In the next couple of months we will examine living a virtuous life and what it means to follow the path of the ten virtues. You might ask what does this have to do with Mind Power? The answer is simple and helps explain the fundamental law of being, namely: “All is energy”.
Quantum Physics has now established that all physical reality, while appearing to be solid, is actually vibrating energy. So too in the study of Mind Power, you learn to create thoughts (which are also vibrating energy) in your conscious mind to influence and imprint on the subconscious mind, which in turn vibrates in the matrix to attract to you the people, events and circumstances you desire. Actually it is incredibly easy to understand; however not so easy to practice because of our natural inclination toward inertia and procrastination. Nevertheless, the methodology and path is there for anyone to pursue, and it has been used successfully by millions of people who follow this system.
The ten virtues follow a similar pattern. Do not think of virtues as spiritual practices or obligations one does to become a better person. Think of them as paths of energy that lead the sincere-seeker deep into the mysteries of life and self. Practicing the ten virtues changes your vibration, and when you change your vibration you change your life. Pursue the virtues as others pursue wealth and fame. Pursue them because their paths are ones of wonder and joy. What you will learn on these paths will assist you to live an authentic, happy and successful life.
This is what I have found, but you might find something different. Perhaps having traveled these paths for a period of time, you may decide that they have no value for you and are empty concepts. If this is so, then drop them and move on. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. However, you might also find after traveling these paths and incorporating them into your life that they bring wisdom, understanding, inner-peace and great benefits. If this is so, then you may wish to incorporate them permanently into your life; it is your choice, but until you travel these paths yourself firsthand, they will only be vague concepts. Each of us decides if these paths have value. “To thine own self be true.”
The first path is the virtue of compassion. Practice acts of love and kindness towards others. Notice I say the word “acts” of love and kindness, for the virtues are paths, not mere concepts or attitudes of the mind. While one must have a concept of what compassion means before you practice it, it is in the daily “acts” of compassion that the path is trod.
Love and compassion are the cornerstones of Christian teaching. Jesus said, “…love thy neighbor as thyself.” Many of his parables were about compassion in action. “Greater love has no man than he give up his life for his fellow man”, he taught. While these words might be hard for us to comprehend, and harder still to practice, the way of compassion is held forth to us as a path that leads to God. For the Bible teaches God himself is love. But love and compassion are not only the cornerstones of Christian teaching; they are at the foundation of all the great religions. The Buddhist too is encouraged to practice loving kindness.
The Bodhisattva, one who is dedicated to compassionate acts toward others, represents the knowledge of eternal release while living. The full participation in others’ sorrows, troubles and challenges allows the Bodhisattva to experience the perfection of compassion. It is said that ambrosia pours from the Bodhisattva’s fingertips, giving comfort to all. Nor is it the aim of the Bodhisattva to change or improve this world, though he very well might. What the Bodhisattva is doing is simply participating in the nature of things. He is benevolent without purpose.
In my book, The Practice of Happiness, one of the chapters is Loving Kindness. Let me quote an expert from this chapter:
When we help others we are actually helping ourselves. The joy and happiness that love and compassion for others bring is one of the best-kept secrets of humanity. The benefits are so enormous and consistent that you have to wonder why we don’t practice such kindness more often. Helping others always makes us feel good.
Think back to times when you’ve given of yourself completely. Maybe you nursed a sick friend back to health, helped in a soup kitchen, coached the school football team, volunteered to raise money for some charity. How did it make you feel? And why did it make you feel so good? What is there in loving and helping one another that is so nurturing to our souls? Perhaps in doing so we are rediscovering our connectedness to one another. A hidden part of us thrills with joy when we reach out to one another in simple everyday ways…
…We search for happiness in romance, achievements, possessions, exciting experiences, and all of these bring us some satisfaction, but always more is needed. The paradox is that if we are totally preoccupied with only our own happiness, we will never truly achieve it.
The Japanese have an expression for neurotic self-preoccupation. It is seikatsu onchi; a term loosely translated as “tone-deaf about life.” This condition has us totally preoccupied with only ourselves. Every event and circumstance in our life is measured by how it affects us personally. Others are not considered. This self-centeredness is the cause of most of our suffering. Think about it. When you’re unhappy, are you thinking about yourself or others? Always yourself. This should teach us something.
This month I suggest you travel the path of acts of compassion to see what value it has for you. Notice how you feel when you perform acts of kindness.