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Step 5: We speak truthfully, harmoniously, pleasantly and meaningfully.

Principle: Integrity

This Step relates to Right Speech which is based on saying only what is true and what is useful. Words are inherently powerful; they have the potential to create and to heal; as well as to harm and produce chaos.

Text or Verse

He avoids slanderous speech and abstains from it. What he has heard here he does not repeat there, so as to cause dissension there; and what he has heard there he does not repeat here, so as to cause dissension here. Thus he unites those that are divided; and those that are united he encourages. Concord gladdens him, he delights and rejoices in concord; and it is concord that he spreads by his words. 
Anguttara 10:176


The Buddha divides right speech into four practices:

  1. abstaining from false speech; lying; misrepresenting the truth
  2. abstaining from slanderous speech which intends to harm others; abusive speech
  3. abstaining from harsh speech; speech which creates disharmony and separatism
  4. and abstaining from idle chatter

On the contrary, a Buddhist's words should be truthful, reliable and dependable. One practicing Right Speech, speaks words of harmony and encouragement, words that are meaningful and appropriate to the circumstance.


Mapping the Dharma: A Concise Guide to the Middle Way of the Buddha (go to Links menu to connect to the web site)

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