The 4th Mindfulness Training: Loving Speech and Deep Listening

true loveAware of the suffering caused by unmindful speech and the inability to listen to others, I am committed to cultivating loving speech and compassionate listening in order to relieve suffering and to promote reconciliation and peace in myself and among other people, ethnic and religious groups, and nations.  Knowing that words can create happiness or suffering, I am committed to speaking truthfully using words that inspire confidence, joy and hope.  When anger is manifesting in me, I am determined not to speak.  I will practice mindful breathing and walking in order to recognize and to look deeply into its roots, especially in my wrong perceptions and lack of understanding of the suffering in myself and in the other person.  I will speak and listen in a way that can help me and the other person to release the suffering and see the way out of difficult situations.  I am determined not to spread news that I do not know to be certain and not to utter words that can cause division or discord.  I will make daily efforts, in my speaking and listening, to nourish my capacity for understanding, love, joy, and inclusiveness, and gradually transform anger, violence, and fear that lie deep in my consciousness.  

My Mindful Comments:

All of the mindfulness trainings teach us how to live a mindful, peaceful, happy life-style that reduces stress and increases our satisfaction with life.  Being able to speak and listen mindfully so that we are deeply understood and have the ability to understand others is a magnificent skill that improves every aspect of our lives and increases the peacefulness we experience in all areas of our life. As others around us adopt these life skills the level of peacefulness in our world increases exponentially.

Mindful Speech – Mindful speech is conscious and aware speech. We are aware of the words we think and speak and their impact on our own life and the lives of those who receive them and the actions that occur because of our thoughts.  When we speak mindfully we choose our words so that their impact is positive, understood, non-threatening, and inclusive, thus reducing tension and increasing co-operation.

Mindful Listening – Like mindful speech, this mindfulness skill is a process skill, meaning it takes repeated trials to master.  With practice, mindful listening gradually becomes a cherished life-long skill. Really listening, and hearing without judgment, is a gift that we can give to each other to enhance all of our lives. When we are really heard, and the other understands our meaning and emotions, we feel valued and respected: a condition necessary for True Love and True Happiness.  I am not sure there is a more precious gift, to give or receive, than to listen to the words of another.

Words Can Create Happiness or Suffering – Positive words vibrate at a higher frequency and therefore create a positive physical-emotional-spiritual impact within ourselves and within those who receive them.  Positive words and thoughts support good health and overall well-being by helping maintain our inner harmony and harmony throughout our environment. Even the energy within our home and workplace is more positive and nurturing because of the words we choose to speak and our ability to facilitate peacefulness through compassionate listening.

Speaking truthfully using worlds that inspire confidence, joy and hope – Gently speaking the truth is almost an art-form. It certainly is a mindfulness skill.  Speaking clearly, with confidence and compassionate awareness of the feelings and emotions of the listener creates positive relationship and a positive living and working environment (a positive mindful life). A positive mindful life is filled with joy and hope, and high frequency virtues that bring all their companion virtues along with them, enriching daily life.

Understanding of the suffering in myself and in the other person – We have stored within us a life-time of wounds and emotional pain, and these scars are with us every day even when we are not actively thinking about them.  Even as mindfulness is pouring healing peacefulness over our wounds, sometimes situations or specific reminders push our buttons and we lose our composure. At these times it is easy to say unmindful things or respond irrationally to the words or actions of others. This happens because our wounds create a response inappropriate to the situation. Sometimes we don’t even realize a past event is creating our current reactions. Because of these facts, it is always necessary to use our mindful speech and compassion as it is impossible for us to know the deep wounds of another person.  Fortunately, we can speak and listen in a way that prevents further injury.

Listen in a way that can help me and the other person to release their suffering and see the way out of difficult situations – Listening, and hearing spoken and unspoken words and deep meaning, implies respect, caring, and a compassionate spirit. Release of suffering can only occur where there is acceptance and a spirit of co-operation and compassion.  Mindful listening also implies trust, a virtue that creates emotional safety, a condition that allows healing to occur for all involved.

Nourish my capacity for understanding, love, joy, and inclusiveness – Increased conscious awareness is in itself nourishing for you and for those around you.  Your awareness influences your words, your thoughts, your interactions and conversations, the way you do your job, the way you play with your children, the quality of romantic intimacy in your life. We nourish ourselves through our overall awareness to positive thought, our breathing, our positive beliefs, our positive interactions.  In other words, feeling nourished increases the amount of positive, loving interactions you and I encounter during each and every day of our life.

Gradually transform anger, violence, or fear – Clear aware speaking, mindful listening, understanding, compassion and acceptance allow fear to diminish. As fear diminishes, the threat of violence decreases and anger dissipates.  This is how we create peace within our minds, body, and hearts. This is how we create peace between all peoples and nation