Sometimes, on and off, I am perturbed by the going-ons around me. Life is not so simple in our daily interaction with the people whom we know, the people who are strangers, the people who love us, the people who do not have a good impression of us, the people whom we do not like, the people whom we like, anyone who manage to crawl into our minds and turn our thoughts topsy turvy.
What causes harm for others as well as ourselves is merely malicious words; those we speak, those others speak, and those we hear. Partaking in an innocent conversation easily turn to idle talk, or gossip. We become our very own culprit of committing an non-virtuous act. Creating negative action crept upon us quietly in mere seconds, while it takes such a long time to accumulate merits.
How do we stop gossiping ourselves and about others?
Below excerpts from Tiny Buddha website, a contribution by Shanti Sosienski.
I realized that the ritualistic practice we had all been engaging in is most commonly referred to as “gossip” and it’s not a good habit. Today I decided it’s time to create a new practice in my life when I find myself engaging in conversation which waivers dangerously toward the “g” word.
1. When you find yourself repeating a name over and over again in a story, stop after the second repeat (even if it’s a different story) and ask yourself how bringing this up is bettering the world.
2. If you are repeating a story about someone, pause for a moment and take some time to think about that person. What is at the root of the problem there? Could you be so annoyed by it because it’s familiar to you and might be a practice you are guilty of, too?
3. If you find that someone is constantly challenging your world in a way that doesn’t feel positive to you, can you remove that person from your life? If it’s your mother-in-law maybe not, but how can you work through or around this challenge?
4. If this person is someone who is going to continue to be in your life for a very long time it’s important that you don’t let the stories become just that—stories. Tell them over and over and they morph and grow more fantastic with time. Look at what’s important in that moment, focus on that, and let the gossip roll away.
5. If you absolutely must talk about this person, give yourself a time limit. Look at a clock on the wall. Tell the story in 1-2 minutes. Wrap it up. Change the topic.
Doesn’t that feel good just thinking about it?
“If you propose to speak, always ask yourself, is it true, is it necessary, is it kind.”
– The Buddha
Let's stop gossiping and creating drama. Create dharma instead.