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The Eightfold Path Step 4: Right Speech

The Eightfold Path Step 4: Right Speech

This is the Buddhist way of saying “watch your mouth.”

One important Buddhist scripture explains, “…what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, abstaining from divisive speech, abstaining from abusive speech, abstaining from idle chatter: This, monks, is called right speech.” This is all very simple to understand, and pretty much follows the old adage “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” It’s better to live your life under a vow of silence (yes, Buddhists have those too) than it is to hurt others or yourself through your words.

It’s one of the harder points of the Eightfold Path to follow. Watch yourself today or tomorrow and see how easy it is to complain, to gossip, or even just to waste time talking “about nothing.”

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