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Erric Solomon

Verbal Courage Transforms the World

As many of us have experienced, it can be hard to speak with family and friends about our meditation practice. And yet it is so important to be able to speak about what we believe and to do it with courage.


This Market Mine (click here) post by Penny Herscher gives us some tips on how to effectively exert influence in the office which apply equally well in our daily lives and can help us talk about meditation.

From the blog post:

“Verbal courage is a confident, clear voice and short, uncluttered sentences. Make a claim, state your opinion clearly and then shut up and listen. State what you believe and don't be afraid to be wrong, and to have people disagree with you.”

So then, why is verbal courage so important? In a world where there is so much emphasis on anger, aggression, greed and putting oneself first, it is important that another view becomes part of the social discourse. Anytime we can compellingly make the case that a life based on wisdom and compassionate living—the fruits of a meditative lifestyle—as universal values and an attractive alternative to constant preoccupation with oneself, isn’t the world then at least a little bit better?

Then as meditators, we can also use speaking with verbal courage as a part of our practice. Whenever we speak, instead of falling into our usual habits of verbal expression, we can bring ourselves into the state of non-distraction by mindfully focusing on the principles of verbal courage. Then we not only transform our speech into even more effective communication by combining verbal courage with the presence of mindful awareness. And that might be how we can help our friends and change the world.