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A Code of Courtesy and Kindness >
Writing as Practice
Paying attention to how you use language is a mindfulness practice, and essential to Right Speech.
The following basic writing skills are fundamental to appropriate email communication:
- Focus and clarity about your agenda
- Refraining from putting a burden on readers with attention, for example, to...
- Spelling, punctuation, and paragraph spacing (If you have a spelling checker, use it even if you don't think you need it.)
- Limiting the number and size of your postings, so as not to overwhelm
- Attention to peculiarities of email
- Including only the relevant portions of a post you are responding to, never forwarding the entire post again to the list at the bottom of your response to the post.
- Not flaming, not reading too much into what's there see Electronic Right Speech
- Speaking from your own experience.
- Dominick Spirelli recommends talking in the abstract about spiritual practice rather than from a personal point of view.
- However, abstract language sounds pretentious and phony in comparison to direct reporting.
- Making "I" statements is taking responsibility for what I say. If I don't own my thoughts and feelings this way, I'm more likely to sound like I'm telling others what to think or feel. Worse yet, I may be slipping into really doing that: speaking only for myself keeps me honest, and encourages mindfulness.
- Respect for copyright, with proper citation so people can find originals
These human relations skills facilitate any communication:
- Compassion, tolerance, considerateness, civility
- Fostering safety to facilitate deep involvement
- Sensitivity to others' viewpoints and styles of communication
- Pausing in your conversation so that others may speak. Listening twice as much as you speak.
- Trying to discover the truths and experiences of others, and finding skillful ways to communicate yours to us.
- Witnessing your experience mindfully
Skillful attitudes toward yourself help you communicate, keep you honest, and help you on your path.
- Mindfulness / paying attention
- An interest in learning about yourself, from your interactions on the list
- Listening to what's uncomfortable
For more infomation relevant to Our Code of Courtesy and Kindness, see...