Friday, May 13, 2011

Five Precepts Blues; 4.6 - Please Don't Talk About Me When I'm Gone

Billie Holiday ~ Please Don't Talk About Me When I'm Gone

This has never been my favorite Billie Holiday song, but I have noticed it playing in my head on several occasions, after a last day at work, or at the end of a relationship...

Not to disrespect Bonnie Raitt or anything, but I think the best aspiration would be not to give them anything to talk about in the first place. The only thing that can truly be controlled is how much we talk negatively of others.

That's something I've been very bad at in my life but have worked at over the last few years, even before I knew anything about the five precepts. I knew my big mouth wasn't making my friends happy, and that was enough.


  1. I've always wondered though, what if you're saying nice things about someone else? Is it still gossip?
    I have to work very hard on this one too.

  2. "Monks, a statement endowed with five factors is well-spoken, not ill-spoken. It is blameless & unfaulted by knowledgeable people. Which five?

    "It is spoken at the right time. It is spoken in truth. It is spoken affectionately. It is spoken beneficially. It is spoken with a mind of good-will."


    Maybe saying nice things falls under "spoken affectionately"?

  3. ZM Seung Sahn used to talk frequently about the mouth and the problems it makes. He had some set phrases that I always enjoyed, such as:

    - Open mouth, big mistake
    - Mouth number one problem gate

    Hard to keep that gate shut!

  4. I only read a couple of his books, but I remember seeing "Mouth number one problem gate" enough times that I couldn't forget it!

    I actually meant to incorporate it into this post and forgot!!
    Thanks for adding it here! ^_^