I will elaborate a little but further on my last post, as asked for by Anthony.
First: there are 3 stages when intention has to be checked: before, during and after speech (and action as well, but that js not the topic here).
Before speech I check first whether what I want to say is of benefit to the other. Then I check whether any personal defilement is involved, like wanting to be loved/seen/heard/noticed/ important/ better than the other , any boasting, any power play, contempt, whatsoever. If I feel any “stickiness” or “dirtiness” indicating an attachment I don’t talk.
I then “cut the attachment” (can not explain how I do it, but by clearly identifying it and seeing the disgustedness, it is easy to drop) and check whether I still want to have the conversation.
Then I check the “5 principles”.
The above does not take more than max a few seconds though - it became a habit already.
During speech I only check whether I still speak out of an attitude of metta.
After speech I evaluate, mostly by checking how I feel. Do I feel light, calm, peaceful. Good! Do I feel dirty or have a slightly bad taste in the mouth. Not good! See what can be improved next time.
From these evaluations I compiled a list with kilesa-traps, which is more a communication matrix though. Can’t post pictures, so can’t show it to you all. Here is the gist:
First column shows categories: plain criticism by others / abuse by others / compliments / others seeking approval and love / own speech.
The second column states the most skillful way of reacting - what is working for me with my understanding at this time.
I.e.: abuse by others: understand the habitual tendency is to get angry - accept it - muster a feeling of curiosity about the needs of the other which have not been met.
The category “own speech” details grey areas, what are good intentions and kilesa-traps
+ the list of my previous post
+ chitchat is ok if intention is to create a sense of harmony, but be careful to keep it to a minimum.
+ when I feel a strong urge to speak - don’t! Certainly some kilesas are involved.
+ talking Dhamma is good, but careful for need for approval
+ careful with tendency to “shock” other people, that is my tendency for powerplay
When I started practicing “right speech ” I have been very quiet for a month or so. Whenever you want to say something there is a need behind it, a desire. Most of them are kilesas or mixed with kilesas. It takes quite a bit of work to determine for yourself what is skillful and what is not skillful speech. And then practicing to only use skillful speech. Or in case of using unskillful speech, know what is the kilesa behind it, and understand it is a bit too strong for you this time