We were born happy, well-adjusted, tiny beings, filled with hope and overflowing with unconditional love. Our minds like sponges, everything our eyes see - we hear - taste - feel - smell - touch, all exciting, all of these experiences enrich our small lives, and are taught to us by our teachers, our parents; they were the ones who mattered the most at this stage, setting the tone for our humble beginnings.
A teacher is someone who can offer you insight, show you other ways of responding to situations, teach you things about yourself that only you need to know. That teacher is available to all, no matter where you come from, or gender, or sexuality. It makes no difference what colour your skin is or your political beliefs, and it definitely does't play preference to you, or make you a "teachers pet" based on your spiritual or religious findings. There is one universal teacher for all, that teacher is called "Morality".
Morality, or otherwise known as a Code of Conduct, or often referred to as precepts or vows. However you wish to call them doesn't really matter, what does matter is that you are aware of them, and can see how to, and where they apply in life. These five precepts are your "go-to" place in your being; they will instantly alert you if you're tapped into them, if what you are embarking upon is a healthy choice.
So without further ado, here they are:
REFRAIN FROM KILLING
REFRAIN FROM STEALING
REFRAIN FROM TELLING LIES
REFRAIN FROM SEXUAL MISCONDUCT
REFRAIN FROM ALL INTOXICANTS
These are the foundation of every single religion the world over. These five simple "rules" are at the very core of all humans and humanity, very simple to remember but seemingly difficult to grasp and incorporate into our daily lives. But without these, there is global chaos, so imagine the chaos inside of you every time you cross the line of what is deemed moral and immoral conduct.
If we apply these recommendations to our lives now, even years later, long after our childhoods are over, we still have a chance to live a fuller, more peaceful and harmonious life. If we encompass all of these, then they will automatically be taught to today's children, without sending them off to Sunday school, they will know them intrinsically because we are the teachers of the present. What you do with your life and how you live it, is how it is seen. It is contagious, I guarantee it. If you'd like more positive in life, you must be the positive. Those vibes will ooze out from every pore, dripping with the gracious flow of dharma (dhamma). You don't need a degree, you don't need paperwork to prove it, you just need to experience it. And how to do that? Start living your truths, take a stand, if you've always wanted to change your ways, here's your chance. You don't need to wait, just become aware, slow down and become more mindful. Think about your actions before you partake in them.
I ended up learning a life giving meditation technique. It helped me to see who I had been harming by living an immoral life - that person being so important to my very existence, that person being me. I'm a work in progress as we all are, but baby steps will still take you in the right direction. Baby steps, we were all born with those, we still have them, be cautious but go with the grow. I personally found Vipassana meditation as taught by S. N. Goenka to be a very profound experience; the catalyst for delivering me from darkness to light; the foundation that I was missing, morality, presented to me in such a kind and thoughtful way that I can honestly say it has become the very sweetness of my life. I do my best to practice daily, and to live a moral life. Although things will never be perfect, the perfection of maintaining a moral code of conduct is a reward all in itself. It takes dedication of course, and time for realization, but I know that if more and more people began to abide by these simple ethics, the world would be a happier, more peaceful and loving place. Be gentle with your temple, people often say, take time to nourish the mind, and let good morals lead each day.
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