Right Speech - at the appropriate time

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

Right Speech - at the appropriate time

Postby altar » Fri Feb 25, 2011 4:08 pm

Hello all,
to what extent to people consider of importance and practice, in what ways, the phrase "and spoken at the appropriate time?" of samma vaca? Many times it seems like "now is the time to say something, or this particular thing," other times it seems like it should be put off, and this can be a great strain (waiting to say something, holding it up is a burden). sometimes it seems like looser conversation is called for... but the very kind of, "this is a loose environment" can be taken into question... other aspects of right speech are welcome to be discussed.
including to what extent a person speeking in err, in an effort to clarify themselves, may be taken as lying...
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Re: Right Speech - at the appropriate time

Postby cooran » Fri Feb 25, 2011 7:06 pm

Hello altar,

Just thought I'd throw in this collection of quotes from the suttas on Right Speech - to underpin any further discussion:

Right Speech From His Own Lips
http://www.suanmokkh.org/archive/rtspch1.htm

with metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
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Re: Right Speech - at the appropriate time

Postby meindzai » Fri Feb 25, 2011 8:45 pm

I talk a lot of nonsense (at inappropriate times) but usually more of the silly variety. But when I have a criticism to offer I often wait to present it for a number of reasons. One is that criticisms often come from a place of "not enough information," so I have a very wait-and-see attitude. Sometimes it will turn out that the criticism was unwarranted and I need not voice it, other times it will allow me to express it from a place of better knowledge.

Another is that for the unenlightened, criticisms can go hand in hand with emotional states like anger. So it's better to wait until the anger subsides to offer a criticism. Because even if you are right in your criticism, you will be able to present it with the kind of tone that makes it more likely to be heard.

It's often just a case of there being things that are better said in private conversation than in public, so waiting until such a moment is warranted.


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Re: Right Speech - at the appropriate time

Postby Kim OHara » Fri Feb 25, 2011 11:05 pm

meindzai wrote:It's often just a case of there being things that are better said in private conversation than in public, so waiting until such a moment is warranted.

Reminds me of a maxim widely repeated by music teachers conducting school bands: Praise in public, criticise in private.
It's a good general rule.
:namaste:
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