week #48 in an experimental year…

One of my rituals for each new year is to choose a word to influence me for the year.   My word for 2011 is EXPERIMENT.   To support my EXPERIMENTAL focus, I commit to post the results of a new experiment each Sunday of this year.

Earlier this year, I experimented with not offering my opinion unless I was specifically asked.  This week, I carried that experiment a bit further.

Have you ever been asked for your opinion/truth – and after offering it, wished you hadn’t?   Sometimes we humans don’t really want truth.  Sometimes we want someone to just agree with us or worse – lie to us.

So this week, before I spoke my opinion/truth, I ran what I was going to say through a filter one of my teachers gave me: “First, what’s your intention with the words you’re about to use?  Second, is what you’re about to say True AND Helpful?”  Whew.

The Buddhists call this Mindful Speech.   In that context, it’s part of the Noble Eightfold Path to ending suffering.   In a recent podcast, Buddhist sensei, Tara Brach describes the process of Mindful Speech in a way even I can understand.

I don’t know about you, but the longer I live, the more I realize that just because I understand How To Do something doesn’t mean it’s easy for me to do.   I found myself being quiet – A LOT.   I also found myself saying, “hmmmmm” often.

Ya know what else I discovered?   I listened better – because I wasn’t planning what I was about to say.  I also felt less responsible for others’ actions and reactions – because, well those are things for which I’m not responsible.


How does Mindful Speech work in Your Life?

7 thoughts on “week #48 in an experimental year…

  1. Probably not as good as it could be. My dear friend, as you know all to well, not too good on the quite thing, but I do hope my filter is better! I blame it all on being a middle child. 🙂
    Anyway, I am glad that I CAN count on you to tell me the truth whether I am ready to hear it or not. The older I get, (and yes Lisa, I did say older) the more I realize that this world needs to “hear more of the truth.” No, I am not ready to give up my hair color, but the reality is “THE TRUTH SHALL SET YOU FREE.” It is your gift. It is your strength. Besides, your hugs always takes the edge off when the truth stings. BTW, you also have the gift of being able to tell the truth with very little sting! DON’T CHANGE!

  2. I’m learning the art of mindful speech with my children. Right now they are being hurt by a very important person in their life, and I am SOOOO trying to listen and support without interjecting my opinion on the matter. NOT an easy task, but a life lesson all the same!

  3. Linda, rightbackatchababy! ❤

    Judi, i can only imagine how hard it is to witness your children hurting. i have a feeling the way you're handling this situation is helping them more than you can imagine. blessin's all over all of you…

  4. A lot of times I find myself thinking of what story I am going to share as I try to listen to a friend sharing a story with me. Not really one-upsmanship, just having a story to also share. but……I’m not paying enough attention to the one who is talking as I am buried in my own thoughts of how to tell my story! AND I realize I am doing this as it happens…..!
    Will definitely try to listen more and not worry about “my” story! Think I’ll feel much better that way!

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