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The Eightfold Path: Understanding Right Speech

Updated: Aug 30, 2023

Embracing the Power of Right Speech on the Eightfold Path


The Essential Practice on the Eightfold Path for Inner Peace and Happiness.

The Eightfold Path is an essential teaching in Buddhism, describing the path to liberation and enlightenment. It consists of eight interconnected practices that Buddhists use to cultivate their spiritual lives. These practices include the right understanding, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration.


Right speech is a crucial element of the Eightfold Path. It involves being mindful of our words and using language in a way that promotes peace, understanding, and compassion. When we engage in right speech, we avoid lying, gossiping, and using hurtful language. Instead, we aim to speak truthfully, kindly, and with good intentions.


It's essential to understand that right speech isn't just about what we say but also how we say it. Our tone of voice, facial expressions, and body language all play a part in how our message is received. By being mindful of our nonverbal communication, we can ensure that our words are in line with our intentions.


"The practice of right speech doesn't mean that we can't say anything negative. It means that when we do, we do it in a way that is beneficial and with good motivation." - Dalai Lama


One of the most critical aspects of right speech is speaking truthfully. Lying creates confusion and distrust, and can harm others. Being truthful, on the other hand, fosters trust, clarity and can help build stronger relationships. Even when the truth is difficult to hear, it's essential to communicate it in a kind and compassionate way.


Gossiping is another form of speech that Buddhists try to avoid. When we engage in gossip, we are spreading harmful rumors or discussing other people's private lives without their consent. This type of speech can cause harm to others and create negative karma for ourselves.

Using hurtful language is also something Buddhists aim to avoid. Words can be incredibly powerful and can have a significant impact on others. When we use hurtful language, we can cause pain, anger, and sadness in others. Instead, we should try to use language that is kind, compassionate, and supportive.


Finally, right speech also involves using language that is beneficial and meaningful. We should strive to use our words to promote understanding, harmony, and peace. When we speak with good intentions, we can inspire others and create positive change in the world.


In conclusion, right speech is an essential aspect of the Eightfold Path. It involves being mindful of our words and using language in a way that promotes peace, understanding, and compassion. By practicing right speech, we can cultivate stronger relationships, create positive change, and work towards enlightenment.

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About Andrew

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At the age 17, through the guidance of his older brother Chris, he discovered the path of Buddhism. His journey with the practice has taken him across oceans and deep within himself. As a Zen bodhisattva, he works towards helping others find their own path without reward.

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