Reviewing the Value of Virtue and Right Speech

During this talk, Peter provides an overview of Sila, the Buddhist Virtue Aggregate, which is found within the Noble Eightfold Path, with an emphasis on the importance of mindfully recognizing the non-virtuous elements of contemporary cultural conditioning, which create disharmony and dysfunction with significant negative consequences for social cohesion and the environment, renouncing them, and instead orienting one’s thoughts and actions through the filter of Virtue–harmlessness, compassion, generosity and equanimity.  He then focuses on Right Speech in the context of a person’s internal self-talk, as well as interpersonal communications.  He adds another consideration he calls Right Listening, the ability to bring skillful attention and discipline to bear on the cognitive distortions that prevail in contemporary media and counter their effect on one’s clarity, purpose and peace of mind.

Here are the notes prepared for this talk:  THE VIRTUE OF RIGHT SPEECH  The contents of these notes are more expansive and descriptive than the verbal recording of the talk.

Next week’s talk will focus on another function of the Virtue Aggregate of the Noble Eightfold Path: Right Action.


Reviewing Virtue and Right Speech

This talk provides an overview of the Virtue Aggregate within the Noble Eightfold Path, followed by a review of Right Speech, the first of the three elements constituting virtue.  The review reflects the traditional characteristics of Right Speech as well as providing a more contemporary psychological and cultural perspective on the topic, including the value of Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), a well-researched practice of psychotherapy.  The dualistic characteristics of any language are compared to the non-dualistic realizations that the Noble Eightfold Path is intended to cultivate.

Here are the notes prepared for this talk:  RIGHT SPEECH AND THE SELFING STORY

The topic for the next talk will include a review of Right Action, another component of the Virtue Aggregate


Reviewing Right Speech In These Trying Times

This talk continues a review of the Four Noble Truths with a focus on the first of the Virtue Aggregates contained within the Fourth Noble Truth, Right Speech.  In addition to the traditional rendering of Right Speech, Peter adds his insights as a psychotherapist regarding how our internal “selfing story” has a defining function in one’s personality and view of the world.  Suggestions are provided to foster mindful investigation of and effective transformation of self-talk to produce liberation from dukkha, that is, distress and confusion regarding oneself in relation to the world.  This self-analysis is very important for successfully negotiating the significant impact of contemporary media and disinformation.

Here are the notes prepared for this talk:  Reviewing Right Speech In These Trying Times

The topic for next week’s talk will focus on Right Action, the next of the three elements of the Virtue Aggregate, and will include comments that reflect contemporary views regarding how mindfulness, investigation and Right Effort can be applied to current life circumstances.


Right Speech During Trying Times October 21, 2020

This talk reviews the Wholesome Cetasika of Sammavaca, translated as Right Speech, which is also an important element of the Noble Eightfold Path.  The classical understanding of Right Speech is reviewed, which is coordinated with previously posted reviews of Hiri, Moral Shame  and Ottappa, Respect for Consequences, two other Wholesome Cetasikas, those factors that condition the organizing of the experience of selfing.  Additionally, insights are included that reference contemporary psychological concepts that help in understanding the manifestation of “Fake News” and “Misinformation” narratives that create much distress and confusion in contemporary life, particularly regarding politics and conflicts regarding global warming and how to protect oneself and others from covid-19.  The goal of the talk is to support applying the insights and discipline that regular mindfulness of breathing meditation can provide for coping with these challenges.  The hindrance of skeptical doubt is woven into the conflicted narratives and seeking the support of well-informed and trustworthy sources of information is encouraged.

Here are the notes prepared for this talk:  Valuing Right Speech During These Trying Times  These notes include references to websites that provide resources for checking the validity of what might be encountered within social media.

Next week’s topic will combine two of the remaining cetasikas, Right Action and Right Livelihood, particularly as applied to managing our responses to the demands of these stressful times.


Guided Mindfulness of Thinking Meditation

This meditation focuses on learning how to use mindfulness of breathing practice to perceive internal narratives–the “selfing story”–as transient, impersonal fabrications that are natural processes such as hearing, etc., and not constituting an autonomous, enduring self.  Meditators are encouraged to note the difference between the here-and-now characteristics of sensory feelings and the flow of internal self-talk, which is often organized around reviewing the past or imagining the future.  The meditation is intended to accompany the posted talk entitled “Right Speech For Trying Times”, which followed this training meditation.