Right Speech, Right Send

Reflections on how to apply Right Speech to communication via modern technologies. Based on a talk at the Lay Ministers Retreat, March 2012,

In the Buddha’s time speech was the main way that Buddhism was propagated. You can read the Buddha’s discourses: they are questions and answers; he explains things to people that come up and ask a question. So it was the main vehicle for the Buddha’s teaching; it was an oral tradition for many years before it was written down (about 500 years after his death). It was passed on by word of mouth, so the area of right speech has been really integrated with Buddhism right from its inception. And there’s something about when you speak with people, it’s physically much closer and there’s a whole lot of other interactions that you can pick up on, so that you can tailor the speech, it’s much more immediate…

We are now faced with something rather different in the way that a lot of communication happens: with mobile phones, texts, email, websites, forums, everything is faster and it’s more like an instant response is expected in some of these areas. Anyone can send anything to anybody! Everything is put up there and then you have the problem of what is true and what isn’t….

PDF to download: RM Saido Right Speech Right Send