Words of Wisdom
by Master Jun Hong Lu
Batam, Indonesia 20160218
THREE SIEVES TO GUARD OUR SPEECH
Master Jun Hong Lu: Once, a young monk went running to his Master, panting and feeling very excited. He said: “Let me tell you something, Master. I am very sure you could never imagine it.”
The Master answered sternly: “Wait a minute. The news that you are about to tell me, have you sifted it with three sieves?”
The young monk could feel that his Master was a little unhappy, and he shook his head.
The Master told the monk, “Before you tell somebody something, you must at least use three sieves to sift it. The first sieve is the sieve of truth. The thing that you are about to tell me, is it true?”
“Ermmm… Master, I heard it from the streets. Everybody says that. As a matter of fact, I do not know if it’s true.”
“Then you need to check it with your second sieve. Even if is not true, you should at least be telling me this matter out of kindness. Is that the case?”
“Er… no. On the contrary, Master.” At this point, the disciple dropped his head in regret.
“Then we shall now use the third sieve to check. This matter that you so urgently need to tell me, is it important?”
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The disciple replied, “It is not really that important.”
The Master cut in: “As this news is not important, neither is your intention kind, nor do you know whether it is true or not, why would you want to say it when by saying it will cause confusion in the both of us?”