26 May
Posted in: Books, Practice
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Tell the Truth

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the Buddhist training in Wise Speech, which basically is the practice of telling the truth, in words that are kind and useful, and with the intention of bringing people together rather than driving them apart.

So for today:

Why tell the truth?

“…the commitment to truth has a significance transcending the domain of ethics and even mental purification, taking us to the domains of knowledge and being. Truthful speech provides, in the sphere of interpersonal communication, a parallel to wisdom in the sphere of private understanding. The two are respectively the outward and the inward modalities of the same commitment to what is real. 

“Wisdom consists in the realization of truth, and truth is not just a verbal proposition but the nature of things as they areTo realize truth our whole being has to be brought into accord with actuality, with things as they are, which requires that in communications with others we respect things as they are by speaking the truth.

“Truthful speech establishes a correspondence between our own inner being and the real nature of phenomena, allowing wisdom to rise up and fathom their real nature.

“Thus, much more than an ethical principle, devotion to truthful speech is a matter of taking our stand on reality rather than illusion, on the truth grasped by wisdom rather than the fantasies woven by desire.”

from The Noble Eightfold Path, by Bhikkhu Bodhi


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