Posted by: Upāsaka | 01/08/2018

As Long as I’m Here

For as long as I’m in the lay life (which may be for the rest of this lifetime), I’ve decided that I need to rethink the way I interact with people and, specifically, my wife.

I feel that I’m generally pretty good about keeping the Fourth Precept and don’t end up telling a lot of blatant lies. What I do end up doing, however, is keeping details to myself, steering conversations away from uncomfortable topics and otherwise redirecting and answering only in part to keep the peace. Technically, this is keeping the precept but my wife’s increasingly excited reactions had lead me to reassess my strategies.

A quick search on the topic of how to be more truthful and forthcoming resulted in me finding some books on Radical Honesty. In essence, you near your soul and wear your heart on your sleeve in your conversations with people. I will, of course, take the Lord Buddha’s advice on Right Speech as paramount but there’s still a lot of room for improvement.

“Monks, a statement endowed with five factors is well-spoken, not ill-spoken. It is blameless & unfaulted by knowledgeable people. Which five?

“It is spoken at the right time. It is spoken in truth. It is spoken affectionately. It is spoken beneficially. It is spoken with a mind of good-will.”

AN 5.198

Clearly, much of what causes me to manipulate conversations and manage communications is fear. Fear of conflict. Fear of being found out. Fear of vulnerability.

May I learn to practice Radical Honesty and fearless communication.

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