Virtues
"emphasize virtue, have virtue, maintain virtue"

Chapter 8 - Tao Te Ching

The Highest form of goodness is like water
Water knows how to benefit all things without striving with them.
It stays in places loathed by all men
Therefore it comes near the Tao.
Lao-tzu

John Wesley's Rule:

Do all the good you can,
By all the means you can,
In all the ways you can,
In all the places you can,
At all the times you can,
To all the people you can,
As long as ever you can.


Never let your sense of morals get in the way of doing what's right.
-- Isaac Asimov

Morality

Morality as taught by way of rules is extremely powerful and valuable in the development of practice. It must be remembered first that it, like all the techniques in meditation, is merely a tool to enable one to eventually get to that place of unselfishness where morality and wisdom flow naturally. In the West, there's a myth that freedom means free expression - that to follow all desires wherever they take one is true freedom. In fact, as one observes the mind, one sees that following desires, attractions, repulsions is not at all freedom, but is a kind of bondage. A mind filled with desires and grasping inevitably entails great suffering. Freedom is not to be gained through the ability to perform certain external actions. True freedom is an inward state of being. Once it is attained, no situation in the world can bind one or limit one's freedom. It is in this context that we must understand moral precepts and moral rules.

Jack Kornfield, Living Dharma

Virtues & Non-dual Awareness (Rigpa) - Quotes by Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche

The moving mind's activities are virtuous, non-virtuous, or neutral. Virtuous actions host the experience of the nature of mind. Neutral actions disturb the connection to the nature of mind. Non-virtuous actions create more disturbance and lead to further disconnection. The teachings go into detail regarding the discriminations between virtuous and non-virtuous actions, such as generosity and greediness and so on. This however, is the clearest distinction: some actions lead to greater connection to rigpa and some lead to disconnection....

Stabilizing in rigpa also makes it easier to realize all other spiritual aspirations. It is easier to practice virtue when free of grasping and the sense of lack, easier to practice compassion when not obsessed with ourselves, easier to practice transformation when unattached to false and constricted identities.

(Read more about the
CONCEPTUAL MIND & RIGPA (Non-dual awareness) by Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche)


Paulo Coelho, The Valkyries: There is no sin but the lack of love.

The greatest sin is being unconscious - Carl Jung (paraphrased)



CONTENTS

 


1. ONE OF LIFE'S GREAT LESSONS -

LEARN TO BE THANKFUL FOR WHAT YOU ALREADY HAVE by Jim Rohn

(excerpted from the New Jim Rohn Weekend Event DVD/CD series)

Is thankfulness a survival skill?

Perhaps most of you would respond with, "No, Jim, thankfulness is not key to survival", and I would tend to agree with you. Most of us have probably already solved the necessary problems of survival, gone beyond that and are now working to achieve our desires.

But let me give you this key phrase, "Learn to be thankful for what you already have, while you pursue all that you want."

I believe one of the greatest and perhaps one of the simplest lessons in life we can learn is to be thankful for what we have already received and accomplished.

Both the years and the experiences have brought me here to where I stand today, but it is the thankfulness that opened the windows of opportunities, of blessings, of unique experiences to flow my way. My gratitude starts with my parents who raised me, gave me an incredible foundation that has lasted me all of these years and continues with the mentors that I've met along the way who absolutely changed and revolutionized my life, my income, my bank account, my future. I am also very thankful for the people, the associations, for the ideas, for the chance to work and labor, and to produce results, all of that has brought me to this place, to this weekend. I'm grateful for it all.

What a unique opportunity each one of you here has, so many of us; representing different countries, nations and cultures, to appreciate the uniqueness of our own experiences that has brought us all here, together, for these three days to learn new skills and sharpen old ones. For the countries we represent; we have freedom and liberty. These are extraordinary times, about eleven years ago the walls came tumbling down, in Germany, and it started a wave of democracy and freedom like the world has never seen before. We as a country and as a world have so much to be thankful for. Always start with thanksgiving; be thankful for what you already have and see the miracles that come from this one simple act.

Now thankfulness is just the beginning; next, you've got to challenge yourself to produce. Produce more ideas than you need for yourself so you can share and give your ideas away. That is called fruitfulness and abundance. Here's what I think fruitfulness and abundance mean - to go to work on producing more than you need for yourself so you can begin blessing others, blessing your nation and blessing your enterprise. Once abundance starts to come, once someone becomes incredibly productive, it's amazing what the numbers turn out to be. But to begin this incredible process of blessing, it often starts with the act of thanksgiving and gratitude, being thankful for what you already have and for what you've already done. Begin the act of thanksgiving today and watch the miracles flow your way.

To Your Success,
Jim Rohn

2. Vitamins for the Mind by Jim Rohn

GIVING/SHARING/GENEROSITY

It's best to start the discipline of generosity when the amounts are small. It's easy to give ten cents out of a dollar; it's a little harder to give a hundred thousand out of a million.

Giving is better than receiving because giving starts the receiving process.

Nothing teaches character better than generosity. Here's what is exciting about sharing ideas with others: If you share a new idea with ten people, they get to hear it once and you get to hear it ten times. Sharing makes you bigger than you are. The more you pour out, the more life will be able to pour in.

Somebody says, "Well, I can't be concerned about other people. About the best I can do is to take care of myself." Well, then you will always be poor.

What you give becomes an investment that will return to you multiplied at some point in the future.

When somebody shares, everybody wins. The amount you give isn't important. What matters is what that amount represents in terms of your life.

Only by giving are you able to receive more than you already have.

Vitamins for the Mind are a weekly sampling of original quotes, on a specific topic, taken from The Treasury of Quotes by Jim Rohn (TTOQ). TTOQ, a beautiful, burgundy hardbound book with gold foil lettering, is a collection of over 365 quotes on 60 topics gathered from Jim's personal journals, seminars and books spanning over 37 years. To order or to get more information on TTOQ by Jim Rohn or Excerpts from TTOQ by Jim Rohn or Brian Tracy, please go click on Monthly Specials

VALUES

The major value in life is not what you get. The major value in life is what you become.

That is why I wish to pay fair price for every value. If I have to pay for it or earn it, that makes something of me. If I get it for free, that makes nothing of me.

All values must be won by contest, and after they have been won, they must be defended.

Don't sell out your virtue and your value for something you think you want.

Judas got the money, but he threw it all away and hung himself because he was so unhappy with himself.

Values were meant to be costly. If it doesn't cost much, we probably wouldn't appreciate the value.

Count the cost first. Don't pay too big a price for pursuing minor values.

PERSEVERANCE/PERSISTENCE

It takes time to build a corporate work of art. It takes time to build a life. And it takes time to develop and grow. So give yourself, your enterprise, and your family the time they deserve and the time they require.

Americans are incredibly impatient. Someone once said that the shortest period of time in America is the time between when the light turns green and when you hear the first horn honk.

The twin killers of success are impatience and greed.

How long should you try? Until.

Some people plant in the spring and leave in the summer. If you've signed up for a season, see it through. You don't have to stay forever, but at least stay until you see it through.

 

All above quotes Excerpted from The Treasury of Quotes by Jim Rohn. Copyright © 1994 Jim Rohn International. These quotes are by Jim Rohn, America's Foremost Business Philosopher. To subscribe to the Free Jim Rohn Weekly E-zine, go to


SUREFIRE WAYS TO DEVELOP A THANKFUL ATTITUDE By Chris Widener

This week we celebrate the holiday of Thanksgiving here in the U.S. As you take time to be thankful this year, here are a few practical ways to help us cultivate thankful hearts:

1. Spend some time thinking about how good you have it. We know this, but we don't often spend time pondering it. Doing so will shape and mold your attitude and develop healthy thought patterns that will make you more thankful all of the time.

As the old hymn goes, "Count Your Blessings, Name Them One By One." Take some time and write down every single thing you have in your life to be thankful about. Do this with your children if you have some, and you will all be astounded at all the good things in your life.

2. Look down the socioeconomic chain instead of up. Focusing our thoughts on the things we don't have, while being a motivator, can also be a source of envy and greed. Focusing, at least on a semi-regular basis, on those who have less than us, causes us to be thankful for what we have.

3. Go work at a food bank. The more success we achieve, the more apt we are to live our lives around others who are successful while eliminating or drastically reducing our contact with those who are less fortunate than ourselves. Working at a food bank will open your eyes once again to a world you may have forgotten about.

4. Send a good-sized check on a regular basis to whatever charity you choose, of course. Giving money away breaks the power money can wield over us. Remember, money isn't the root of evil, the love of money is the roots of all kinds of evil. Giving a good chunk away on a regular basis keeps things in perspective.

5. Simplify. Ralph Waldo Emerson said that the true measure of a man's wealth is in the things he can afford not to buy. When we simplify, we realize how we can make do on so much less. It makes us thankful for all the extra's we have most of the time. Read the classic "Walden." If you really want to get radical, fast for a day or two. You will really be thankful when you get to eat again!

6. Remember, ultimately what we have has been given to us. Yes, we work hard, but it is God who allows us the breath to continue each moment. Billy Graham was asked what surprised him most about life and he answered "The brevity of it." Life is short. We can't take it for granted. We should remember that life, and success, is a gift. That is something to be thankful for.

Enjoy the holidays!


Chris Widener is a popular speaker and writer as well as the President of Made for Success, a company helping individuals and organizations turn their potential into performance, succeed in every area of their lives and achieve their dreams.

Chris is also a weekly contributor to the Jim Rohn One-Year Success Plan.

To order Chris's audio series Extraordinary Leaders Seminar go to www.yoursuccessstore.com and save 40%! To become part of the Jim Rohn One-Year Plan see #2 under 10 Great Gift Ideas in Section 4.


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"The big challenge is to become all that you have the possibility of becoming. You cannot believe what it does to the human spirit to maximize your human potential and stretch yourself to the limit." Jim Rohn
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Simple Prayer Book

The Three Theological Virtues - Faith, Hope and Charity

The four cardinal Virtues - Prudence, Justice, Fortitude, and Temperence

The Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit: Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Fortitude, Knowledge, Piety, the Fear of the Lord

The Twelve Fruits of the Holy Spirit:

Charity, Joy, Peace, Patience, Benignity, Goodness, Longanimity, Mildness, Faith, Modesty, Continency, Chastity.

The Seven Corporal Works of Mercy:

To feed the hungry;
to give drink to the thirsty:
to clothe the naked:
to harbour the harbourless:
to visit the sick;
to visit the imprisoned;
to bury the dead.

The Seven Spiritual Works of Mercy:

To counsel the doubtful;
to instruct the ignorant;
to admonish sinners;
to comfort the afflicted;
to forgive offences;
to bear wrongs patiently;
to pray for the living and the dead.

The Seven Deadly Sins:

Pride, Covetousness, Lust, Anger, Gluttony, Envy, Sloth

The Opposite Virtues:

Humility, Liberality, Chastity, Meekness, Temperence, Brotherly Love, Diligence

10 Commandments

1. Thou shalt not have strange gods before Me. Thou shalt not make to thyself any graven thing; nor the likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or in the earth beneath, nor of those things that are in the waters under the earth. Thou shalt not adore or serve them.

2. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain

3. Remember that thou keep holy the Sabbath day

4. Honour thy father and thy mother

5. Thou shalt not kill

6. Thou shalt not kill

7. Thou shalt not steal

8. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour

9. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbours wife

10. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's goods


Reciting the St. Francis prayer

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace;

where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy;

Grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood, as to understand,
to be loved as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

It is in the words of this 800 year old technology for problem solving, spoken by a saint who walked among us, that we find our way out of this confusion and bitterness. This prayer formed the basis for my writing 'There's a Spiritual Solution to Every Problem'. I urge you to recite this prayer of St Francis several times a day and act upon its inherent wisdom.

In Love and Light, Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

Baha'i View

The principles which guide Bahá'ís in their interactions with the outside world are the same high moral values that have been taught in all of the world's major religions: love, compassion, courtesy, charity, faithfulness, honesty, trustworthiness, and humility

The ultimate aim in life of every human soul, the Bahá'í writings state, should be to attain moral and spiritual excellence--to align one's inner being and outward behavior with the will of an all-loving Creator. That each individual has been bestowed with a unique destiny by God--a destiny which unfolds in accordance with the free exercise of the choices and opportunities presented in life lies at the center of Bahá'í belief. In particular, it is through the moral exercise of our divinely conferred free will that opportunities are provided for spiritual advancement. "All that which ye potentially possess," Bahá'u'lláh confirms, "can...be manifested only as a result of your own volition."1

In a poetic passage, Bahá'u'lláh described the actions of the moral individual and urged His followers to live accordingly:

Be generous in prosperity, and thankful in adversity.
Be worthy of the trust of thy neighbor, and look upon him with a bright and friendly face.
Be a treasure to the poor, an admonisher to the rich, an answerer of the cry of the needy, a preserver of the sanctity of thy pledge.
Be fair in thy judgment, and guarded in thy speech.
Be unjust to no man, and show all meekness to all men.
Be as a lamp unto them that walk in darkness, a joy to the sorrowful, a sea for the thirsty, a haven for the distressed, an upholder and defender of the victim of oppression. Let integrity and uprightness distinguish all thine acts.
Be a home for the stranger, a balm to the suffering, a tower of strength for the fugitive.
Be eyes to the blind, and a guiding light unto the feet of the erring.
Be an ornament to the countenance of truth, a crown to the brow of fidelity, a pillar of the temple of righteousness, a breath of life to the body of mankind, an ensign of the hosts of justice, a luminary above the horizon of virtue, a dew to the soil of the human heart, an ark on the ocean of knowledge, a sun in the heaven of bounty, a gem on the diadem of wisdom, a shining light in the firmament of thy generation, a fruit upon the tree of humility.

Bahá'u'lláh, like Abraham, Buddha, Christ, Muhammad and the other Divine Messengers who preceded Him, sought to awaken the moral and creative capacities latent in human nature.


The Supreme Master Ching Hai initiates sincere spiritual aspirants into the Quan Yin Method -- the same practice that was taught by Jesus Christ, Buddha, and other Saints.

The Chinese characters, Quan Yin, mean "contemplation of the sound current." The Method involves meditation on the Inner Light and the Inner Sound of God, or the Word (Logos) as referred to in the Bible and acknowledged repeatedly in the literature of all the world's major spiritual traditions.

Through this practice you can gain a happy and more relaxed life, liberate yourself, and save five generations of your family. The Quan Yin Method requires two and a half hours of meditation per day and adherence to the following five precepts:

  • Refraining from taking the life of sentient beings
  • Refraining from speaking what is not true
  • Refraining from taking what is not offered
  • Refraining from sexual misconduct
  • Refraining from the use of intoxicants

The Supreme Master Ching Hai promises that if an initiate practices the Quan Yin Method for two and a half hours a day and keeps the five precepts, he or she will not need to reincarnate ever again.


Universal Virtues

Values are relative, & subjective. Principles are universal, essential, core, timeless and unchangeable.

Good Virtues are universal and worthwhile attributes

Develop positive virtues and you will witness a raise in consciousness. Also the more good you do the more good you will receive. This builds your merit - increasing your good karma account.

We create our destiny, moment to moment, through our thoughts, feelings, words and deeds (karma). You can create a better life by following simple priniciples

All religions agree on developing the following:


Balance - Being too rigid?

Tao Te Ching, by Lao-Tzu
Lao-Tzu divided the Tao Te Ching into two parts: The Tao or the Way, and Te, 'virtue'. But this does not mean virtue in the Western sense of moral and ethical correctness; it is rather the innate virtue of the world - its essential properties.
The Taoist adept will strive for understanding of these and this will inform his or her whole life and being. True te is uncontrived, unforced naturalness with which the wise man will handle practical affairs, putting his own wishes and desires in line with the natural flow of outside events and phenomena.

The Tranquil Taoist

According to the book of Chuang-tzu, an old man is seen by some followers of Confucious swimming in a raging torrent; suddenly, he disappears. The pupils of Confucious rush to save him, but the man reaches the bank entirely unaided. Asked how he had pulled off this remarkable feat of survival, the man replied that he had simply let himself go with the descending and ascending currents in the water. The true Taoist, in other words, moulds his senses, body and mind until they are at one with the currents of the world without.

Above excerpt from 'Sacred Symbols, Tao'


Sri Ramana Maharshi:

What is right and wrong?

There is no standard by which to judge something to be right and another to be wrong. Opinions differ according to the nature of the individual and according to the surroundings. They are again ideas and nothing more. Do not worry about them but get rid of thoughts instead. If you always remain in the right, then right will prevail in the world.

Q. Will not right conduct be enough to secure salvation?

A. Salvation for whom? Who wants salvation? And what is right conduct? What is conduct? And what is right and what is wrong?

Only when the reality is known can the truth about right and wrong be known.

The best course is to find out who wants this salvation. Tracing this 'who' or ego to its original source is right conduct for everyone.

Intention - Motives

...whatever is done lovingly, with righteous purity and with peace of mind, is good action. Everything that is done with a stain of desire and with agitation filling the mind is classified as bad action.

Means to an End?

Do not perform any good action [karma] through a bad means, thinking 'It is sufficient if it bears good fruit.' Because if the means is bad, even a good action will turn out to be bad one. Therefore, even the means of doing actions should be pure.

p212 Be as You Are - 'The Teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi ' David Godman


Bad Habits & Bad Practices

Excerpt from Be as You Are - The Teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi

Q: It is said that the whole universe is God's play of consciousness and that everything is full of brahman. Then why should we say that bad habits and bad practises should be discarded?

A: Suppose there is some wound inside the human body. If you neglect it, on the assumption that it is only a small part of the body, it causes pain to the whole body. If it is not cured by ordinary treatment, the doctor must come, cut off the affected portion and with a knife and remove the impurities. If the diseased part is not cut off it will fester. If you do not bandage it after operating pus will form. It is the same thing with regard to conduct. Bad habits and bad conduct are like a wound in the body. Every disease must be given appropriate treatment.

Q: So one should adhere to the conventional codes of behaviour?

A: Since the prescribed observances for self discipline [niyamas] help one to considerable extent, they are worthy to be accepted and followed. But if they are found to obstruct the superior practice of enquiry for true knowledge, give them up immediately as deficient.

Q: Sankara says that we are all free, not bound, and that we shall all go back to God from whom we have come as sparks from a fire. Then why should we not commit all sorts of sins?

A: It is true we are not bound and that the real Self has no bondage. It is true that you will eventually go back to your source. But meanwhile, if you commit sins, as you call them, you will have to face the consequences of such sins. You cannot escape them. If a man beats you, then, can you say, 'I am free, I am not bound by these beatings and I don't feel any pain. Let him beat on'? If you can feel like that, you can go on doing what you like. What is the use merely of saying 'I am free?'


OSHO

"A man who lives through conscience becomes hard. A man who lives through consciousness remains soft. Why? because a man who has some ideas about how to live naturally becomes hard. He has to carry his character around himself. That character is like an armor; his protection, his security; his whole life is invested in that character. And he always reacts to situation through the character. If you ask him a question his answer is ready made."

"This is the sign of a hard person - he is dull stupid, mechanical. He may be a good computer, but he is not a man. You do something and he reacts in a well established way. His reaction is predictable; he is a robot."

"The real man acts spontaneously. If you ask him a question, your question gets a response, not a reaction. He opens his heart to your question, exposes himself to your question, responds to it..."

Osho

Don't be too rigid - conscience is hard - carrying around a character - 'I should be like this, but did this' - 'yes' and then 'no' - this is like schizophrenia - split mind - soul connection.

consciousness - seeing things, just as they are, with no fear or desire - is soft, playful, innocent

The whole effort of Zen is how to drop this schizophrenia, how to drop this split personality, how to drop the individual mind of man, how to become undivided, integrated, centered, crystalized.

The way you are, you cannot say that you are. You don't have a being. You are a marketplace - many voices. If you want to say 'yes', immediately the 'no' is there. You cannot even utter a simple word 'yes' with totality.....In this way happiness is not possible; unhappiness is a natural consequence of split personality.

Osho

Better to follow your heart, if you can find it. If you can't find it, just jump - your heart will start beating so fast there will be no mistake about where it is!

Osho Zen Tarot p120


The Relationship between Consciousness and Virtues

And it was a suprise to me that as you become silent, as you become conscious, more alert, your actions start changing - but not vice versa. You can change your actions, but that will not make you more conscious. You become more conscious and your actions will change - that's absolutely simple and scientific. You were doing something stupid; as you become more alert and more conscious, you cannot do it.

It's not a question of reward or punishment. It is simply your consciousness, your silence, your peace, which makes you look so far away and so deep into everything that you do. You cannot do harm to anybody; you cannot be violent: you cannot be angry, you cannot be greedy, you cannot be ambitious. Your consciousness has given you so much blissfulness...what can greed give you except anxiety? What can ambition give you? Just a continuous struggle to reach high on some ladder.

As your consciousness becomes more settled, all your life patterns change. What religions have called sin will disappear from your life, and what they have called virtue will automatically flow from your being, from your actions. But they have been doing just vice versa: first change the acts. It is as if you are in a dark house and you are stumbling, light is not possible. What I am saying is, bring light in and stumbling will disappear, because when there is light why should you stumble over things? Every time you stumble, every time you hit your head on a wall it hurts. It is a punishment in itself - a wrong act is a punishment in itself; there is nobody recording your acts. And every beautiful action is a reward unto itself. But first bring light into your life.

Meditation is an effort to bring light nad to bring joy and to bring silence and to bring blissfulness, and out of this beautiful world of meditation it is impossible for you to do anything wrong.

'Autobiography of a Spiritually Incorrect Mystic' by OSHO, pp124


Virtues develop naturally along with the spiritual path.

Those who are deep in their 'Transforming Union' / deep prayer / deep samadhi develop virtues naturally as they become a vessel for the divine - an Instrument of God.

In the practice of giving, you're actually cultivating mental detachment, and hence charity is a way to open the mind to emptiness. In addition, by satisfying another's needs and putting their desires to rest, you will earn the merit of a peaceful mind in turn, which is itself a type of samadhi achievement.

However the highest type of charity involves cultivating samadhi directly, for it means constantly giving away one's thoughts to attain selfless emptiness, clarity and wisdom. This is why we say that the highest prayer is to give everything over to God, for this type of charity can result in the samadhi of freedom from thoughts.

In this light, the virtue of "fasting" should be seen as giving up thought possessions, and "being selfless" should be seen as reaching toward the state of non-ego through abandoning the concept of a self. In all these cases, the religious virtues are actually models of cultivation practice, as well as natural natural results of cultivation efforts. Mindfully cultivating the virtues, or excellences of behaviour, thus becomes a method of cultivating samadhi.

As another example, patience under provocation is considered a virtue because it also involves mastering emptiness of mind. In this light, practicing patience doesn't mean using forceful effort to restrain yourself in order to "peacefully" tolerate a situation. If this were true, then wearing a straight jacket or tethering yourself to a stake would both equally qualify as instances of patience. Rather,

patience means detaching from the fundamental volitional impulses that impel you to act; you are practicing patience when you abide in a calm state of open empty, awareness while these impulses surge without your succumbing to their influence.

Fire that doesn't touch you doesn't burn, so when you detach from impulses that would normally stir you, this is practicing true patience.

...Cultivating virtue doesn't mean holding the mind and body in strict forms that correspond to rigid regulations and rules of conduct, nor does it mean becoming solemnly strict in one's personality and behaviour. In fact, if you never let the joy arise that leads to bliss of the first dhyana. The strict person person's bones will be hard and his or her body won't be supple .

Practising discipline actually means to constantly shine awareness on your thoughts and motivations to see that no breach of discipline ever arises. In the meantime however, you always keep your body loose and relaxed and you should be smiling in harmony with your environment - otherwise you're being tied up in forms again.

Eventually the virtue of maintaining discipline in this manner will converge into cessation and contemplation practice from which you can enter samadhi.

We must remember that mind is fundamentally empty, so there are no rules of discipline to be found in it at all, but when you slip out of its stainless state, this is the greatest breach of discipline. So the state of samadhi is actually the highest practice of discipline in existence, whereas following external rules of conduct is just mastering the outward appearance of transient form, which is no true discipline at all.

For those who are trying to master the virtues but are inhibited by their own bad habits and behavioural tendencies, there are various meditations you can undertake to help in the effort.

For instance, a person who is dominated by hatred can meditate on love.

A person dominated on desire can meditate on ugliness and the uncleanliness of the physical body. Someone dominated by pride can meditate on the interdependence of phenomena to realize that we are just agglomeration of various component factors. In this way they'll realize there is no such thing as ego and therefore nothing to be proud of.

Someone who is unclear or confused can meditate on the Buddhist concept of dependent-arising and someone who thinks too much can meditate on the inhalations and exhalations of breath.

How did confucius describe the path to enlightenment? As the process of revealing our bright virtue (the fundamental nature), loving the people by working for the benefit of others, and resting in the highest perfection (of samadhi). He said that to bring peace to the world and society at large you have to start with perfecting yourself, and in perfecting your behaviour, there are seven steps to this process.

The first two steps are knowing how to stop the mind and stopping (reaching cessation) so that you can reach the third step of attaining samadhi. From samadhi you can arrive at stillness, from stillness comes peacefulness and comfort (because all your chi and mai have opened), from there you can attain prajna-wisdom and finally, the self-realization of enlightenment.

Confucius often described the process in terms of the perfection of outward behaviour, but ultimately the same process of mental cultivation we've been discussing because the mind is at the root.

Read St Francis of Assisi's Prayer.


Secret to Success are Good Deeds

The foundation of qigong is to "emphasize virtue, have virtue, maintain virtue". When you are learning qigong and you want to use qigong for healing, then you must emphasize virtue. When a master teaches a student, the master will watch to see if you have virtue. When you have achieved a certain level of abilities, the master will watch to see if you can maintain virtue. So the secret to success in qigong is to "emphasize virtue, have virtue, maintain virtue". This is the essentials. You need to do good deeds everywhere, do good deeds for a lifetime. This way your abilities will continuously grow, and if you are seeking qigong for healing, the results will be better.

If you can be "in step" with a qigong master's thought and consciousness, the resonant effects will be better. Otherwise the effects will not be too good. Even if you are given qi, the good results will recede because you have discharged them. When a person is not trying their best to do good deeds, whenever they do harmful deeds towards others, the signals will be stored in the body. Especially when one steals something, even though other people don't know, the storage of these signals are the most obvious because the subconscious knows. Therefore qigong pays attention to doing good deeds from beginning to end. This is the fundamentals. This is the total key to qigong practice.


"Non-action" is "action"

Sometimes after I have healed someone, they would give me a gift. I would immediately give away that gift to someone else. Some people would complain immediately: "Oh no! Dr. Yan, you really don't understand people". This is not correct. When I give away the gift, I am doing a good deed for you! When I give away someone from you, it is a way to test you. I often do this, as I have learnt this from my teachers. A person should do good deeds, and pay attention to doing good deeds for strangers. This requires training. You can't ignore the training, because most people cannot do this. If you can do this aspect, then you will understand the state of "clear tranquility and without action" in qigong. Emphasizing virtue will lead you to enter this state of "clear tranquility and without action". Most person cannot enter this state. Daoism speaks of "Inaction is action". It begins with "inaction": not thinking of small goals, not thinking of your personal benefits. When you abilities appear, tasks that others cannot do you can do. That is "action", where you can able do anything. This includes healing illnesses that others can't heal, and resolving problems that others can't resolve.

Dr Yan Xin

Subtlety in any form is a virtue


Tips for decision making

If you are having difficulty deciding on a particular course of action, use some of the following techniques

Internal Feelings & Intuition

Check your gut feeling, look out for anxiety signals when you think of something

Check your heart for truth feeling - is your heart energy expanding or contracting when you think of somebody / something

Check you Soul, by focusing and shifting your awareness to above your crown - sense for any good or bad vibes

Free Mentor guidance

- Imagine what a spirit guide / parent / saint would do in your situation?

eg. ask yourself: If Saint Francis of Assisi or St Theresa of Avile was in my shoes what would he / she do?

Logic:

List three reasons why to do something

List three reasons why not to do something

Creativity & Logic:

Wear a different hat:

White: Information
Red: Intuitive, feeling
Green: Creative Pause
Black: Judge
Yellow: Positive attitude

Prayer, Symbols & Synchronisity

Consume desires mindfully and with joy - be grateful for what you have, know where they come from.

Be detached but involved.

Fake it till you make it

Be detached from desires / temptation but consume them joyfully. If you don't get something you expect, don't be annoyed.

Renunciation & Fasting are good methods for developing will power and controlling desires.


 

keywords:

6 perfections, Bodhisattva Vow, Tao Te Ching

related books & Authors

related articles:

The Twenty-Four Rules for Chi Kung Practice by Yang, Jwing-Ming

http://www.bahai.org/article-1-4-0-8.html Morality & Spiritual Growth

The Philosophical Dictionary Voltaire Selected and Translated by H.I. Woolf New York: Knopf, 1924 - Virtue , - What is virtue? Beneficence towards the fellow-creature. - http://history.hanover.edu/texts/voltaire/volvirt.htm

http://history.hanover.edu/texts/voltaire/voltruth.htm - Truth

http://history.hanover.edu/texts/voltaire/voleccle.htm - The Ecclesiastical Ministry

related links:

Related pages:


 


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