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.