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Namo Buddhaya!

People always ask "How are you?", "Isn't that beautiful/horrible", "You are so lucky/unlucky!", "Did you enjoy/like that", and so on.

How do I respond to these things in a way that doesn't identify with the aspects that cause clinging, such as saying my day is good and favorable rather than bad or saying I dislike this meal, and so on. More specifically, how do I respond to these and other questions like so in a way that doesn't push toward a worldly condition such as pleasure and pain, status and disgrace, etc.?

Metta!

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Conversations may make one feel superior/inferior, good/bad, etc. Your conversation response can be anything within the bounds of right speech (abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter). Your mental response should be on account of whatever feeling that arises either pleasant, unpleasant or neutral one should know the sensation as such and that it is impermanent and not worth clinging to.

If he feels a pleasant feeling,

  • he understands that it is impermanent;
  • he understands that it is not to be clung to;
  • he understands that there is no delight in it.

If he feels a painful feeling,

  • he understands that it is impermanent;
  • he understands that it is not to be clung to;
  • he understands that there is no delight in it.

If he feels a neutral feeling,

  • he understands that it is impermanent;
  • he understands that it is not to be clung to;
  • he understands that there is no delight in it.

If he feels a pleasant feeling, he feels it in a detached manner.

If he feels a painful feeling, he feels it in a detached manner.

If he feels a neutral feeling, he feels it in a detached manner.

Dhātu Vibhaṅga Sutta

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I don't think regular normal response like: "I'm fine, thank you" to regular normal greetings like "How are you?" would increase or decrease worldly condition like clinging or greed or aversion. About questions like "isn't that beautiful/horrible?", maybe simply telling them the truth that there're always beautiful and ugly aspects to all conditioned phenomena, like a coin would not exist without both faces. Similarly for like/dislike about a particular meal, some people will like it, and others will not; even when it's really a terrible meal, to someone who's been starving for a few days, it's still the most wonderful meal s/he's ever had! This way, not only you give truthful answers but also provide an opportunity for your friend to take a step back and give some further thoughts about the real nature of existence, provided that s/he's a thoughtful person obviously. But even if they're not, there's no harm in any of the answers you've just provided above.

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Ideally, I'd consider their meaning and answer while I try to mindfuly guard for identifing with the aspects that cause clinging. I'd also try to communicate with metta where there is not nessasarily a seperation between anyone or anything at some heart level I would be chanting myself into. Mindfulness and metta together are powerful.

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Right Speech is part of the Noble Eightfold Path.

"And what, bhikkhus, is right speech? Abstinence from false speech, abstinence from divisive speech, abstinence from harsh speech, abstinence from idle chatter: this is called right speech." (SN 45.8)

In AN 10.211 it's explained as among the 10 things that lead to hell:

(4) “He speaks falsehood. If he is summoned to a council, to an assembly, to his relatives’ presence, to his guild, or to the court, and questioned as a witness thus: ‘So, good man, tell what you know,’ then, not knowing, he says, ‘I know,’ or knowing, he says, ‘I do not know’; not seeing, he says, ‘I see,’ or seeing, he says, ‘I do not see.’ Thus he consciously speaks falsehood for his own ends, or for another’s ends, or for some trifling worldly end.

(5) “He speaks divisively. Having heard something here, he repeats it elsewhere in order to divide those people from these; or having heard something elsewhere, he repeats it to these people in order to divide them from those. Thus he is one who divides those who are united, a creator of divisions, one who enjoys factions, rejoices in factions, delights in factions, a speaker of words that create factions.

(6) “He speaks harshly. He utters such words as are rough, hard, hurtful to others, offensive to others, bordering on anger, unconducive to concentration.

(7) “He indulges in idle chatter. He speaks at an improper time, speaks falsely, speaks what is unbeneficial, speaks contrary to the Dhamma and the discipline; at an improper time he speaks such words as are worthless, unreasonable, rambling, and unbeneficial. (AN 10.211)

It's also mentioned:

“And what is the person whose speech is like honey? Here, some person, having abandoned harsh speech, abstains from harsh speech. He speaks such words as are gentle, pleasing to the ear, and lovable, as go to the heart, are courteous, desired by many, and agreeable to many. This is the person whose speech is like honey." (AN 3.28)

“Mendicants, there are these four kinds of good conduct by way of speech. What four? Speech that’s true, harmonious, gentle, and thoughtful. These are the four kinds of good conduct by way of speech.” (AN 4.149)

So you should try to respond in ways that are gentle, pleasing, lovable, and aren't against right speech principles...similar to in metta (loving-kindness) ways.

For the lay people you should respond more in pleasing ways rather than concerning yourself with things like clinging or what pushes towards a worldly condition since such speculations most likely won't lead to anything good.

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