Frivolous talk

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Training of Sila, the Five Precepts (Pañcasikkhāpada), and Eightfold Ethical Conduct (Aṭṭhasīla).

Frivolous talk

Postby andyn » Sat Mar 10, 2012 2:08 am

From http://www.purifymind.com/KammaTheory.htm
The evil effects of frivolous talk are:- defective bodily organs and incredible speech.

Does anyone know which sutta this is referenced from?
Would it be OK to do small talk and crack jokes for a lay person? Most of us have friends, family, co-workers who do that and we also have the need to do that at times too. Also, as for the effect, how much is your speed be incredible, will it be all the time toward everyone, that is will everyone ignore you all the time, or only for a certain situation and certain someone?

Regards,

Andy
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Re: Frivolous talk

Postby bodom » Sat Mar 10, 2012 2:33 am

Hi andyn

You might find this short quote from Bhikku Bodhi helpful:

Idle chatter is pointless talk, speech that lacks purpose or depth. Such speech communicates nothing of value, but only stirs up the defilements in one's own mind and in others. The Buddha advises that idle talk should be curbed and speech restricted as much as possible to matters of genuine importance. In the case of a monk, the typical subject of the passage just quoted, his words should be selective and concerned primarily with the Dhamma. Lay persons will have more need for affectionate small talk with friends and family, polite conversation with acquaintances, and talk in connection with their line of work. But even then they should be mindful not to let the conversation stray into pastures where the restless mind, always eager for something sweet or spicy to feed on, might find the chance to indulge its defiling propensities.


http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... toend.html

:anjali:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: Frivolous talk

Postby nameless » Sat Mar 10, 2012 3:22 am

I think the stance from the suttas is that

"There are these four unconjecturables that are not to be conjectured about, that would bring madness & vexation to anyone who conjectured about them. Which four?

"The Buddha-range of the Buddhas[1] is an unconjecturable that is not to be conjectured about, that would bring madness & vexation to anyone who conjectured about it.

"The jhana-range of a person in jhana...[2]

"The [precise working out of the] results of kamma...

"Conjecture about [the origin, etc., of] the world is an unconjecturable that is not to be conjectured about, that would bring madness & vexation to anyone who conjectured about it.

"These are the four unconjecturables that are not to be conjectured about, that would bring madness & vexation to anyone who conjectured about them."


So those specific "evil effects" are probably not Theravadin in origin.
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Re: Frivolous talk

Postby Fede » Sat Mar 10, 2012 10:18 am

First do no harm.
If what you say, is harmful - don't say it.
if what you say is harmless - it's ok.


"If it feels good, do it.
When in doubt - don't."

She said...... :thinking: :roll:
"Samsara: The human condition's heartbreaking inability to sustain contentment." Elizabeth Gilbert, 'Eat, Pray, Love'.

Simplify: 17 into 1 WILL go: Mindfulness!

Quieta movere magna merces videbatur. (Sallust, c.86-c.35 BC)
Translation: Just to stir things up seemed a good reward in itself. ;)

I am sooooo happy - How on earth could I be otherwise?! :D


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Re: Frivolous talk

Postby andyn » Sat Mar 10, 2012 5:12 pm

This "evil effect" is actually taken from "The Buddha and His Teaching" book by Venerable Narada Mahathera.
http://buddhism.org/Sutras/BuddhaTeachings/page_20.html

So my question is really, if we do small talk or cracking jokes not in a harmful way to anyone, would that bring about the "evil effect"?
nameless wrote:I think the stance from the suttas is that

"There are these four unconjecturables that are not to be conjectured about, that would bring madness & vexation to anyone who conjectured about them. Which four?

"The Buddha-range of the Buddhas[1] is an unconjecturable that is not to be conjectured about, that would bring madness & vexation to anyone who conjectured about it.

"The jhana-range of a person in jhana...[2]

"The [precise working out of the] results of kamma...

"Conjecture about [the origin, etc., of] the world is an unconjecturable that is not to be conjectured about, that would bring madness & vexation to anyone who conjectured about it.

"These are the four unconjecturables that are not to be conjectured about, that would bring madness & vexation to anyone who conjectured about them."


So those specific "evil effects" are probably not Theravadin in origin.
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Re: Frivolous talk

Postby santa100 » Sat Mar 10, 2012 7:37 pm

Andyn wrote:
"So my question is really, if we do small talk or cracking jokes not in a harmful way to anyone, would that bring about the "evil effect"?"

Guess it depends on the nature of the joke and whether it brings happiness, harmony, and peace to the listeners..
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Re: Frivolous talk

Postby Lazy_eye » Sat Mar 10, 2012 9:13 pm

Many well-known Dhamma teachers, both lay and monastic, use humor in their presentations -- which suggests to me that the issue here is purpose/intention, rather than humor per se. Laughing or smiling releases endorphins, helping us to feel at ease.

Jokes which are at someone else's expense, self-aggrandizing or malicious in nature would be an example, I think, of what Bhikkhu Bodhi cautions against.

Rob
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Re: Frivolous talk

Postby Nibbida » Sun Mar 11, 2012 1:01 am

Like anything else in Buddhism, the intention behind the action is what matters from an ethical standpoint. Sometimes we will make mistakes, but if the intention is to help or not harm, then it doesn't cause sankharas.
"Dispositions of the mind, like limbs of the body, acquire strength by exercise." --Thomas Jefferson

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Re: Frivolous talk

Postby Ozymandias » Thu Mar 15, 2012 8:28 am

To my knowledge, one of the reasons that idle chatter was looked down upon by the Buddha was not because it was a harmful action, but because it stopped the sangha from running smoothly.
The way of life can be free and beautiful. But we have lost the way. Greed has poisoned men's souls, has barricaded the world with hate; has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed.We have developed speed but we have shut ourselves in: machinery that gives abundance has left us in want. Our knowledge has made us cynical, our cleverness hard and unkind. We think too much and feel too little: More than machinery we need humanity; More than cleverness we need kindness and gentleness.
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