Posted by: Upāsaka Subhavi | 02/27/2015

Right Speech

Skillful speech is so important to the Path that it not only takes its place as the fourth precept in the panca sila but it also constitutes the fourth factor of the Eightfold Path. Although I saw samma vaca for along time as little more than a commitment to telling the truth we see, time and again in the suttas, that Right Speech extends to other forms of verbal action. In fact, the Eight Lifetime precepts which I recite every morning attest to the further division of samma vaca into the absence of false speech, divisive speech, harsh speech and idle chatter. Despite the fact that I have been faithfully reciting these words for years it seems to me that I have been merely paying them lip service.

Last night, during the class I help manage, the then was on Sila and we were asked to take on one of the precepts as our project for the next six months. Almost immediately I realized that I needed to work on idle chatter in particular and Right Speech in general. So, for the next several months I will work with this precept and recount my experience here from time to time. Sukhi hotu!


  1. In poetry we use a term, particularly in brevity, called word economy, which is making each word count. As quite the chatterbox, I would like to bring more word economy to my life.

    I am fairly new to this community and hope to have a page that engages people on the topics of faith and doubt, and would like to include a variety of faith systems. I hope to see you there.

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