Communicating skillfully is an art.
When we practice communicating skillfully we can relieve the suffering inside of us and the suffering in others.
In Buddhism, a bodhisattva is an enlightened being whose purpose in life is to alleviate the suffering of all living beings. As part of their instruction, bodhisattvas practice the Ten Bodhisattva Trainings.
Four out of the ten bodhisattva trainings relate to knowing how to communicate well. They call it Right Speech.
The four practices of Right Speech are:
1. Tell the truth. Don’t lie or turn the truth upside down.
2. Don’t exaggerate. Exaggerating takes away from the truth and takes away the trust in a relationship.
3. Be consistent. This means no double talk; speaking about something in one way to one person and in an opposite way for selfish or manipulative reasons.
4. Use peaceful language. Don’t use insulting or violent words, cruel speech, verbal abuse or condemnation.
With every conversation we have, every text we send, we have the capacity to help ourselves and others.
Everyone can be a bodhisattva and we don’t need to practice ten years to do so.
We don’t have to wait for a special moment to be kinder and gentler.
We can start today by communicating kindly.
We can start today by being forgiving and tolerant.
We can start today by sharing wisdom and compassion.
We can start right now.