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Buddhism for Everyone with JoAnn Fox

Sep 29, 2019

Our speech can create the most beautiful, peaceful life if we are mindful to speak with kindness and wisdom. If we lack mindfulness of our words, we can cause another to believe something negative about themselves that they carry their whole lives. We might end a long friendship with only a few sentences motivated by anger.
in the episode, we learn how to become mindful of our words and purify our speech of four downfalls. This can change our lives so completely. Where there was once drama and confusion, there can be peace and stable relationships. Some might even say that if we purify our speech, we will purify our world!

The four downfalls of speech to try to let go of:


Lying is when someone else—the recipient of the lie—comprehends the meaning of the lie. The motivation is your desire to misrepresent your perception. The performance of the lie can be through speaking, through choosing not to speak, or through gesture. It is said that even causing others to engage in the three non-virtuous types of speech—lying, divisive speech, or offensive speech—is the same as doing it yourself. 

Divisive Speech

Speech that divides others. 

Offensive Speech

This when we speak in an offensive manner. The performance is saying something unpleasant, which may be either true or false.

Senseless Speech

This is speech about a topic that is not meaningful.

For people who speak falsely, 

Who transgress in this one way, 

And who reject the world beyond, 

There is no evil they won’t do. (176)*

—Buddha, The Dhammapada


“The first agreement is the most important one and also the most difficult one to honor. It is so important that with just this first agreement you will be able to transcend to the level of existence I call heaven on earth.

The first agreement is to be impeccable with your word. It sounds very simple, but it is very, very powerful.”

—Don Miguel Ruiz, The Four Agreements 


Buddha.The Dhammapada. Translated by Gil Fronsdale. Shambala, Boston and London, 2011, pp. 47.

Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment, by Je Tsongkhapa, Volume 1. Pages 222-223. Translated by the Lamrim Chenmo Translation Committee. Joshua Cutler, Editor-in-Chief, and Guy Newlan, Editor.

Ruiz, Don Miguel. The Four Agreements. Amber-Ellen Publishing, 2011. pp.  34-38.