it would go down.

A good practice I learned is to catch myself in the midst of mis-speaking and say, "Oh, wait, I'm making that up. I don't know for sure and I could be wrong."

Powerful speech begins with powerful integrity. Can others count on your word? Can you?

Questions to ponder.

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