2. Right Thoughts
With clear knowledge, clear thinking follows suit. This is known as initial application (of knowledge).
Thoughts mould a person’s nature and direct their course and direction of action. Unwholesome thoughts will debase and erode a person’s character over time, while wholesome thoughts will lift him/her higher and higher up.
In particular, Right Thoughts are:
- Renunciation(Nekkhamma) of worldly pleasures, and selflessness (altruism). This is opposed to insatiable desires and selfishness.
- Loving-kindness (Metta)or good will towards people, including yourself; which is opposed to hatred, ill-will, aversion, dislike, detest and spite.
- Harmlessness (Avihimsa) or compassion, as opposed to cruelty and callousness.
3. Right Speech
Verbal expression and communication need to match Right Thoughts. For instance, you are cursing and swearing, or being harsh and abusive, your thoughts will certainly match your speech, and vice versa.
The Buddha first taught the Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Path.
The specifics are:
- Firstly, avoid speaking lies, slander, harsh words, and indulging in frivolous chatter (gossips, idle talk etc.)
- Secondly, as mentioned earlier, a harmless mind that generates loving-kindness cannot be giving vent to harsh speech, which first debases the speaker, then hurts the listener(s).Last but not least, what is spoken should not only be true, but also sweet and gentle. If your comment is true, but hurtful and unnecessary / unconstructive; then just keep your noble silence.