Love and Compassion

Love and Compassion

Discussion date: Thu, May 21, 2015 at our weekly Thursday evening practice

Dear Still Water Friends,

Words, words, words. Our lives are made up of so many words. As we deepen our practice and consider the Five Mindfulness Trainings we perhaps become more aware of the intentions of what we say and the quality of our listening.

Have you ever said something and instantly wished you could take it back? Have you ever said something that made someone smile? As practitioners of mindfulness we become aware of the power of our speech.

We also begin to understand the power of listening with our full attention to loved ones, colleagues and strangers. Have you experienced the magic of helping someone simply by taking the time to focus on them and listen with an open mind and compassionate heart?

In the book “For A Future to be Possible: Commentaries on the Five Wonderful Precepts” Thich Nhat Hanh shares:

Reconciliation is a deep practice that we can do with our listening and our mindful speech. To reconcile means to bring peace and happiness to nations, people, and members of our family. This is the work of a bodhisattva. In order to reconcile, you have to possess the art of deep listening, and you also have to master the art of loving speech.

This Thursday, after our meditation, we will recite together the Five Mindfulness Trainings. Our discussion will focus on the Fourth Mindfulness Training and how we can strengthen our practice of loving speech and deep listening to bring love and compassion into the world. The text of the Fourth Mindfulness Training is below. You are invited to join us.

With smiles on a spring day,

Abbie Chessler

The Fourth Mindfulness Training

Loving Speech and Deep Listening

Aware of the suffering caused by unmindful speech and the inability to listen to others, I am committed to cultivating loving speech and compassionate listening in order to relieve suffering and to promote reconciliation and peace in myself and among other people, ethnic and religious groups, and nations. Knowing that words can create happiness or suffering, I am committed to speaking truthfully using words that inspire confidence, joy, and hope. When anger is manifesting in me, I am determined not to speak. I will practice mindful breathing and walking in order to recognize and to look deeply into my anger. I know that the roots of anger can be found in my wrong perceptions and lack of understanding of the suffering in myself and in the other person. I will speak and listen in a way that can help myself and the other person to transform suffering and see the way out of difficult situations. I am determined not to spread news that I do not know to be certain and not to utter words that can cause division or discord. I will practice Right Diligence to nourish my capacity for understanding, love, joy, and inclusiveness, and gradually transform anger, violence, and fear that lie deep in my consciousness.

in: Dharma Topics
Discussion Date: Thu, May 21, 2015


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