When I was a child, someone told me something that apparently Buddha had said…
When you say terrible things about others, it is like mud spilling out of your mouth.
Speak only when the words that come out of your mouth are as lovely as a fresh blossoming lotus.
After hearing this, I did not say much for quite some time.
Being a visually imaginative child, I was constantly imagining mud pouring out of my mouth if I said anything terrible.
This has had a huge impact on my life.
Even as an adult, when people are just nasty or complain a lot, I imagine mud spewing from them.
Although I wouldn’t exactly want lotus flowers literally growing out of my mouth, I still visualize this to keep myself from saying things I would regret later.
These are the words of Zen Buddhist monk and teacher Thich Nhat Hanh.
And I am very fond of these words.
Whether things are going well or not, I remind myself to do this.
Even when I am dancing the tango.
(I found out recently that Master Thich Nhat Hanh and I share the same birthday and it makes me feel extra special.)