Right Speech and Enlightened Discussion

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Right Speech and Enlightened Discussion

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The aim of this online forum is to provide a space to learn about and discuss Dharma, without animosity. The name "Dharma Wheel", with the accompanying wheel image on the banner reference the Noble Eightfold Path, one of Shakyamuni Buddha's principle teachings. As the main activity at Dharma Wheel is communication we wish to emphasize the importance of the third spoke of the wheel, "Right Speech".

Below are various helpful quotes, including some by former Dharma Wheel staff members:
The Buddha was precise in his description of Right Speech. He defined it as “abstinence from false speech, abstinence from malicious speech, abstinence from harsh speech, and abstinence from idle chatter.” In the vernacular this means not lying, not using speech in ways that create discord among people, not using swear words or a cynical, hostile or raised tone of voice, and not engaging in gossip. Re-framed in the positive, these guidelines urge us to say only what is true, to speak in ways that promote harmony among people, to use a tone of voice that is pleasing, kind, and gentle, and to speak mindfully in order that our speech is useful and purposeful.

Right Speech is a mindfulness practice. By undertaking this practice, we commit to greater awareness of our body, mind, and emotions. Mindfulness makes it possible to recognize what we are about to say before we say it, and thus offers us the freedom to choose when to speak, what to say, and how to say it. With mindfulness, we see that the heart is the ground from which our speech grows. We learn to restrain our speech in moments of anger, hostility, or confusion, and over time, to train the heart to more frequently incline towards wholesome states such as love, kindness and empathy. From these heart states Right Speech naturally arises. ~from the article "Right Speech Reconsidered" by Beth Roth
In an enlightened discussion, it is never acceptable to comment on your discussion partner in anything other than glowing, admiring terms, no matter what he says, whether or not he insults you, belittles you, swears at you, curses your lineage and guru, or consigns you and all your progeny for seventy generations to the lowest tiers of the nastiest hells. It's just not allowed in civil conversation. ~catmoon
These internet forums are actually quite good places to train in patience, wisdom and openness. ~JKhedrup
Useful links which may be of benefit:

* Right Speech - Samma Vacca - Access to Insight
* Noble Eightfold Path - wikipedia
* Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood - buddhanet
* Noble Eightfold Path - Rigpawiki

Some words, because of their cultural context, have a tendency to bring about a negative reaction in others while engaging them directly in dialogue. In online exchanges this often becomes a form of harsh speech even when the intention is benevolent, because people are likely to react to the loaded nature of the words which then further inflames negative emotions. As such, as a general rule the administration has decided that coarse and vulgar language, including swear words, should not be used on this forum to emphasize your points. There may be valid exceptions, for example when quoting a teaching, or recounting a story, although take note that a couple of the more coarsely offensive words are filtered. This forum etiquette is not based on a puritanical view, but one gleaned from long-term observations of the mechanics of online communication. Your co-operation in refraining from using vulgar/coarse language is appreciated.

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