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The Meaning to Life page 11

Right Thinking & Right Action

      This section provides simple and direct guidance to help you adopt harmony into your life.  It is important to read and contemplate this section slowly and thoroughly.  Much of it may seem obvious, but it is vital to actually live according to these ideals in every situation in daily life.  Now please recognize that we are not trying to preach - we are not trying to tell you how you must live your life.  We are simply suggesting changes that can be made if you wish to eventually be truly deeply happy.

*  One of the most important qualities to develop is equanimity - the ability to keep the mind calm & stable in any situation.  It is this one quality that can save you from stumbling into countless acts of negativity through frustration, anxiety, and temper.

*  And if you do lose your equanimity, at least avoid acting when irritated and upset, or it'll only make things worse.

* It is very important to take responsibility for your own thoughts and actions.  If you aren't in control, who is?

* Try to free yourself of the need for continually indulging in trivial sense pleasures.  They act like an addiction that destroys your peace.  Why be a slave to your own body?

* Similarly, give up the need for so many possessions and materialistic expectations.  The satisfaction gained from them is temporary and ultimately leads to ongoing discontent and the need for more, more, more.  Use your discrimination to recognize the transient nature of physical pleasures.

* Remember to convert negative experiences to learning opportunities.  Look at every negative event as an opportunity to improve, to expand, to prove your endurance and dedication to positivity and harmony.

*  Be totally honest with yourself at all times.  Don't allow yourself to ignore your negativity.  Self-deception will inevitably result in a lack of self-respect.

* Don't blame others for your faults, and don't blame yourself either.  There is never anyone to blame, there are only learning experiences.  Errors only result from habits and conditioning learnt from society and those around you.  Judging yourself or others won't solve any problems.

* Don't be ashamed of past errors.  The Universal Mind doesn't see you as guilty.  It understands that faults are a natural part of being human.  So don't be harsh on yourself.  Forgive yourself just as God forgives you.

* Don't hate your negative qualities - accept them, then work at releasing them.  Work on releasing the limiting habits and conditioning you've received from a confused and spiritually ignorant society.  Release your old limiting beliefs.  It is never too late to change yourself.

*  Stop habits through the power of your will - is someone else in control of your actions?  Your habits may be strong, but your will is stronger if you honestly want it to be. Willpower is like a muscle, it may be a little soft at first but with use it will grow and expand.

*  Don't criticize anyone ever, even if they are not present - it only results in you surrounding yourself with your own negativity.  You can give constructive help instead, but only if it will truly benefit them, and without any judgement.

* Anger, frustration, all forms of negativity are destructive to your well-being.  These harmful qualities should not be suppressed, but instead transformed into harmonious qualities.  Convert negative thoughts into their positive opposite.

*  Your soul is the one who, with God's help, plans out the circumstances of this life, for your greatest spiritual benefit in accordance with your individual needs.  Always try to respond to every situation positively.

*  Try to spend more time in silence - it helps calm your overworked mind.  Avoid bombarding the mind with constant trivial entertainment and conversation.

*  Try to spend less time in the company of television shows and music that are based on negativity and violence.  It has a big effect on your mental state.  Why not instead go for a walk, a jog, do something creative, or take up some classes.

*  Similarly, try to cease exposing your vulnerable mind to the unending and irrelevant violence and scandal of daily news on television and in the newspaper.  The constant flow of negativity is a prime factor in desensitizing your sense of natural harmony.

* Just as you are in reality a soul at one with God, it is important to remember that so too is everyone else.  That is why all religions have taught the importance of always treating those around you as equals and friends.  But it is difficult for us, with our current perspective, to understand our essential unity.  This viewpoint can only grow within you if you are willing to try living in a less self-centered manner, considering the best interests of others as being your own best interests.  A good way to start is by opening to charity - giving of yourself without expecting reward.

*  This is developed by giving your time and energy unselfishly to the people around you, in whatever way is most appropriate.  Approach situations asking yourself, "How can I help?" instead of "What's in it for me?"     Give just for the sake of wanting to help, without seeking reward or recognition.  Often the best gifts are those that go unnoticed.  Every time you help anyone, you are subtly helping yourself through the Unity of all beings.  You can be assured that God will reward you.  What goes around, comes around.  "As you sow, so shall you reap."

* Most of what you consider to be your needs are not really necessary.  Yet you let yourself get upset when you don't receive them.  Be aware of your needs as only being preferences.  Don't be addicted to receiving them.

* Trust in the Universal Mind and it will care for you.  Total trust becomes Faith - the ability to live knowing that everything is and always will be totally Perfect, no matter how it seems.  It may be necessary to have blind faith at first.  If you live in Right Thinking & Right Action, your blind faith will become the faith of experience and wisdom.  Daily problems are nothing compared to the wonder and joy of your goal.  Worrying about things in life is one of the main reasons you feel separated from your soul.  Nothing can harm or upset your soul.  So don't allow anything to worry you.  It is your choice.

*  Don't strive for constant success -
     let life flow smoothly at it's own pace.

*  Try to listen to your gut feelings more - they are the voice of your intuition, and are more in tune with your soul than the overly-rational mind.

* Improve the quality of your life by improving the quality of your thoughts.  It is simple if you actually try.

* Avoid mental stress at all costs - there is never a valid reason to push yourself that hard.  Life was meant to be easy, and it always can be if you let it.

* Recognize that nature and life are based on impermanence - nothing ever stays the same.  Therefore don't place your happiness on anything that is temporary.

* Become aware of yourself as an actor in God's Play, you are only a witness to life's daily events.  You cannot be upset by what you are not attached to.  Release your attachment to everything but your inner state of positivity.

*  Live simply.  Live in inner freedom.

* Have a supremely optimistic attitude - See only positivity and perfection.  This is exactly what your soul always sees.  How enjoyable your life could be, if only you try to perceive it's Truth - your life is purely a story-tale, unfolding new surprises and opportunities every day for you to learn and expand.

* It is totally your choice whether you feel happy or sad, content or discontent.  These have nothing to do with external circumstances, they are only in your mind.  So choose happiness and contentment NOW.  Choose happiness and contentment in every moment.  If you temporarily lose happiness and contentment, simply choose them again!  It really is that simple.  If you make it harder, you are only fooling yourself.  It may take practise and constant reminding for a while, but once it becomes a habit, your whole life will change.

*  Refuse to let yourself be drawn down to the disharmonious ways of those around you.

*  If you have a temper, notice that often it is really caused by your compassion - you become frustrated only because you want the other person to listen to you so you can help them for their own good.  But does your temper ever help?  Try to convert the temper into kindness without getting frustrated, and you will be far more effective in helping them.

*  Memorizing the following statement may help you overcome the more difficult tests of your dedication :

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