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The Sixth Precept: Stop bad mouthing people, you idiot!

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The Sixth Precept: Stop bad mouthing people, you idiot!

 

Judgmental criticism is one thing; judicious criticism is actually a gift. That’s why the Buddha never formulated a precept against talking about other people’s faults or errors, because there are times when you have to speak up against harmful behavior. Otherwise it goes uncorrected, people take it as a model, and the civilization slips one notch further away. When asked if he would say anything displeasing, the Buddha responded with the analogy of a child who has put a sharp object in its mouth. You have to get the object out, even if it means drawing blood, for you don’t want the child to swallow the object and come to even greater harm.

 

So how do you know if your criticism is going to be judicious? Ask yourself four questions before you say it: Is it true? Is it beneficial? Is this the right time and place to say it? Am I the right person to say this? If you can honestly answer Yes to all four questions, go ahead with your comments. Even then, though, you have to look at their results. If you see that they weren’t actually beneficial or timely, learn from your mistake. That’s how your discernment grows.

 

Thanissaro Bhikkhu

 

Source: Tricycle

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If only people would follow those four rules before speaking.

Buddha said that gossip is the worst form of speech. Hearing gossip and then passing it on without trying to check if it is true. The media thrives on ignorant, gullible people who believe its lies, gossip, and outright exaggeration.

Buddha said that when we speak about others, mention only their good points and not their bad. When we speak about ourselves, mention only our bad points and not our good. Nowadays it is the opposite...... bragging about one's own greatness whilst decrying other's faults.

Buddha said that if our speech does not lead to harmony then keep silent.

 

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