Even if what we say sounds like helpful advice, words spoken to show off something about ourselves can short-circuit another person's opportunity to come to an even fuller understanding than our words might point them toward. If we're talking in a way that would bring pain to the heart of even one person, we can benefit from examining our speech.
One practice that might help is called the Four Gates of Speech. It works like this: Before speaking to others, or even to ourselves, we pass through the following 4 “gates” in the order that they are listed below.
Are the words that I’m about to speak...
3) Spoken at the right time?
4) Spoken in kindness?
|Simon guards the gate at Rancho De La Osa, Sasabe, AZ|
Ode 314, Rumi
Those who don't feel this Love
pulling them like a river,
those who don't drink dawn
like a cup of spring water
or take in sunset like supper,
those who don't want to change,
let them sleep.
This Love is beyond the study of theology,
that old trickery and hypocrisy.
If you want to improve your mind that way
I've given up on my brain.
I've torn the cloth to shreds
and thrown it away.
If you're not completely naked,
wrap your beautiful robe of words