When Right Speech seems to give bad fruits

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When Right Speech seems to give bad fruits

Postby Nosta » Thu Nov 14, 2013 2:42 pm

I have kind of a problem, I dont know if its something common to the people trying to apply Right Speech, but I would like to read your opinions.


In my work my colleagues are always with feelings of rage and hate towards others, particulary some superiors. They dont like them because they are not correct many times. And I understand my colleagues, they have their own good reasons to feel angry towards some bad things their superiors do. But now they are so clouded, that any simple thing that their superiors do or say will be seen as a threat, as a bad thing, but in fact its not always like that.

So, I try to cool down my colleagues, explain to them that the X person is not like they say or person Y did something because he/she must to, etc. I try honestly to apply Right Speech as a way to join people together, to creat friendship. But my colleagues are so clouded that they are start thinking that I am just some guy trying to look like nice to his boss, or someone who likes the "bad guys". I think they are not understanding what I am trying to do, but what I am trying to do is not giving any good fruit...and even worst, it seems to be creating more bad feelings.

Shouldnt Right Speech be good?

I think that probably to past karma, my Right Speech is useless, and probably I must shut up my mouth and not give any more help in this specific context. I will not attack, but not help neither. I will be a shadow. Its the best option in this moment.

What do you think of this things and how should I manage them according to the word of Buddha and Dharma?

Many thanks.

At last, If you are new to buddhism or someone with little faith and practice, DONT ever think that Right Speech is bad. My question is very specific, and we should use Right Speech always. Sometimes that means to shut up your mouth :)
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Re: When Right Speech seems to give bad fruits

Postby Seishin » Thu Nov 14, 2013 4:47 pm

Right speech linked with right intention and skilful means should create a better outcome. It's not an easy thing when people don't want to hear the truth but prefer to live in their own little bubble of self importance.

Gassho,
Seishin

*EDIT and my teacher often says "Seishin - silence is golden!"
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Re: When Right Speech seems to give bad fruits

Postby uan » Thu Nov 14, 2013 5:17 pm

As Seishin points out, there is an element to skillful means involved in Right Speech and in pretty much everything we do. Communication is always two ways and if we can tell we aren't getting our point across, then it's up to us to change how we are communicating it. One of my gurus, when he was younger, was on a train. A group of other young men were drinking and wanted him to join in. He refused, they got angry and ended up beating him. I asked him if he was angry at them. He said he wasn't and held them entirely blameless. The cause, he said, was that his own practice wasn't good enough. If it was better, they wouldn't have gotten angry. He felt with a better practice, he could have said the right thing, in the right way, that wouldn't have made them angry. It's an important lesson. Even in the face of being seemingly blameless in a situation, we can always look within ourselves.

Another important part of Right Speech, or being able to suggest to someone a "better" course of action or way of seeing things is the amount of credibility we have with the other people. The more important the suggestion is, the higher the level of credibility one needs to have. For instance, if I'm walking out a building and a total stranger says "you may want to take an umbrella, it looks like rain" I would be inclined to listen to him. If it dealt with something important however, a new job, should I get married, or whatever the case may be, I probably wouldn't listen to the stranger, but I would talk with a trusted friend, or a family member, etc.

It should be noted that Right Speech is more an aspiration we continuously strive towards, and it doesn't work independently of other virtues such as compassion or patience or even our understanding of Dharma, which is always changing. One way to look at Right Speech is that it's an outgrowth of wisdom. It's being wise. We all want to be wise, but true wisdom is found only in a few (e.g., HHDL, etc.).

With your colleagues, you've offered them a more positive way of looking at things, but now it's time to utilize patience. No one changes overnight. If you take a person who smokes and tell him "you know, smoking is bad for you," it's highly doubtful they will go "you know, you're right, I'm going to quit right this instant" and then that person never smokes again. Smokers (and all of us in Samsara with habitual conceptual thoughts) need to hear the message again and again, and try over and over to quit and not fall back. It's just the way things are.
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Re: When Right Speech seems to give bad fruits

Postby Sherab Dorje » Thu Nov 14, 2013 6:02 pm

Your karma:
(14) When we hear only language that is foul and abusive,
This is the wheel of sharp weapons returning
Full circle upon us from wrongs we have done.
Till now we have said many things without thinking;
We have slandered and caused many friendships to end.
Hereafter let’s censure all thoughtless remarks.
...
(45) When no matter how well-meant our actions toward others,
They always elicit a hostile response,
This is the wheel of sharp weapons returning
Full circle upon us from wrongs we have done.
Till now we’ve repaid loving-kindness with malice;
Hereafter let’s always accept others’ favors
Both graciously and with most humble respect.

Their karma:
(77) Someone gives us advice from the depths of his heart,
Which is for our own good, but is harsh to our ears,
And with anger we view him as if he’s our foe.
Yet when someone without any true feelings for us
Deceitfully tells us what we like to hear,
With no taste or discernment we’re kind in return.
Trample him, trample him, dance on the head
Of this treacherous concept of selfish concern.
Tear out the heart of this self-centered butcher
Who slaughters our chance to gain final release.
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: When Right Speech seems to give bad fruits

Postby uan » Thu Nov 14, 2013 6:06 pm

Sherab Dorje wrote:Your karma:
(14) When we hear only language that is foul and abusive,
This is the wheel of sharp weapons returning
Full circle upon us from wrongs we have done.
Till now we have said many things without thinking;
We have slandered and caused many friendships to end.
Hereafter let’s censure all thoughtless remarks.
...
(45) When no matter how well-meant our actions toward others,
They always elicit a hostile response,
This is the wheel of sharp weapons returning
Full circle upon us from wrongs we have done.
Till now we’ve repaid loving-kindness with malice;
Hereafter let’s always accept others’ favors
Both graciously and with most humble respect.

Their karma:
(77) Someone gives us advice from the depths of his heart,
Which is for our own good, but is harsh to our ears,
And with anger we view him as if he’s our foe.
Yet when someone without any true feelings for us
Deceitfully tells us what we like to hear,
With no taste or discernment we’re kind in return.
Trample him, trample him, dance on the head
Of this treacherous concept of selfish concern.
Tear out the heart of this self-centered butcher
Who slaughters our chance to gain final release.


:good:
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Re: When Right Speech seems to give bad fruits

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Thu Nov 14, 2013 6:54 pm

Maybe It just means you lack the skillful means to communicate that stuff, or that they lack the Karma to understand what you are saying.

I'd say to pick your battles wisely, and only fight a small number, so to speak. Most of the time in situations like this I don't think any of us can get unwrapped from our nonsense well enough to listen to reason, so the thing is just trying to find a break in the cycle where you can actually communicate effectively....difficult thing, i've been in positions like that and I don't envy it!

It's also possible that it's just not worth trying to convince them of anything, at any point.

What do you think of this things and how should I manage them according to the word of Buddha and Dharma?


If you can clearly discern an opportunity to help, then that is the time to act, if you can't, or you think your motivations might be more about convincing them they are wrong, then it's not worth doing. People have to be open to what you are saying to get anything out of it though, it doesn't sound like they are to me...
"Just as a lotus does not grow out of a well-levelled soil but from the mire, in the same way the awakening mind
is not born in the hearts of disciples in whom the moisture of attachment has dried up. It grows instead in the hearts of ordinary sentient beings who possess in full the fetters of bondage." -Se Chilbu Choki Gyaltsen
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Re: When Right Speech seems to give bad fruits

Postby Adamantine » Thu Nov 14, 2013 8:07 pm

I've also heard that drinking some saffron water with honey in the morning can make your voice more pleasing (and thus influential) to others.
I know in my case, sometimes my karma is such that despite my best intentions my vocal qualities can come across abrasively.Of course, being attuned to the other person/s- their mental states and moods and the appropriate timing to make suggestions is quite important.

In your situation, it sounds tricky because if you don't want to join in-- demonizing your superiors along with them-- they may feel antagonized or that you sympathize with the devil. In this case, simply avoiding negative speech could be virtuous and still bring you some immediate obstacles. I would say, that is probably enough for the moment-- trying to explain to them the other-side, as you've tried- or that these people don't have negative motivations explicitly, etc. will only create this greater tension and identify you with the enemy in their mind. People who have no connection to dharma will not understand the balanced view you are striving for. So silence is the best path most likely, until some time ripens, like if one of those in authority do something truly positive or beneficial for everyone, then you can voice praise which would be hard to argue with.
Contentment is the ultimate wealth;
Detachment is the final happiness. ~Sri Saraha
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Re: When Right Speech seems to give bad fruits

Postby Nosta » Thu Nov 14, 2013 11:12 pm

I read carefully your posts, thanks for the good advices. :namaste:

My intention is not convince them that they are wrong, I really want to make them feel better and create more peace.

Maybe I am failing due to some things pointed here in this thread. Maybe its my karma, or their karma, or I dont have enough skills, maybe they see me as a demons because I am defending the demons, etc...I will not create more waves and just wait for an opportunity to act, if it ever happens. Until that moment, being quiet and just listening to their complains as a friend/colleague will be enough I hope.
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Re: When Right Speech seems to give bad fruits

Postby ball-of-string » Fri Nov 15, 2013 6:10 am

Are you familiar with Non-Violent Communication? Short summary, your coworkers interpret your efforts as a rebuke, and their needs for the communication are left unsatisfied.

More here: http://www.amazon.com/Nonviolent-Commun ... munication
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Re: When Right Speech seems to give bad fruits

Postby muni » Fri Nov 15, 2013 10:34 am

Hi, :smile:
You can lead the horse to the water but you cannot make it drink. We can only be an example.

Even concern for fellows is great, don't wait in order to try to change people. It is an exhausting job in which is no peace rather own suffering and it doesn't work. Don't try to learn a cat barking, me is said.

Right speech can be silence, no? Or ask how are the kids? As a change of focus.
What more we can do then remain mindfull, patient, and so an example? This can decrease suspicious habits, and one remains without expectations.

o o :namaste:
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Re: When Right Speech seems to give bad fruits

Postby Nosta » Fri Nov 15, 2013 7:19 pm

Non-Violent Communication? Never heard..., but thanks for the tip ;)

Muni, changing subject is a very good idea, sometimes I do that. People, like children, can easly forget what they were doing when catch in a new stream of toughts. Sometimes I use that tactic.
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Re: When Right Speech seems to give bad fruits

Postby KonchokZoepa » Fri Nov 15, 2013 7:22 pm

i remember participating in a forum gathering where this woman lead a work shop on non-violent communication.

you can check from the internet, there is many organizations im sure who lead these workshops. maybe you should order one to your work place :twothumbsup:
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Re: When Right Speech seems to give bad fruits

Postby ball-of-string » Fri Nov 15, 2013 7:30 pm

IMHO... Nonviolent communication is the boot-camp training manual for Right Speech. Only Buddhas can be 100% with Right Speech, the rest of us are on the trial-by-error plan, and the guidance provided in the sutras sets a pretty high bar for Right Speech.
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Re: When Right Speech seems to give bad fruits

Postby duckfiasco » Sat Nov 16, 2013 12:38 am

Right Speech is a huge challenge, let alone in a delicate situation where you see the suffering in your daily environment and only want to help.
This is actually the aspect of the Noble Eightfold Path I'm focusing on this week.
I recently read that you can test your speech for skillfulness by asking, "is it true? Is it kind? Is it beneficial? Does it harm anyone? Is this the right time to say something?"
I was struck by the absence of "does it please the listener?" or something similar.
If something is true, kind, beneficial, harmless, and timely, then it doesn't matter if it's easy to hear for your coworkers.
You've probably already seen this, but this is a very useful summary: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/ptf/dham ... amma-vaca/

Finally, I'm sensing some "too hard on yourself"-itis in your posts, which I also deal with in my practice.
The feeling of not measuring up or wanting to do better can be really distracting and sap your efforts.
If your speech doesn't seem to help, see if it had the qualities the Buddha outlined.
If not, see if it at least came from a mind of compassion, loving-kindness, and renunciation of any self-centered goal.
There's only so much we can do when others' karma is involved, and ours isn't worked out either.
It's very difficult to be truly harmless.
If you at least examine your motivations and approach, I'm not sure what more you could ask of yourself.
Just keep trying, and I will too :hug:
Please take the above post with a grain of salt.
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Re: When Right Speech seems to give bad fruits

Postby seeker242 » Sat Nov 16, 2013 1:19 am

So, I try to cool down my colleagues, explain to them that the X person is not like they say or person Y did something because he/she must to, etc. I try honestly to apply Right Speech as a way to join people together, to creat friendship. But my colleagues are so clouded that they are start thinking that I am just some guy trying to look like nice to his boss, or someone who likes the "bad guys". I think they are not understanding what I am trying to do, but what I am trying to do is not giving any good fruit...and even worst, it seems to be creating more bad feelings.

Shouldn't Right Speech be good?


Perhaps what you think of right speech is not actually right speech? Reminds me of this.

The criteria for deciding what is worth saying

[1] "In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be unfactual, untrue, unbeneficial (or: not connected with the goal), unendearing & disagreeable to others, he does not say them.

[2] "In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be factual, true, unbeneficial, unendearing & disagreeable to others, he does not say them.

[3] "In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be factual, true, beneficial, but unendearing & disagreeable to others, he has a sense of the proper time for saying them.

[4] "In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be unfactual, untrue, unbeneficial, but endearing & agreeable to others, he does not say them.

[5] "In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be factual, true, unbeneficial, but endearing & agreeable to others, he does not say them.

[6] "In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be factual, true, beneficial, and endearing & agreeable to others, he has a sense of the proper time for saying them. Why is that? Because the Tathagata has sympathy for living beings."


Perhaps it's not giving good fruits because it falls under section number 2, "factual, true, unbeneficial, unendearing & disagreeable" which would mean it's not really right speech to begin with.
One should not kill any living being, nor cause it to be killed, nor should one incite any other to kill. Do never injure any being, whether strong or weak, in this entire universe!
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Re: When Right Speech seems to give bad fruits

Postby duckfiasco » Sat Nov 16, 2013 1:23 am

Seeker, I thought I read elsewhere in the sutras (and a few books) that being agreeable to others wasn't the final determining point.
After all, consider how often the Buddha challenged people's deeply held beliefs at the time.
Can anyone help find what I mean, or maybe I'm way off base here.
Of course, saying what's not endearing to others yet beneficial, while remaining harmless and actually helping is an order of magnitude more difficult than being completely truthful alone already is!
Please take the above post with a grain of salt.
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Re: When Right Speech seems to give bad fruits

Postby Nosta » Sat Nov 16, 2013 3:02 pm

Seeker, wich Sutra is that? I would like to read it.
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Re: When Right Speech seems to give bad fruits

Postby seeker242 » Sat Nov 16, 2013 3:19 pm

duckfiasco wrote:Seeker, I thought I read elsewhere in the sutras (and a few books) that being agreeable to others wasn't the final determining point.
After all, consider how often the Buddha challenged people's deeply held beliefs at the time.
Can anyone help find what I mean, or maybe I'm way off base here.
Of course, saying what's not endearing to others yet beneficial, while remaining harmless and actually helping is an order of magnitude more difficult than being completely truthful alone already is!


It seems to me that the final determining point is whether or not it would be beneficial, just as long as it's true. So number 3 says "factual, true, beneficial, but unendearing & disagreeable to others, he has a sense of the proper time for saying them."

Now getting the "sense of the proper time" to say unendearing & disagreeable things, while still being beneficial, that seems to be the tricky part!

Nosta wrote:Seeker, wich Sutra is that? I would like to read it.


It's Majjhima Nikaya 58, one of my favorites regarding speech :smile: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
One should not kill any living being, nor cause it to be killed, nor should one incite any other to kill. Do never injure any being, whether strong or weak, in this entire universe!
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Re: When Right Speech seems to give bad fruits

Postby Nosta » Sat Nov 16, 2013 8:24 pm

Thanks :thumbsup:
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Re: When Right Speech seems to give bad fruits

Postby duckfiasco » Sat Nov 16, 2013 9:38 pm

D'oh, I missed it right there in the quote!
I have a bad habit of my eyes glazing over amongst all the parallelism in the sutras.
That is a lovely passage though, very clear and direct.
Please take the above post with a grain of salt.
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