From the point of view of the Yungdrung Bön religious philosophy, there are three doors through which we act: through the door of the body, through the door of speech, and through the door of the mind. Therefore, all actions whether positive, negative, or neutral are performed through these three doors. From this knowledge, spiritual practitioners apply the guidance of the Ten Virtuous Actions of Body, Speech, and Mind.
The Three Virtuous Actions of the Body:
- Rather than killing, protecting the life of other beings.
- Rather than stealing, practicing generosity.
- Rather than engaging in sexual misconduct or causing others to break their vows, keeping one’s own vows and respecting the vows of others.
The Four Virtuous Actions of Speech:
- Rather than lying, speaking the truth.
- Rather than creating discord, speaking in a way that brings people together.
- Rather than using hurtful speech, speaking gently and kindly.
- Rather than gossiping or mindlessly talking, speaking in a useful way or reciting prayers.
The Three Virtuous Actions of the Mind:
- Rather than coveting the possessions and accomplishments of others, being generous and open.
- Rather than wishing harm to others or feeling resentful, cultivating the desire to help others.
- Rather than holding wrong views, practicing the authentic teachings
The importance of mindful speech is emphasized by it having four guidelines for behavior when the body and mind have only three. According to the esteemed spiritual master Shardza Tashi Gyaltsen Rinpoche in his Most Profound Sky Treasury:
“The conceptual mind is like a king and speech is like his minister. The minister accomplishes the king’s commands but the king alone is useless to do anything.
Similarly, having stopped countless offenses by restraining speech through mindfulness, the negative faults of the mind are never established.”
According to the 22nd Menri Trizin Sonam Lodro Rinpoche, also known as Sherap Gongyal, in his 43 Trainings for an Enlightened Mind:
“Even for someone who has entered into the Great Vehicle, the most superior practice,
if they talk a lot, their concentration can become deluded.
Without commenting on the good or bad of self or others, contemplate what is inexpressible and unmodified.”
“When harsh words are used to destroy the mind of others,
it will degenerate the practice of generating the mind of enlightenment.
Because of that, it is improper to destroy the mind of others with rough speech.
Therefore, renounce the use of harsh words.”
And his advice for bringing slander and disregard to the spiritual path:
“Even though someone continually expresses unpleasant things about me to the entire world,
I will maintain a mind of kindness and speak about their good qualities.”
The Tibetan syllabary is thought of as sacred rather than just an ordinary alphabet since these are the syllables used to record the guidance and teachings of the buddhas. Because of the sacred nature of the Tibetan syllabary, it is used as a mantra in practices that purify the previous negative expressions of speech as well as bless and empower present and future expressions of speech. Having transformed one’s self into the enlightened deity of speech, Chetak Ngomé, the Tibetan alphabet, known as the ALI KALI or the vowels and consonants, is recited while visualizing the syllables spinning on the tongue while both radiating and receiving wisdom light which purifies and blesses every aspect of speech.
“This ALI KALI destroys the negativities of speech and increases the power of mantra recitation 100,000 times. In the morning when the crow leaves its nest, recite it 21 times. In the evening when the crow returns to its nest, recite it 21 times. Do this recitation continuously and as isolated speech [without interrupting it with ordinary speech]. There is immense power in doing a million recitations. By doing this, the power and capacity of Lishu Taring blazed.”
— From The ALI KALI, the Cause for Enlightened Words and Source of the Scriptures
Having completed the recitation of any mantra, if the ALI KALI is recited three times at the end, it is said that it will increase the power of the mantra by 100,000 times. Similarly, it is traditional that at the conclusion of any kind of recitation of prayers or mantras, Bönpos will recite the mantra OM DHAR MA BHI SHU DHÉ TSA TRA HUNG PÉ and then blow upon their trengwa, or mala. This specific mantra is said to then empower the ordinary speech of the day with the positive qualities of the recitations.
These are only a few examples of the advice and methods given by the enlightened ones and spiritual masters that teach the importance of mindful speech and how to purify and bless speech in order to support our spiritual development.
All translations and content by Raven Cypress Wood ©All Rights Reserved. No content, in part or in whole, is allowed to be used without direct permission from the author.
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