Dharma Quote from Snow Lion Publications

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Dharma Quote of the Week

Awareness as virtue. Beyond choosing more virtuous forms of speech, you can also try to cultivate awareness of the subtle vibration underlying your speech and of how your speech manifests from there. Is your voice creating the right energy field?

In dzogchen the concept of virtuous speech is taken to its highest level. For example, the A-Tri system of dzogchen offers a group of successive practices in which one learns to maintain awareness while engaging in various virtuous, neutral, and nonvirtuous activities.

One initially tries to stay present amid virtuous activity such as praying or chanting mantras. Once that experience is stabilized, one integrates presence with neutral speech, such as conversing casually with a friend about cooking or gardening. Finally, one tries to integrate with negative speech such as lying, arguing, or giving insults. It is easier if you can establish your intent for self-awareness before you get drawn into an angry argument. For example, think of how courtroom lawyers argue a case: although they may use strong, sharp language, they are never driven by their emotions–every word is carefully chosen for its impact and is guided by intent, if not awareness.

From this perspective “nonvirtuous speech” might be defined as speech that is driven and not guided and through which you lose connection with your self. In dzogchen practice you aim to arrive at a place where all activity of body, speech, and mind becomes an expression of contemplative awareness and an aid to spiritual development–therefore virtuous in the truest sense of the word.(p.85)

–from Tibetan Yogas of Body, Speech, and Mind, by Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche, edited by Polly Turner, published by Snow Lion Publications

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