As we are aware, God has gifted us a beautiful body to live beautifully on this beautiful earth. In our body, there is self immunization system to protect us and with a warning system to alert us as and when there goes some thing wrong or we might
have mismanaged something. In course of time, various methods have been evolved for treatment of the diseases created by our mismanagement. To obviate the malfunctioning, in previous two parts of this post, we dwelt a little on certain virtues like Attention, Beauty, Compassion, Connections, Devotion, Enthusiasm, Faith, Forgiveness, Grace, Gratitude, Hope, Hospitality, Imagination, Joy, Justice, Kindness, Listening, Love, Meaning, Nurturing, Openness, Peace, Play and Questing. To proceed further, some more virtues find place to be persuaded in this direction.
Reverence is the way of deep-seated respect. It recognizes and honors the presence of the sacred in everything — our bodies, other people, animals, plants, rocks, the earth, and the waters. Since everything is touched by the sacred, everything has worth, not to be wasted by pollution, wasteful consumption, cruelty to animals, exploitation of forests, over-use of the land etc. All life is essentially interrelated and interconnected, all living being should be considered sacred and be respected. This belief forms the basis of ahimsa, which has been translated into English variously as “reverence for life,” “nonviolence” and “dynamic compassion.” It is even an appropriate attitude to care for our belongings, since they are the co-creations of humans and God. Reverential thinking — to recognize human life as an intrinsic value; to recognize love as an essential and indispensable modality; creative thinking, joy, brotherhood of all beings. Reverential thinking is not a luxury, but is a condition of our sanity and grace.He wishes that we should not abuse our body; we must eat right, undertake exercises appropriately and get enough rest. We should not abuse the earth by wasting its gifts. We need to protect the environment for our neighbors and future generations.
The practice of shadow encourages us to make peace with those parts of ourselves that we find to be dreadful, unworthy and embarrassing — our anger, jealousy, pride, selfishness, violence and other evil deeds. It aims at wholeness by unifying the dark and the light inside and around us. It is a corrective to any tendency to make spirituality into simplistic feelings of sweetness and light; it balances negative thinking. People do terrible things to others, sometimes because of their beliefs and in the name of their religion. Individuals, even those who are deeply spiritual, go through dark nights of the soul when depression and ignorance take on terrifying dimensions. Nature, the source of so much inspiration, also has its shadow elements — hurricanes, volcanic eruptions, floods. Sometime, these take place as corrections of the environmental mismanagement or they can be the results of our over-harnessing pattern. By honestly acknowledging these aspects of life, we move toward a more rounded view of reality and build the foundation for personal wholeness.
We may start by looking closely at ourselves, especially our flaws. We should take responsibility for our actions, especially those that have had unfortunate outcomes. By owning our shadow, we can embrace our full humanity. Once we secure this virtue and make a permanent part of our character, believe me you will stand much stronger, more than ever in front of your own weaknesses.
Silence is the cornerstone of character. Exercising silence means you are trying to ignore the happenings taking place in your presence or you are just observing without reacting sharply or you are willing to study the surroundings or you are in process of doing so. It gives you an opportunity to express your well-considered views. Generally, it is often referred to in terms of space: the immensity inside, the cave of the heart, the oasis of quiet, the inner sanctuary, the interior castle, the sacred center where God dwells. For centuries, people have used this practice as a resting and renewal stop on the spiritual journey. It provides a way to periodically withdraw from the world. You may go into silence as a prelude to prayer, or you may seek it as the place where through meditation you can contact your deeper self and Spirit.
We can find a space of physical silence where we can sit quietly, away from distracting demands, voices and sounds. Once we develop our habit to keep silence by going there daily and sitting for sometime. Initially, we can keep sitting for a few minutes and then increasing the duration slowly. There, we can mediate or concentrate on some single point. That can be the gateway to our interior silence and the most significantly, an opportunity for deep introspection.
Whether we call them as sages, masters, elders, gurus, ministers, teachers, or priests, they play an important part in our lives. They instruct directly and indirectly through stories, parable, sermons, lectures and personal examples. They recommend readings, assign exercises and tasks to be accomplished, demonstrate acts and challenge us to reach the fullness of our potential. Of course, there comes a point when we realize that everything we encounter and everyone we meet, we learn something out of such meetings, is a teacher. We can even learn from seemingly negative experiences such as difficulties, personal warps, enemies, suffering, illness and death.
The first step for this virtue is to assume life as a classroom where from every thing we are coming across we need to learn good things only. We need to be a lifelong learner who walks in humility and with receptivity giving up our superiority complex/overconfidence/arrogance.
Transformation usually involves the shedding of old ways, especially those that have become burdens in course of time due to advancements being achieved in knowledge. It requires change in your aptitude; change from old conventions to new initiatives. We may consider that the world is new to us each morning — that is His gift, and we should believe we are reborn each day. This practice proclaims that no matter who you are, no matter what has already happened to you, no matter what you have done, it is still possible to be and do something new. It is the process of enlightenment.
Transformation implies a marked change in our life, but we can practice it by making simple changes by doing something different — walking to work by a new route, answering the telephone with the hand other than usual hand, breaking an old habit.
It would signal our spirit that we are willing to accept change in our life and to be an agent of change in the world. With transformation comes healing and wholeness. It’s as if they had been waiting in the wings all along, until you made room for them on stage.
Unity refers to living in harmony with other people. It helps us learn to respect differences and celebrate diversity in the Creation. This can be as simple as acknowledging how you are like another person. It can lead to actions demonstrating your solidarity with others. Without unity, there is little hope for compassion, justice, or peace. It means working for a common cause with those around us. For a common cause, we will have to foster the idea that unity is strength. Feeling lonely and isolated from other people are symptoms of a lack of unity in your life. Extreme manifestations are alienation and estrangement. Feelings of harmony run deeper and last longer. They broaden your spiritual life in all directions.
Vision encompasses the discovery of fresh insights about the way things are and the cultivation of different outlooks on what can be. It is how you find your own wisdom and align yourself. Sometimes this process involves developing good judgment, deliberative skills, and common sense. Other times you may experience extraordinary perceptions, what are often called revelations. Vision requires action and this action manifests itself in the community, enabling the people to go forward in confidence and obedience.
Values and visions go hand in hand. That is why this practice is so often associated with ethical decision-making and social action. Begin by re-examining the assumptions beneath your understandings of reality. Identify an area that you might see in a different way. This could be as simple as reframing a household task as an act of service or as complex as recognizing the common bonds at the core of an international conflict. We may seek and accept solutions.
Wonder begins in the senses, comes alive in the imagination, and flourishes in adoration of the happenings. It arises from our natural curiosity. It increases our capacity to be an avid explorer of the physical world. There is no end to the things that can awaken our wonder, from the majesty of the night sky to the smell of lilacs in the spring to the turning of the leaves in the fall. And it is all right here, a feast of astonishments in the daily round of our lives. This spiritual practice spices up our life with a constant parade of new delights. It enhances sensuousness and elixir that keep us forever young in spirit.
We must rejoice in the play of our senses: smell, touch and taste, hear and see. We can slow down and tune into the varied world of the happenings taking place around us as we may not be able to feel the enjoyment attached with wonder by following rush driving of our thoughts.
In spite of all the researches made, we still do not know much about this Universe, the source of its origin, why it came into existence, who is the creator, why there is so much complex working, why there are so many species, why there is a sun, moon and other? Etc. There are a number of questions within the purview of mystery. Whenever there is something coming on surface, we feel that to be new one but actually, that might have been an old item but coming before us first time looking like a new one. We are like bubble in the sea of this Universe.
Before we get puzzled, we need to have an abiding respect for the great mysteries of life like the profound distinctiveness of other souls, the strange beauty of nature and the animal world, the ineffable complexity of our inner selves, the unfathomable depths of the Inexplicable One. The wisdom traditions challenge us to live within a mysterious world. We need to live with paradoxes. The practice of mystery enhances our understanding of the complexity of reality.
Yearning grows out of our sense of incompleteness and our deep need for something more which we know can only be met by more efforts. It is characterized by restlessness in our souls. We desperately want to move beyond the petty wants of the ego and break out of the self-constructed prisons that confine us. Yearning draws out the mystic inside us as we sense the sacred presence in the world and feel one with all that exists. By attending to this desire, we realize that it also fuels our drive for our achievements. Yearning reveals the sacramental dimensions of love and makes it one of the most enthralling experiences of life.
We may practice yearning by constantly rekindling our desire through seeking, studying and devotion. We should notice who and what pulls you. We may honor timeless qualities of this faculty and allow ourselves to reach for fulfillment.
Usually, we forfeit life by denying the spirit that is within us. We throw away everything when we don’t join the parade because we are too busy, tired, or jaded. The unlived life is the one we have squandered by passivity by trying to prove ourselves to others, or by seeking to fulfill societal expectations. In contrast to all this, there is the passionate life. We may practice zeal and take all that comes our way with an open and full heart. Zeal is the essence of the meaningful life. Our zeal moves us to live compassionately and to serve others. It shows up in our prayers, rituals, family life, and community activities.
The spiritual practice of zeal means full arousal by life. We tap into the divine energy that pulsates within us and around us. We are ready for anything that comes our way and every moment is a golden gateway to new possibilities. Zeal is an energetic and committed response to opportunities and challenges that come our way. How much more likely that is to be when we have regular practices of devotion, when we are committed to justice, when we have a faith relationship with spirit, and when we see life as a quest.
The above are the some of the virtues which we can adopt and it is definite if we start to live accordingly, it may relieve us of a number of tensions which weaken the protection system built in our body. If we are healthy, we can enjoy the life fully.
Be Happy – Cure Your Ailments Through Spiritual Practices