We are keeping things on zoom at the moment while we are seeing what the next wave of covid is going to look like.
This is what is coming up in September and beyond:
07 September – Rob leading a class on karma and the positive precepts
14 September – Paramajyoti
21 September – 6 week meditation course starts lead by Keith
28 September – Week 2 of the meditation course by Mangala
05 October – Week 3 of the meditation course by Amber
12 October – Week 4 of the meditation course by Padmajata
The link to the Tuesday zoom class is always the same, https://hertfordbuddhistgroup.co.uk/zoom . Newcomers and beginners are always welcome.
On our download page https://hertfordbuddhistgroup.co.uk/downloads/ where you can download a few things including a 32 page pdf of notes and a meditation diary that the upcoming course is based around.
That’s all for now. Have a great September!
p.s. Excerpt from one of my favourite books: “Buddhism: Tools for Living Your Life” by Vajragupta © Windhorse Publications
Avoid false speech, communicate truthfully
The fourth precept asks us to communicate truthfully. Before we can speak the truth to others, we need to be in contact with the truth ourselves. Truthfulness is an inner attitude, as well as an outer quality. As we go about our lives, we tell ourselves a story, we interpret and process our experience internally. We need to do this. We need to construct for ourselves a healthy sense of who we are in relation to the world. But sometimes, if we look closely – and this may even shock us – we find we are telling ourselves a lie. We subtly tell ourselves a version of reality that shows us in a good light. We don’t want to admit, even to ourselves, that we act unkindly, that we have ungenerous thoughts, or that other people sometimes get the better of us.
One of the great qualities connected with truthfulness is authenticity – being seen as we truly are. To be authentic is no small achievement – it takes a great deal of courage and confidence and may take sometime to develop. The first stage in being authentic is to be so with oneself. Only then can we be authentic with others. The more we have this quality, the freer we are. When we are not afraid to be seen as we are, others cannot manipulate us.
When we don’t speak the truth, it is often because we want to be seen in a good light. We don’t exactly blame our colleagues for the mistake we make, but we omit to put our boss right when they assume it was someone else that was in the wrong. Or we exaggerate the details of a story we are telling because we want to impress. Sometimes, when you overhear a conversation between friends, it sounds more like a competition in which each is trying to trump the other with a better story, or a funnier joke. There is very little real communication. You might say that a little bit of exaggeration isn’t that serious. From one point of view it isn’t, but, on the other hand, it is a missed opportunity to be more truly ourselves, rather than merely keep up the pretence.
Ethically skilful communication involves more than just factual truth. To quote William Blake, ‘A truth that’s told with bad intent, beats all the lies you can invent.’ We are trying to communicate not just truthfully, but also with loving-kindness. We try to avoid harsh, unkind comments. I once heard about a woman who worked in an office where there was a lot of gossip behind someone’s back. She was eventually asked what she thought of that person. She replied that she knew she had plenty of faults herself, so she tried not to dwell on the faults of others. The gossip stopped.
When you are with someone who habitually speaks kindly and appreciatively of others it is very uplifting. I have a friend with whom I spend time every few weeks. When I was first getting to know him, I noticed that each time I returned home I would almost feel inspired, and I’d wonder why. We’d only chatted about ordinary things. I realized it was because he always spoke in a positive and appreciative manner. Negative words poison the atmosphere, but positive words are just as potent in having the opposite effect.