“If you’re invested in security and certainty,
you are on the wrong planet.” 
– Pema Chödrön


Wise Speech in Difficult Times – Tom Baker

May 5, 2024

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Why is wholesome speech one of the hardest precepts to navigate?

In this talk, Tom Baker explores the many nuances of wise conversation, including:

  • The ways our words cause suffering
  • The intoxicating aspect of slander and gossip
  • The mindfulness component of watching our speech
  • Listening with our whole presence
  • Our responsibility to speak out against injustice
  • Overcoming our reluctance to speak up for ourselves
  • A Buddhist perspective on freedom of speech

Tetsugen Tom Baker is a Soto Zen priest in the lineage of Shunryu Suzuki-Roshi. He was ordained by Shinki Mark Lancaster at Dragon’s Leap Temple in 2017. He practices in the “Marketplace Priest” tradition. Long active in the Meditation in Recovery group, he was a founder of the off-shoot monthly Zen Men in 2015.

Tom works in the Geriatrics Division at UCSF and specializes in Palliative Care and end-of-life issues. He married his husband Gary Dexter in November 2021.