The Eighth and Ninth Mindfulness Trainings

The Eighth Mindfulness Training: Community and Communication Aware that the lack of communication always brings about separation and suffering, we are committed to training ourselves in the practice of compassionate listening and loving speech. We will learn to listen deeply without judging or reacting and refrain from uttering words that can create discord or cause the community to break. We will make every effort to keep communications open and to reconcile and resolve all conflicts, however small.

The Ninth Mindfulness Training: Truthful and Loving Speech

Aware that words can create suffering or happiness, we are committed to learning to speak truthfully and constructively, using only words that inspire hope and confidence. We are determined not to say untruthful things for the sake of personal interest or to impress people, nor to utter words that might cause division or hatred. We will not spread news that we do not know to be certain nor criticize or condemn things of which we are not sure. We will do our best to speak out about situations of injustice, even when doing so may threaten our safety.

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The above trainings are taken from the Fourteen Mindfulness Trainings of the Order of lnterbeing, established by Thich Nhat Hanh in 1966. The Order of Interbeing grew out of the engaged Buddhist movement during the American-Vietnam War, when monks and nuns stepped outside their temples to help victims of war and many young people abandoned their ambitions to respond to the call for nonviolent service to help their devastated country.

Currently there are around 700 OI members spread all around the world. The Order of lnterbeing is composed of monks, nuns, laymen, and laywomen committed to practicing the Fourteen Mindfulness Trainings and living according to the bodhisattva ideal of concrete, engaged compassionate action in the world. For more information see Interbeing by Thich Nhat Hanh, published by Parallax Press.

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