Cultivating loving speech and compassionate listening

Aware of the suffering caused by unmindful speech and failure to listen, I am committed to cultivating loving speech and compassionate listening to relieve suffering and promote reconciliation and peace in myself and among other people, ethnic and religious groups, and nations. Knowing that words can create happiness or suffering, I am committed to speaking truthfully using words that inspire confidence, joy, and hope. I am determined not to speak when anger manifests in me. I will practice mindful breathing and walking to recognize and look deeply into my anger. I know that the roots of anger can be found in my wrong perceptions and lack of understanding of the suffering in myself and the other person. I will speak and listen in such a way as to help myself and the other person to transform suffering and see the way out of difficult situations. I am determined not to spread news that I do not know to be certain and not to utter words that can cause division or discord. I will practice diligently with joy and skillfulness so as to nourish my capacity for understanding, love, and inclusiveness, gradually transforming the anger, violence, and fear that lie deep in my consciousness.

~Thich Nhat Hanh´╗┐

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