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Book: The Buddha's Path of Peace

Chapter: 1. Right Speech: What I Say

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.39387


We generally pay little here-and-now attention to the assumptions and intentions underlying our speech. The Buddha analyses speech with his aim of understanding how we fail to see the Path and how, seeing it, it can lead us to peace. The Buddha distinguished between skilful speech and unskilful speech. That is, between the ignorant speaking that springs from our craving, clinging and our rejecting and the wise speaking that springs from letting go of that triumvirate in favour of compassion, generosity and gratitude. Speaking, we discover, is a manifestation of the ontology (the structure of reality) of ‘I-me-mine’ – which is ultimately where the trouble and the solution lie. With Right Speech we have started the path to uncovering the self.

Chapter Contributors

  • Geoffrey Hunt ( - geoffhunt) 'University of Surrey'