Hello dear Dharma friends,
How does one acquire possession of clear and pleasant speech?
I often find myself repeating what I’ve said in most occasions.
Thank you for reading.
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Acceptance, being easy to speak to,
The sight of good practitioners,
And timely conversation about Dhamma:
This is the greatest blessing.
Maṅgala Sutta, Kp 5.10
But such sons in the world
Who are devoted lay followers,
Excelling in faith and virtue,
Liberal, without selfishness,
Shine forth in assemblies
Like the moon freed from clouds. - Iti74
Virtue is the basis for non-regret, and non-regret the basis for joy (AN 10.1). Alternatively:
Furthermore, when a fool is resting on a chair or a bed or on the ground, their past bad deeds—misconduct of body, speech, and mind—settle down upon them, rest down upon them, and lay down upon them. It is like the shadow of a great mountain peak in the evening as it settles down, rests down, and lays down upon the earth. In the same way, when a fool is resting on a chair or a bed or on the ground, their past bad deeds—misconduct of body, speech, and mind—settle down upon them, rest down upon them, and lay down upon them. Then that fool thinks, ‘Well, I haven’t done good and skillful things that keep me safe. And I have done bad, violent, and depraved things. When I depart, I’ll go to the place where people who’ve done such things go.’ They sorrow and wail and lament, beating their breasts and falling into confusion. This is the third kind of suffering and sadness that a fool experiences in the present life. -MN 129
If you want speech to be naturally pleasant sounding, ensure your virtue is purified. No doubt, non-virtuous people can have equally pleasant speech, but that is done so on account of a clear intention to avoid something they find displeasing. People craft their entire lives around avoiding unpleasant feelings, and a master of the art of conversing is often highly motivated to maintain a particular pace when speaking and has developed all manner of tactics to do so. Someone who struggles to speak in their ideal manner in assemblies often lacks a sufficient reason to improve their speech and is often far more susceptible to openings and losing pace in conversation. Now, someone pursuing the Dhamma has a whole host of other factors at play, and may often find themselves in this awkward but authentic position whereby they struggle to engage fluidly in casual talk. At this point it is not advisable to attempt to take on the tactics of a master conversationalist, but to learn how to rely of their own virtue and good intentions as a basis for joy, which - even if it doesn’t make them a master conversationalist - will naturally contribute to eliminating unnecessary and impulsive (repetitive and unwanted) speech.
That has been my experience.
Thank you I will give this a proper read when I can. Metta.
Yes! Certainly, I think I’ve tried having “flowery language” for getting pleasant situations as well. Though I do agree virtuous speech is far better. Thank you for helping me understand where I’ve gone wrong, I wish to improve my dedication to the Noble Eightfold Path and you have helped me want to understand that.