Lotus of the Heart > Path of Spirit > on wise speech


the Yin & Yang of the tongue

May 21, 2020

Mind at Rest

Brian Wilcox. 'Mind at Rest'

"Tongue" or "speech" or "talk" ... in this writing applies to written or spoken communication.

To offer soothing words, to speak truly, kindly, and helpfully, and to study the scriptures [i.e., Hindu Vedas]: these are the disciplines of speech.

*Eknath Easwaran. The Bhagavad Gita.

* * *

Persons exclaim, "I'm so tired!" or, "I'm exhausted!" Have you heard, "My tongue is so tired!"? We hear, "I need to rest," never, "My tongue needs a rest."

A restless mind means a restless tongue. A quiet mind means a quiet tongue. One consequence of time in silence daily is rest for the mind, so cultivating a restful tongue. With a tamed tongue, we are neither attached to speaking nor not speaking; we do not talk compulsively and are mindful of speech.

* * *

I was the new pastor for a church. I emailed daily a devotional writing to the members. A man replied by email, challenging what I had written. I answered. He replied to my reply, accusing me of not responding appropriately. We never had a trusting relationship, likely as much for my progressiveness as anything else. Still, that email exchange shaped our futures together.

A few years later, I sent an email and immediately regretted having done so. I felt helpless, for I could not undo it - it was gone. Never again have I done that. Instead, I have deleted or rewritten emails to avoid sending out something I would later regret. I have repeatedly edited some emails to try to communicate in a manner respectful yet honest. I have saved some emails in response to emails unkind to me, deciding I might send them later, and I rarely sent them.

Our mass online communication has alerted me more that how we say something may be as important as what we say. To speak in a manner that declares, "I'm speaking the truth, so I can say it how I want," which seems popular online, is reactive, irrational conduct.

How would how and what we say change by being aware of the following: What and how I speak says what I am?


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Lotus of the Heart > Path of Spirit > on wise speech

©Brian Wilcox 2020