Sunday, June 15, 2008

The "Zen Commandments": Wisdom for Living

I just finished reading a new book by one of my favorite Buddhist writers, Lama Surya Das. Titled, The Big Questions, the author writes on the "sacred art of questioning" and offers his views on 14 questions that address life's essential mysteries.

I especially enjoyed what Surya Das says he jokingly calls his "Zen Commandments":

~ Take care, stay aware. Watch your step. Pay attention---it pays off.

~ Awaken your mind, open your heart and energize yourself. Learn to see clearly and love generously.

~ Find a way to live your own spiritual practice. Develop an ongoing spiritual life, not just a few spiritual experiences.

~ Don't see others' light. Exploit your own innate natural resources for a change. Mine the mind.

~ Freedom is a process, not just an idea or ideal outcome. Progress is more important than perfection.

~ Learn to accept, to let go, and let be. Allow.

~ Lighten up while enlightening up. Cultivate joy. Don't take yourself too seriously, or it won't be much fun.

~ Don't cling to anything. Recognize everything is impermanent and like a dream, a movie, a sitcom. Remember the daily mantra: This Too Shall Pass.

~ Not too tight, and not too loose. Stay attuned to the big picture.

~ Be mindful. Pay attention. Keep your eyes peeled. Be vigilant and intelligent about your experiments with reality.

~ Be here while getting there, every single step of the way.

~ Don't rely on mere words and concepts. Just say maybe.

~ Don't be deceived by ideas and opinions, either others' or your own. You just can't believe whatever you think.

Life is precious; handle with prayer.
Be good and do good.
It's now or never, as always.
Meditate as fast as you can.

Amazing life lessons! The guy packs a lot of wisdom for living in just a few words.

What "zen" (or "non-zen") commandments" would you write for your ethical-spiritual will? That's a question I need to answer for myself ... and I encourage you to give it a whirl. Write them down as fast as you can!

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