The previous five guidelines have explored how we can dwell in meditative awareness with others. We Pause and Relax into accepting what we find. We Open our awareness to internal and external experience. Through Trust Emergence we confidently meet the unpredictable moment. Listening Deeply to our inner voice and to the voice of others, we then come to the edge of outward action with our co-meditators, to Speaking the Truth.
Whenever we speak, we touch each other’s minds and hearts. However, given our habitual patterns, our reactivity, and the power of language to take us out of present-centered awareness, Speak the Truth must be grounded in morality, mindfulness, and the mutual elements of our practice. Thus, in Insight Dialogue, we commit to right (ethical) speech, truth, and kindness. We apply the Golden Rule to our speech.
Speak the Truth asks us to re-examine the process and function of verbal communication. To Speak the Truth, we must know the truth. Because we are referring to the subjective truth of our experience, we must listen internally to discern this truth. Thus, speaking enters our practice through mindfulness. Mindfulness can occur because of the stabilizing support of the other Insight Dialogue guidelines. Clarity arises when the mind is energetic, mindful, calm, spacious (Pause-Relax-Open) and unattached (Trust Emergence).
In extending this mindfulness to speaking, we slow down (Pause); we try to speak non-reactively. We consider the content of our speech amidst a mind awash with thoughts and emotions; in so doing, we come to recognize meditative speaking as also being about the source of our words. We Pause and ask ourselves if what we are about to say is based in generosity, wisdom and love or in greed, hatred, or delusion. In turn, developing an intimate relationship with our speaking helps us recognize the truth.
Establishing this mindfulness while speaking is not easy. Because we conceptualize experience when we speak, we can easily jump into thinking and out of the present moment. Mindfulness of bodily sensations, such as noticing our posture can help us return to the moment. Mind had the capacity to do this while we speak. We can also use the positive power of the very words we speak to deconstruct those words and the mind’s belief in its fabrications as we interact with our co-meditators. Communication becomes meditative contact.
Speak the Truth invites us to bring our highest intentions and our refined perceptions into language. It builds on and overlaps with the other five guidelines to encourage us to meet ourselves and each other with mindfulness, loving-kindness, and compassion. Speak the Truth enables us to cultivate wholesome mind states through kind and wise speech.