a few steps to peaceful living

1. Have the courage and humility to admit we are possessive of shortcomings.

2. Reflect on how, whether in the recent, middle, or distant past, we have caused ourselves &/or others suffering because of our shortcomings.

3. Know the difference between less genuine admission of fault which produces little to no remorse and more genuine admission of fault which can generate remorse to the point of heart-rending tears.

4. Examine objectively what specific afflicted tendencies are/were at play in a given situation wherein we caused suffering to ourselves &/or others. Examples include pride, self-will, fear, anger, impatience, self-centeredness, suspicion, and worry.

5. Identify a noble antithesis of the afflicted tendency. For example, a noble antithesis of pride is humility; a noble antithesis of fear is wisdom, a noble antithesis of impatience is honoring the path of others, etc.

6. Commit to supplanting the afflicted tendency with its noble antithesis. Now since our afflicted tendencies may be decades-deep in rooting, it is unreasonable to expect that the process will be over in a few applications of the medicine. Reflect on the difference between interest and intent.

7. Watch the mind carefully for the appearance of the afflicted tendencies to be uplifted. In the ideal, we are able to clearly apprehend it in the space between urge and action/speech. Sometimes, however, we won’t catch it until after we’ve hurt someone with it. Even young children know what to do when they’ve hurt someone else.

8. In real time, or aiming for a minimum elapsing of time, supplant the afflicted tendency with its noble antithesis. In the case of retrospective correction, we can use our creative visualization to replay the situation in the mind as if the noble antithesis were already implemented.

9. All of this work means a death of some sort. Death is entering into the darkness. Life follows in the next breath.

10. At any point in time we can exercise the option to lift our mind and heart to that Blessed Cosmic Wisdom, empty our cup, and ask for the specific help we need in a given set of circumstances.

11. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. The conditioning process allows new neural pathways to form and thicken via reinforcing while allowing established ones to shrivel through disuse.

12. The cultivation of discerning wisdom allows us to impart the highest direction to our experience. Prepare to fall nine times, and stand up ten.

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