Loving Speech And Deep Listening

Thich Nhat Hanh
Plum Village Chanting Book

Here,I can come back to myself.

Looking up with admiration, I observe the spiritual characteristics which clearly shine from the face of the Tathagata. The Tathagata is the morning light and the immense space of the firmament, calm and stable like the moon, carrying us along on our journey home from the world of confusion to a land of acceptance without obstacles.

For so many past lifetimes, we have made mistakes which have brought about much suffering. All of us hold onto internal formations. Sometimes we cannot look at each other. We lose our capacity to listen deeply and to speak loving, harmonious words. The communication between us meets so many difficulties and obstacles. There
seems to be no way to resolve our suffering. Every day, understanding and love are fading. The heavy, obstructed atmosphere stifles all our happiness.

With all my resolve, I touch the Earth, determined to follow the teachings of the Tathagata.

I shall begin to practice listening deeply and speaking lovingly, according to the way which benefits the practice and my fellow practitioners, so that communication can be quickly restored. I shall practice diligently to guard my body and mind with conscious breathing and through awareness of my steps, so that I can recognize and embrace

the anger and irritation in my heart; so I can sit and listen deeply with all my compassion and so the other person has a chance to share all their hidden suffering. I want to learn to listen deeply with sincere loving kindness so that the other person can suffer less.

I promise the Buddha that even if the other person says things that are not true, even if his or her words are full of blame, I shall continue to listen attentively.

I shall wait for the right time to find a way to let the other person know what really happened, so the other person has a chance to rectify his or her perceptions. I want to practice using harmonious and loving words to help the person sitting with me hear and understand what I need to say. But for as long as I still have some irritation, I shall just practice mindful breathing and mindful walking, determined to avoid any discussion. I am determined only to speak when I am able to master my mind.

Lord Buddha, Bodhisattva of Great Wisdom, Manjushri, Bodhisattva of Great Action, Samantabhadra, Bodhisattva of Great Compassion, Avalokita,

Be with me and light my way, so that I can soon be successful on the path of practice. {Bell,Bell}