Thanks for the hospitality of this forum.

I have recently started investigating Buddhism with some seriousness, seeking for answers to my spiritual thirst and looking for a practical path to address my problem with anger and harsh speech.

I discovered Buddha in a 10 days Vipassana retirement. Every night,after long hours of meditation, we listened to a lecture by SN Goenka. Even though they are very introductory, these speeches have the huge merit of bringing a glimpse of the Eightfold Path and Buddha's life and wisdom to the absolute newbie, such as I was at that time.

l was shocked by the stories of Kisa Gotami and Angulimala, and marvelled at the way Buddha dealt with all sorts of challenging situations, his wise and compassionate teaching style, adapted to people of the most diverse backgrounds and levels of understanding.

Those stories made me seek for more information about Buddha: I wanted to hear he most remote echoes of his voice, the records of his teachings closest to the historical time he lived and taught.

That's how I discovered the Pali Canon, which I am trying to compile from the translations of various Bikkhus from Thai and Sri Lankan traditions (I am Spanish and unfortunately I cannot understand Pali, so I am relying on English translations of the suttas from SuttaCentral, Dhammatalks, Bikkhu Analayo, etc)...

I am seriously considering taking refuge in the Three Jewels, but as i stated above, I have a problem with anger and harsh speech, as I am a bit hot tempered and lack of patience with some people. Even though I acknowledge the harm i do to others and to myself, I LACK MODELS and EXAMPLES of alternative ways of reacting and communicating... examples of right speech IN PRACTiCE, in a range of different real life situations...

How do you deal wisely with people that do not want to help with domestic chores? How do you talk to people that dismiss your ideas and way of living? How do you talk wisely in any sort of inter-personal or social conflict? I would be most grateful if you could give examples of right speech in action, drawn from the stories of the Buddha and some of his wise disciples (such as Sariputta, etc), anecdotes of Buddhist men and women showing a wise way to respond to practical situations involving conflict with others.

I am most grateful for your help, as I am scared of dying with this anger and harshness, without being able to become wiser... This is a huge hindrance for my spiritual progress that I do not know yet how to overcome.

Thanks to all from my heart.

1 Answer 1


Today, particularly in the West, we live in a very complex, divided & disordered world.

For example, I recall when I lived in Thailand, how polite the social norms were in regards to speech. Its funny, recently, each morning, I see an older Thai lady who has moved to where I live (in Australia). Each morning we cross paths when doing our morning walks and we have a light chit-chat Thai style. It is so polite. It is so different to the Western world.

Also, where I live, we currently have an influx of young Spanish backpacker workers. For some reason, suddenly there a many young Spanish everywhere. it is noticeable their cultural norms & speech are fairly abrupt.

My impression is Buddhist monks & nuns, as well as advanced Buddhist practitioners, generally limit their social interactions & social environments. This helps them control their speech.

Once speech is under control, a Buddhist practitioner examines & accepts the harsh realities of the world around them, to subdue anger. Buddhist practice is to give up longing (desire) & disappointment towards the world. This is what the Buddha taught in his definition of mindfulness.

For general scripture teachings about Right Speech, a compilation is at this link: Right Speech From His Own Lips.


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