- 6:30 PM at Yoga Heights DC, (3506 Georgia Avenue, NW, Washington, DC, 20010) (Map It)
Guest Leader: Susan Salek
Topic: Right Speech
This excerpt from Roshi Joan Halifax’s next book reflects on Right Speech…
When Zen teachers in the United States began to deeply explore the role of speech in the systems we inhabit, we realized how often disrespect and disparagement are found in family structures, the workplace, and our religious communities. We began to use the Five Gatekeepers of Speech, questions sourced in the Buddha’s teachings, as a tool for appropriate communication. Practicing them means that before we open our mouths, we consider:
1. Is it true?
2. Is it kind?
3. Is it beneficial?
4. Is it necessary?
5. Is it the right time?
These questions are a way of looking deeply into whether what we want to say is necessary at this time and whether it will really serve. Is this the moment when our words are needed to turn a situation around for the better? Or might our feedback be received as bullying, disrespectful, or disempowering?
Yet when answering these questions, I have had to remember an important element of Right Speech that Thích Nhất Hạnh emphasized over the years. In cases of injustice, of disrespect, of harm, of abuse, of violence, it’s our responsibility to call out the harm in the name of compassion. Nhất Hạnh interprets the Buddhist precept of Right Speech with these words:
“Do not say untruthful things for the sake of personal interest or to impress people. Do not utter words that can cause division or hatred. Do not spread news that you do not know to be certain. Do not criticize or condemn things that you are not sure of. Always speak truthfully and constructively. Have the courage to speak out about situations of injustice even when doing so may threaten your own safety.”
Right Speech is courageous speech. Speech that is compassionate and fearless is grounded in authentic respect.
The Five Gatekeepers of Speech by Roshi Joan Halifax - Upaya Zen Center
The LGBTIQ group meets the 2nd Saturday of every month. Please keep an eye on the website calendar for monthly readings and updates.
The IMCW LGBTQ Sangha aspires to:
- explore our LGBTIQ identities in the light of the Buddhist dharma, across multiple and intersecting lines of difference that include, but are not limited to: sexuality, gender, race, ethnicity, socio-economic class, age, and dis/abilities.
- provide a safe and intimate space where LGBTIQs can deepen the practice of meditation and mindful dialogue.
- study the dharma from diverse perspectives and to inspire insightful discussion.
- cultivate a sense of belonging and community both within the LGBTIQ sangha and the larger IMCW sangha.
Format of our meeting
- 30-minute sit/walking meditation
- Short dharma talk
- Mindful discussion
- Dedication of Merit/Closing/Announcements
- Optional dinner at a local restaurant after meeting
These teachings and gatherings are offered free of charge. If you would like to make a donation (offer dana) to support my teaching and programming of diverse dharma events within IMCW, and to and to pay the rental fee to Yoga Heights, you may do so after the meeting. Any amount you are able to offer is greatly appreciated.
Newcomers to meditation and long time practitioners are welcome to attend. You may bring your own sitting gear if you like. We provide blankets to sit on the floor and some chairs.
Please arrive by 3:45 p.m. so that we can begin promptly at 4:00 p.m. If you can volunteer to set up, please let me know and arrive by 3:30 p.m.
PLEASE RSVP so we know how many chairs to set up. Thanks! Hope you can join us!
Parking is on-street. Please read parking signs carefully to avoid getting a ticket.
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