What Sets Up Right Speech?

Ajahn Sucitto

What Sets Up Right Speech?

What sets up Right Speech? Or, considering these factors in terms of their ‘Path and Fruit,’ am I on the Path towards it? Am I working towards developing Right Speech?

If you look at the list of subjects the Buddha determined were not worth talking about, you will notice that these are the things that most people like to talk about — because they provide a warm fuzzy blanket over the here and now of the mind. Talk about football, weather, what life is like on Jupiter, talk of heroes and celebrities, etc. These are the things that people like to talk about because they cover up or act as a pleasant padding around the uncertainty of life or the wounds of our hearts and minds.

And they allay some of the anxiety which occurs when we meet people and are uncertain of our common ground. Personality systems can be desperately fragile, and have a need to find assurance, be welcomed, and made to look like they’re going places and so on. They are endlessly hungry for these things. Often the social world is one of tossing tidbits to each other’s personalities…. Can we get beyond this?

This reflection by Ajahn Sucitto is from the book, Kalyana, p. 11.