Practising Right Speech In A World Of Fake News

The modernity of world and the evolution of technology have made the search and dissemination of information much easier and faster as compared to the past. Nowadays, information is easily circulated from one person to another through various social media and messaging platforms such as Whatsapp, Facebook, etc, making the authenticity of the information difficult to verify. How can we be mindful of the information we communicate and receive when fake news is everywhere?

Speech, in form of verbal expression, oral and written, can either break lives, create enemies and start wars, or give wisdom, heal rifts, and create peace. The importance of Right Speech was taught by the Buddha as one of the key fundaments in the Noble Eightfold Path and ethical conduct of the Five Precepts. Right speech is divided into four parts – (1) abstaining from false speech (words with intention to misrepresent the truth), (2) abstaining from slanderous speech (words with intention to create rifts between people), (3) abstaining from harsh speech (words with intention of hurting people’s feelings), and (4) abstaining from idle chatter (words with no purposeful intent). 

Right speech is communicating in ways that fosters trust, promotes harmony among people, brings comfort, and have purpose. The use of right speech is an important mindful practice that trains our minds to pick up any unskillful thoughts and motives we have before we speak. With this practice, we become more aware, honest and firm with ourselves, as well as to save us from saying things that we will regret later. Practising the right speech helps us to understand the way we act in the present moment and shapes the world of our experience.

In addition, we should also adopt a critical attitude towards the words we read and hear by applying mindfulness to protect our emotions from being swayed. We should remember that there are at least two sides of a coin to any issues/topics. Before drawing any conclusion, we should take a step back from the topic/issue to examine objectively by looking at all angles, gather all relevant facts, maintain a calm mind that is free from emotional excitation, and prevent ourselves from being influenced by our preferences and emotions such as anger, praise, and blame.

Living in an era where fake news is everywhere, we should start practicing the use of right speech with ourselves to be the change for a better world.

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药师消灾燃灯法会 Medicine Buddha Puja
In October, the monastery conducted a 7-day long Medicine Buddha Puja. Based on the Medicine Buddha Sutra, the Medicine Buddha Jeweled Repentance combines repentance and prayer for the removal of suffering. The puja was completed successfully, thanks to the Venerables for leading the participants in prayers and chanting as well as to our dedicated staff and volunteers for their support and hard work. 
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Events & Activities
正念禅修 四周课程
6.11.22 - 27.11.22 (Thu), 9.30am - 11am
Relaxation and Mindfulness Meditation 舒心 . 正念 . 静坐班
9.11.22 - 30.12.22
Join Venerable Kwang Sheng as he shares how meditation and Buddhist teachings can help us to re-energise ourselves and to re-focus our mind, bringing about a sense of peace and well-being.
Blood Donation Drive 捐血活动 2022
13.11.22 , 9am - 3pm
Give the gift of life. Donate blood. 献爱捐血,拯救生命!
10.12.22 - 14.12.22, 8.30am onwards
2023 托钵暨供僧法会 Alms and Sangha Offering
1.1.23 , 8am - 12pm
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Dharma Q & A

Q:Does being patient with people who harm us mean being passive? Must we let them get their way or walk all over us?

No. We can redress a bad situation without antagonism. In fact, we’ll be more effective in doing so when we’re calm and clear-thinking. Sometimes we may have to speak strongly to someone because that is the only way to communicate with her. For example, if your child is playing in the street and you very sweetly say, “Susie dear, please don’t play in the street,” she may ignore you. But if you speak forcefully and explain the danger to her, she’ll remember and obey.

—Excerpted from Working With Anger

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“The mind can go in a thousand directions, but on this beautiful path, I walk in peace. With each step, the wind blows. With each step, a flower blooms.”

─ Thich Nhat Hanh

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─ The Theragatha
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