Three Daily Principles I live by
Principle #1: It’s what in my Heart and Mind Which Is Most Important
As I go through the journey of life, I have seen time and time again, that what’s in my mind and heart in any given situation is very critical. This has been really engrained deeply in me by my Buddhist teacher. Once he told me to let go of “what I think I want,” and be open to where I am to be guided too. I know that many life decisions which I have made based on emotional self-serving ideals never seem to work out, yet when loving kindness and generosity in is in my mind and heart things seem to work out fine. I have found that in today’s hectic society that we live in, and with the noise of materialism very loud (especially in America society,) that things are not really as important as they seem many times. I have found for myself that in a given day, no matter how filled up it maybe, only a few things are critical. I have found some non-electronic down-time is a great idea. I meditate daily and this helps me keep things in prospective.
Principle #2: Optimistic Caring Intention Creates Value in my Human Interactions
What is optimistic caring intention; it’s a technique I use when I run into people who are suffering or upset about things in life. I start by listening deeply to what the person is saying, and I have found that one of the greatest gifts you can give to another person is your ear and your time. When I listen, instead of filtering on fear or pessimism; I try to focus on the optimistic (hopeful). I have found in almost all the stories of life and challenges in this world I listen too, there is always something optimistic if I listen deeply enough. Once I have extracted this nugget of value, and speak it back to the person I am with and I let them know I can see and hear the value in them. Almost always this results in a smile and the person feeling better. I always feel better when I give then when I receive, especially in these situations.
Principle #3: Humility and Sincerity are two of my most Important Life Tools
For me the above concepts are all in words as opposed to deeds unless I can focus on humility and sincerity. Sincerely being open to facing my own character defects has always been a challenge, yet all the years of putting up my defensive shield has been even harder. When I can be OK that I am a flawed person trying to improve, it’s easier to see the positive in what I could view as criticism. By making it OK for me to be wrong, and sincerely trying to exercise humility I have a chance to live principles #1 and #2. I can tell you that having a deep spiritual life has been essential for me, because in a world of challenges it can be an intense experience to walk my talk, and I am trying to improve a little every day.
These three principles for daily happiness connect back to giving ourselves the gift of “Still, Down and Quiet Time.”
In an article “lao-zhuang and heidegger on nature and technology” in the Journal of Chinese Philosophy, Graham Parkes states that “our current environmental problems stem from damage to the natural world through excessive use of modern technologies” (Parkes, 2013). This statement is stunning both in its reality, and metaphoric representation of technology eliminating “Still, Down and Quiet Time,” for the human race. Technology is incredible, and has done so much good, but we can’t allow modern life to extract us from our primordial selves which are pristine, perfect and wonderful just as they are. When I went to school built upon Quaker ethics early in life, they had enforced quiet time in the mornings. — I believe we can all live a better life by treating ourselves daily to “Still, Down and Quiet Time.”
Parkes, G. (2012). Lao- Zhuang and Heidegger on Nature and Technology. Journal Of Chinese Philosophy, 39112-133. doi:10.1111/1540-6253.12005