This week’s discussion broached two aphorisms: Don’t speak about others’ defects, and Don’t become preoccupied with the opinions, behaviors and motivations of others. These aphoristic commitments focus on activating Wholesome Speech, Action and Livelihood from the Eightfold Path. Peter emphasized the practical steps for cultivating the mental clarity and constraint necessary to check one’s speech, avoiding anything that may create a sense of separation and diminishment of others, most exemplified by gossip. He also commented on the common human mistake of “mind reading”, that is, the inclination to jump to conclusions about what someone’s intentions are. This was followed by discussions among those present of examples of gossiping and mind reading, along with what benefits regular daily meditation and memorizing the aphorisms can bring to interrupting hurtful and thoughtless behaviors.
Here are the notes developed for the talk: AVOID FOCUSING ON THE DEFECTS OF OTHERS
Next week’s talk will focus on the benefits of intentionally investigating the emotionally charged self-states with mindfulness and equanimity.