Monday, 29 July 2019

T. Subba Row on the Chakras, Kundalini and Hatha Yoga


THE Sushumna is connected with the tube that runs through the centre of the spine. It is a sort of vein of magnetic electricity, and the energy passing through the Sushumna is a stream of vitalelectricity. The tube above-mentioned is connected with the ventricles of the brain.
The Sushumna begins with the Muladharam and ends in Sahasraram. The former Chakram is at the base of the spine where it forms a triangle.

The Brahmarandhra is put in different places in different books, it should be taken to be the top of the head.

You may know the action of Sushumna by feeling an accession of fire to the brain — as if a hot current of air were being blown through the tube from the bottom to the top. 

Hata Yogis say that Ida and Pingala act alternately, but if you stop both of these the hot current is forced through the Sushumna. Also without having anything to do with Ida and Pingala — by practising Kumbaka alone — the Sushumna comes into play; but a Raj Yogi, without using either of these methods, has a way of rousing the Kundalini. The means the Raj Yogi employs belongs to the mysteries of initiation.

The reason why Sushumna is reckoned to be the chief of the Nadis is, because it is only through it that the Monad goes out in the case of a Yogi; and in the case of an adept, at the time of his death, his soul goes out through the Sushumna. Moreover it is the seat of circulation of the soul or Karana-sarira.

The Karana-sarira is said to be in a state of sleep, but this is no ordinary sleep, it is Yoga sleep. It is the calm after the tempest spoken of in "Light on the Path" (Rule 21).

Samadhi includes the realization of Yoga Anandam, but it is a generic term used to denote several conditions.

It is absurd to suppose, as stated in some of the books, that the solar system is contained in the Sushumna. What is meant is that when consciousness is fixed for the time being in the Monad circulating in the Sushumna, the Yogi becomes en rapport with the astral light and the universal mind and thus is able to see the whole cosmos.

The six Chakrams are located in the Sthula-sarira, but they are not visible when a body is dissected, because the leaves and petals described in the books have no objective existence, but represent so many powers or energies.

For instance, Sahasraram is considered to have eight main petals, and the meaning of this is that the brain has eight poles. Similarly the letters, characters, symbols, goddesses, etc, said in the books to exist in these Chakrams, all symbolize different power.

The reason of the differences between the Chakrams is that in the seven centres seven powers are located, and it is said that as the Kundalini breaks through each Chakram it causes the man to subdue that Chakram.

As Kundalini goes on breaking through the Chakrams one by one, it gains control over so many forces connected with the elements, the astral counterparts of which are located in the respective Chakrams. The location of the mind is said to be between the eyebrows by the Hata Yogis

The Chakra Sammalanam mentioned in the books means that when Kundalini passes through one Chakram, it takes Its essence or energy, and so on with the rest, and finally joins all into a sort of united current. 

The seven Chakrams are connected with the seven planets in the following order, beginning with Muladharam : Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Venus, Mercury, Moon, Sun. The moon is connected with the mind of man, because it is so changeable and vacillating.

The mind of man never penetrates (as sometimes asserted) into the Chakrams but the Kundalini does so penetrate, and the mind itself will finally combine with Kundalini when the latter gets near the Agna Chakram, and then the man becomes clairvoyant. 

Kundalini is a power or energy in the Muladharam sometimes called the astral serpent. It has its head in the region of the navel; it can be roused by increasing the fire in the Muladharam. It is said to be like a serpent, because it moves in carves, it appears to move round and round in a circle, Ida and Pingala alternate on account of its motion.

Kundalini is said in the books to have three and a half circles to show that it pervades the three and half matras of Pranava. In some cases it is represented as light, because its energy runs through Ashtaprakriti. Sometimes it is represented as four.

Some say that, in order to attain Raja Yoga, one should investigate Mahavakyam ; others that the mind must be concentrated on a point and the Yogi must contemplate Parabrahm; some say one's own Guru is the true subject of contemplation, and it is enough to lead a good life; some say the repetition of the Pranava is in itself  Raj Yog, and others say you must cultivate will-power : which of these ways is the true one ? All these are necessary and much more—read "Light on the Path." The end of Raj Yog is the attainment of immortality.

[Notes of a conversation with the Solar Sphinx]
(T. Subba Row – Notes on Hatha Yoga - Theosophist 1886 v8 December p.138-139 / A Collection of Esoteric Writings (1910), pp. 253-55)

Monday, 22 July 2019

The Platonic Philosophers’ Creed - Thomas Taylor 2/2

Thomas Taylor's Philosopher's Creed: points 1 to 8 deal with first principles. Points 9-10 deal with the world of Ideas. Points 11-12 deal with the universe. Points 13 to 17 deal with the world of the Gods. Points 18 to 25 cover the human world and the journey of the soul.  From Miscellanies, in Prose and Verse (1805).

 14. I believe that a divine nature is not indigent of any thing. But the honours which are paid to the Gods are performed for the sake of the advantage of those who pay them.  Hence, since the providence of the Gods is extended every where, a certain habitude or fitness is all that is requisite for the reception of their beneficent communications. But all habitude is produced through imitation and similitude. On this account temples imitate the heavens, but altars the earth. Statues resemble life, and on this account they are similar to animals. Herbs and stones resemble matter; and animals which are sacrificed, the irrational life of our souls. From all these, however, nothing happens to the Gods beyond what they already possess; for what accession can be made to a divine nature?  But a conjunction of our souls with the gods is by these means effected. 

15. I believe that as the world considered as one great comprehending whole is a divine animal, so likewise every whole which it contains is a world, possessing in the first place a self-perfect unity proceeding from the ineffable, by which it becomes a God; in the second place, a divine intellect; in the third place, a divine soul; and in the last place a deified body. That each of these wholes is the producing cause of all the multitude which it contains, and on this account is said to be a whole prior to parts; because considered as possessing an eternal form which holds all its parts together, and gives to the whole perpetuity of subsistence, it is not indigent of such parts to the perfection of its being. And it follows by a geometrical necessity, that these wholes which rank thus high in the universe must be animated. 

16. Hence I believe that after the immense principle of principles in which all things  causally subsist absorbed in superessential light, and involved in unfathomable depths, a  beautiful series of principles proceeds, all largely partaking of the ineffable, all stamped with the occult characters of deity, all possessing an overflowing fullness of good. From these dazzling summits, these ineffable blossoms, these divine propagations -being, life, intellect, soul, nature and body depend; monads suspended from unities , deified natures  proceeding from deities. That each of these monads is the leader of a series which extends to the last of things, and which, while it proceeds from, at the same time abides in, and returns to its leader Thus all beings proceed from, and are comprehended in the first being; all intellects emanate from one first intellect; all souls from one first soul; all natures blossom from one first nature; and all bodies proceed from the vital and  luminous body of the world. That all these great monads are comprehended in the first one, from which both they and all their de pending series are unfolded into light. And  hence this first one is truly the unity of unities, the monad of monads, the principle of  principles, the God of gods, one and all things, and yet one prior to all. 

17. I also believe, that of the Gods some are mundane, but others super-mundane; and  that the mundane are those who fabricate the world.  But of the super-mundane, some  produce essences, others intellect, and others soul; and on this account, they are distinguished into three orders. Of the mundane Gods also, some are the causes of the existence of the world; others animate it; others again harmonise it, thus composed of different natures; and lastly, others guard  and preserve it when harmonically arranged.  Since these orders are four, and each consists of things first, middle, and last, it is necessary that the governors of these should be twelve. Hence Zeus, Poseidon, and Hephaestus, fabricate the world; Demeter , Hera, and Artemis, animate it; Hermes,  Aphrodite, and Apollo, harmonise it; and lastly, Hestia, Athena, and Ares, preside over it  with a guardian power. But the truth of this, may be seen in statues, as in enigmas. For Apollo harmonises the lyre; Pallas Athena is invested with arms; and Aphrodite is naked; since harmony produces beauty, and beauty is not concealed in subjects of sensible inspection. I likewise believe that as these Gods primarily possess the world, it is necessary to consider the other mundane Gods as subsisting in them; as Dionysius in Zeus, Aesculapius in Apollo, and the Graces in Aphrodite. We may also behold the spheres with which they are connected, viz. Hestia with the earth, Poseidon with water, Hera with air, and Hephaestus with fire. But Apollo and Artemis are assumed for the sun and moon; the sphere of Kronos is attributed to Demeter; Æther to Pallas; and heaven is common to them all. 

18. I also believe that man is a microcosm, comprehending in himself partially every thing which the world contains divinely and totally. That hence he is endued with an intellect subsisting in energy, and a rational soul proceeding from the same causes as those from which the intellect and soul of the universe proceed. And that he has likewise an ethereal vehicle analogous to the heavens, and a terrestrial body composed from the four elements, and with which also it is co-ordinate. 

19. I believe that the rational part of man, in which his essence consists, is of a self-motive nature, and that it subsists between intellect, which is immovable both in essence and energy, and nature, which both moves and is moved. 

20. I believe that the human as well as every mundane soul, uses periods and restitutions of its proper life. For in consequence of being measured by time, it energizes transitively, and possesses a proper motion. But every thing which is moved perpetually, and participates of time, revolves periodically, and proceeds from the same to the same. 

21. I also believe that as the human  soul ranks among the number of those souls that  sometimes follow the mundane divinities, in consequence of subsisting immediately after  angels, dæmons and heroes the  perpetual attendants of the Gods, it possesses a power of  descending infinitely into the sublunary region, and of ascending from thence to real  5 being. That in consequence of this, the soul, while an inhabitant of earth, is in a fallen condition, an apostate from deity, an exile from the orb of light. That she can only be  restored, while on earth, to the divine likeness, and  be able after death to re - ascend to the  intelligible world, by the exercise of the  cathartic , and  theoretic virtues; the former purifying  her from the defilements of a mortal nature, and the latter elevating her to the vision of  true being. And that such a soul returns after death to her kindred star from which she fell, and enjoys a blessed life. 

22. I believe that the human soul essentially contains all knowledge, and that whatever knowledge she acquires in the present life, is nothing more than a recovery of what she once possessed; and which discipline evocates from its dormant retreats. 

23. I also believe that the soul is punished in a future for the crimes she has committed in the present life; but that this punishment is proportioned to the crimes, and is not perpetual; divinity punishing, not from anger or revenge, but in order to purify the guilty soul, and restore her to the proper perfection of her nature. 

24. I also believe that the human soul on its departure from the present life, will, if not  properly purified, pass into other terrene bodies; and that if it passes into a human body,  it becomes the soul of that body; but if into the body of a brute, it does not become the  soul of the brute, but is externally connected with the brutal soul in the same manner as presiding dæmons are connected, in their beneficent operations, with mankind; for the  rational part  never becomes the soul of the irrational nature. 

25. Lastly, I believe that souls that live according to virtue, shall in other respects be happy; and when separated from the irrational nature, and purified from all body, shall be conjoined with the Gods, and govern the whole world, together with the deities by whom it was produced. 

image thanks to 

Part 1 

Monday, 15 July 2019

The Platonic Philosopher's Creed - Thomas Taylor 1/2

Thomas Taylor's Philosopher's Creed, in 25 points, in a conceptually descending order from the abstract to the concrete, is, I think, besides being a good general summary of Neoplatonism, a profoundly holistic, deeply conceived and contains a spiritual philosophy of life that can lead any adherent thereof to a happy, full and successful existence. The first 12 points are more conceptual, outlining the metaphysical worldview, which is inherently linked to a practical, concrete understanding, which will be covered in the points of part two. From Miscellanies, in Prose and Verse (1805).

1. I believe that there is one first cause of all things, whose nature is so immensely  transcendent, that it is even superessential; and that in consequence of this it cannot  properly either be  named or spoken of, or conceived by opinion, or be known, or  perceived by any being. 

2. I believe, however, that if it be lawful to give a name to that which is truly ineffable, the appellations of The One and The Good are of all others the most adapted to it; the former of these names indicating that it is the principle of all things, and the latter that it is the ultimate object of desire to all things.

3. I believe that this immense principle produced such things as are first and proximate to itself, most similar to itself; just as the heat immediately proceeding from fire is most similar to the heat in the fire; and the light immediately emanating from the sun, to that which the sun essentially contains. Hence, this principle produces many principles proximately from itself. 

4. I likewise believe that since all things differ from each other, and are multiplied with their proper differences, each of these multitudes is suspended from its one proper principle. That, in consequence of this, all beautiful things, whether in souls or in bodies, are suspended from one fountain of beauty. That whatever possesses symmetry, and whatever is true, and all principles are in a certain respect connate with the first principle, so far as they are principles, with an appropriate subjection and analogy. That all other principles are comprehended in this first principle, not with interval and multitude, but as parts in the whole, and number in the monad. That it is not a certain principle like each of the rest; for of these, one is the principle of beauty, another of truth, and another of something else, but it is simply principle. Nor is it simply the principle of beings but it is the principle of principles: it being necessary that the characteristic property of principle after the same manner as other things, should not begin from multitude, but should be collected into one monad as a summit, and which is the principle of principles. 

5. I believe, therefore, that such things as are produced by the first good in consequence of being connascent with it, do not recede from essential goodness, since they are immovable and unchanged, and are eternally established in the same blessedness. All other natures, however, being produced by the one good, and many goodnesses, since they fall off from essential goodness, and are not immovably established in the nature of divine goodness, possess on this account the good according to participation. 

6. I believe that as all things considered as subsisting  causally in this immense principle,  are transcendently more excellent than they are when considered as effects proceeding  from him; this principle is very properly said to be all things,  prior to all;  priority denoting  exempt transcendency. Just as number may be considered as subsisting occultly in the monad, and the circle in the centre; this occult being the same in each with causal subsistence. 

7. I believe that the most proper mode of venerating this great principle of principles is  to extend in silence the ineffable parturitions of the soul to its ineffable co - sensation; and  that if it be at all lawful to celebrate it, it is to be celebrated as a thrice unknown darkness,  as the God of all Gods , and the unity of all unities, as more ineffable than all silence, and  more occult than all essence, as holy among the holies, and concealed in its first progeny,  the intelligible Gods. 

8. I believe that self - subsistent natures are the immediate offspring of this principle, if it be lawful thus to denominate things which ought rather to be called ineffable unfoldings into light from the ineffable. 

9. I believe that incorporeal forms or ideas resident in a divine intellect, are the paradigms or models of every thing which has a perpetual subsistence according to nature. That these ideas subsist primarily in the highest intellects, secondarily in souls, and ultimately in sensible natures; and that they subsist in each, characterised by the essential properties of the beings in which they are contained. That they possess a paternal, producing, guardian, connecting, perfective and uniting power. That in divine beings they possess a power fabricative and gnostic; in nature a power fabricative but not gnostic: and in human souls in their present condition through a degradation of intellect, a power gnostic, but not fabricative. 

10. I believe that this world, depending on its divine artificer, who is himself an intelligible world, replete with the archetypal ideas of all things, is perpetually flowing, and perpetually advancing to being, and, compared with its paradigm, has  no stability, or reality of being. That considered, however, as animated by a divine soul, and as being the receptacle of divinities from whom bodies are suspended, it is justly called by Plato, a blessed God. 

11. I believe that the great body of this world, which subsists in a perpetual dispersion of  temporal extension, may be properly called a whole, with a total subsistence , or a  whole of wholes, on account of the perpetuity of its duration, though this is nothing more than a flowing  eternity. That the other wholes which it contains are the celestial spheres, the sphere of æther, the whole of air considered as one great orb, the whole earth, and the whole sea.  That these spheres are parts with a total subsistence, and through this subsistence are perpetual. 

12. I believe that all the parts of the universe, are unable to participate of the providence of divinity in a similar manner, but some of its parts enjoy this eternally, and others temporally; some in a primary and others in a secondary degree; for the universe being a perfect whole, must have a first, a middle, and a last part. But its first parts, as having the most excellent subsistence, must always exist according to nature; and its last parts must sometimes exist according to, and sometimes contrary to nature. Hence the celestial  bodies, which are the first parts of the universe, perpetually subsist according to nature, both the whole spheres, and the multitude co-ordinate to these wholes; and the only alteration which they experience is a mutation of figure, and variation of light at different  periods; but in the sublunary region, while the spheres of the elements remain on account  of their subsistence, as wholes, always according to nature; the parts of the wholes have  sometimes a natural, and sometimes an unnatural subsistence: for thus alone can the  circle of generation unfold all the variety which it contains. The different periods therefore in which these mutations happen, are with great propriety called by Plato, periods of fertility and sterility : for in these periods a fertility or sterility of men, animals,  and plants, takes place; so that in fertile periods mankind will be both more numerous,  and upon the whole superior in mental and bodily endowments to the men of a barren  period. And a similar reasoning must be extended to irrational animals and plants. The most dreadful consequence, likewise, attending a barren period with respect to mankind is this, that in such a period they have no scientific theology, and deny the existence of the immediate progeny of the ineffable cause of all things. 

13. I believe that as the divinities are eternally good and profitable, but are never noxious, and ever subsist in the same uniform mode of being, we are conjoined with them through similitude when we are virtuous, but separated from them through dissimilitude when we are vicious. That while we live according to virtue we partake of the Gods, but cause them to be our enemies when we become evil: not that they are angry (for anger is a passion, and they are impassive,) but because guilt prevents us from receiving the illuminations of the Gods, and subjects us to the power of dæmons of fateful justice. Hence, I believe, that if we obtain pardon of our guilt through prayers and sacrifices, we neither appease the Gods, nor ca use any mutation to take place in them; but by methods of this kind, and by our conversion to a divine nature, we apply a remedy to our vices, and again become partakers of the goodness of the Gods. So that it is the same thing to assert, that divinity is turned from the evil, as to say that the sun is concealed from those who are deprived of sight. 
image thanks to 

Part 2 

Tuesday, 9 July 2019

On Studying the Secret Doctrine

Blavatsky’s magnum opus, the Secret Doctrine, is an epic three-volume, two thousand page work that explains the creation of the universe, the solar system and the evolution of life on earth. The first two volumes (sub-titled Cosmogenesis and Anthropogenesis respectively) are each divided into three sections: the first deals with the main theme of cosmic and human evolution, the second with comparative religious symbolism, and the third is devoted to a wide variety of scientific topics. The third volume deals with eastern and western esoteric history and contains Blavatsky's Esoteric Instructions.

Obviously, one could start reading this work cold from page one and proceed sequentially. Even though the chapters aren’t always tightly sequential, the sections are complementary and so you would get a kind of overall, progressive, panoramic view of the story of the universe. The only problem is that the text is often extremely difficult. The esoteric concepts are very complex and the erudition is such that one would ideally have to have the knowledge of a Mircea Eliade and a Fritjof Capra combined to be comfortable with it. Being familiar with world mythology, Hinduism, Buddhism, the Vishnu Purana, the Zohar, the Timaeus, the Egyptian Book of the Dead, the Hermetica, and Gnosticism would be helpful.

Another way of approaching the work is to start with easier works and gradually progress to reading the full text. Below are some suggested introductory texts to make the journey easier:

Basic Introduction
Blavatsky - The Key to Theosophy (1889)
Basic general notions are covered, the sevenfold principle, karma, reincarnation.

The Ocean of Theosophy, William Q. Judge (1893)
This one’s a little more comprehensive, with a chapter on spiritual evolution.

Earlier Literature

Blavatsky - Isis Unveiled 2 vols. (1879 )
Why not start with her first great work? Metaphysical and spiritual evolution concepts in a more basic form. Lots of interesting details that you find nowhere else.

Esoteric Buddhism by A.P. Sinnett  1883
The major concepts of chain, rounds and races were first significantly presented in this work.The source material of this revolutionary work was later released as The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett in 1923 by A. Trevor Barker.

Laura Holloway & Mohini Chatterji – Man, Fragments of a Forgotten History (1885)
This work elaborates on Esoteric Buddhism with some original elements.

Highly recommended
Blavatsky - Secret Doctrine Commentary: Transactions of the Blavatsky Lodge of the Theosophical Society 1890, 1891.
This short work is a transcript of study classes, but the language is very clear and the difficult concepts explained with admirable simplicity, a gem.

Theosophical Gleanings by Two Students
A collection of magazine articles from the era, a very solid summary of technical intricacies.

Volume 3
Volume three appeared posthumously, in 1897, and was moved to volumes 12 & 14 of Blavatsky’s collected writings in the 1980s. One can consider it separate or as part of a trilogy.
Secret Doctrine Volume 3

This edition has more updated references.
Blavatsky collected writings vol. 14

The Myth of the "Missing" Third Volume of The Secret Doctrine Daniel H. Caldwell

Short Versions
Below are some solid, basic summaries:

The Peopling of the Earth. Geoffrey Barborka 
This covers volume one.

The Story of Human Evolution. Geoffrey Barborka (1979)
This covers volume two.
The Secret Doctrine: The Classic Work, Abridged and Annotated: H.P. Blavatsky, Michael Gomes: 2009
This abridges the first sections of volumes 1 & 2 and certain parts of the symbolism sections.

O Lanoo! ~ The Secret Doctrine Unveiled Harvey Tordoff 1999
The structure of the Secret Doctrine is based on a commentary of an eastern creation poem called the stanzas of Dzyan, which is very cryptic. This work paraphrases the stanzas in easy to understand modern English.

Easier Sections
The various chapters are only loosely inter-connected, so one can tackle the work piecemeal. Below are a selection of text sections that are both relatively easy to read and quite self-contained. Overall, volume 2 is less difficult than volume 1, so reading volume 2 first can be a good approach.

At its most opulent, it was available in a 
 6-volume hardcover format. The text formatting
is more reader-friendly, which is helpful.


Summing Up

1, 2, 3 Primordial Substance and Divine Thought

1, 2, 4 Chaos, Theos, Cosmos

1, 2, 5 On the Hidden Diety, Its symbols and glyphs

1, 3, 11 On the Elements and the Atoms

1, 3, 15 Gods, Monads, Atoms

2, Preliminary Notes

2, 2, 25 The Mysteries of the Hebdomad

General resources

Monday, 1 July 2019

Book Review: Roger Walsh: Essential Spirituality: The 7 Central Practices to Awaken Heart and Mind

Practices inspired by the seven major religions: (Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism) to cultivate kindness, love, joy, peace, vision, wisdom and generosity.
The book claims to operate on a perrenialist basis and considering the reliance on religion, one would suppose a traditionalist perspective, although the only perrenialist/traditionalist author he quotes is Huston Smith, a light one at that. The background is really from the self-help/ therapy field, with some new age aspects, notably quoting the ubiquitous A Course in Miracles. Therefore it is rich in personal anecdotes and quotes from scientific studies as well. That is not to say that this is one of those superficial, vague new age servings; the exercises are not bad, and each of the seven qualities are developed over several chapters from basic to more advanced, with sometimes over a dozen useful exercises given. It actually seems to be based in Buddhism, which perhaps gives it the philosophical substance and focus that it might otherwise have lacked. It is kind of like the Buddhist Paramitas/Perfections adapted for other religions and new age practices. There are short quotations from various religions (Sufism, Maimonides, Chuang Tzu, etc…) generously sprinkled throughout the work. This book would have helped me a lot when I was first exploring spiritual traditions and is useful even now. It makes for a good introduction to H.P. Blavatsky’s The Voice of the Silence. Below is a sample practice from each of the seven topics:
These practices are either ancient practices taken directly from one or more religions, or modern modifications adapted to contemporary needs. In most cases I have modified and updated the exercise myself, and occasionally, I have borrowed from contemporary teachers. This updating makes the practices more relevant to our modern lives.  (p.16)
1- Transform your motivation -  reduce craving and find your soul's desire
Exercise (6) Frustrate an addiction (50)
This exercise can be also be done to strengthen additional capacities. For example, going without food by fasting for a day is an ancient and widely used technique. I find that its benefits are enhanced if I try to use each feeling of hunger to remind me of the many hungry people around the world. That way, each hunger pang not only reduces craving but also elicits concern and compassion for the hungry. The exercise then both reduces attachment and redirects motivation, the two key elements of the practice of transformation of motivation. By redirecting motivation we can focus what we really want and find our soul's desire.
2- Cultivate Emotional Wisdom - Heal your heart and learn to love
Exercise (11) A forgiveness meditation (92)
a- Forgiveness from others
Acknowledge the ways in which you have hurt others... Open to the regret you now feel and also to the possibility that you can now release your guilt and pain. Gently and slowly repeat several times, "I ask for forgiveness."
b- Forgiveness for yourself
Allow memories of times when you hurt yourself to come into awareness. As each one arises, regard it  and yourself gently and lovingly and repeat several time, "I forgive myself."
c- Forgiveness for others
Allow memories of times when you were hurt to come to awareness... See if you can recogonize the fear, defensiveness, or confusion in the person who hurt you that produced their hurtful behavior. Then repeat to yourself several times, "I forgive you."
3- Live Ethically - Feel good by doing good
Exercise (4) Do no harm (140)
To give this, decide on a time period-perhaps a day-and try the best you can not to harm anyone. Of course this means not causing physical harm-but it also has more subtle implications, such as practicing right speech in order not to hurt people’s feeling or self-esteem. As with most exercises, it is helpful to write down your experiences and insights and to reflect on them at the end of the day.
4- Concentrate and Calm your Mind
Exercise (1) Do one thing at a time. (157)
To begin, commit a specific time-a day might be good to begin with-to doing only one thing at a time. For one day you will focus your attention on each individual activity. You may not get quite as many things done, but a lot for those undone things will probably end up seeming rather insignificant. What you do get done, you will do more efficiently and enjoy a lot more.
5- Awaken your Spiritual Vision – See clearly and recognize the sacred in all things
Exercise (3) Become a Good Listener (187)
Listening carefully focuses your attention and refines your awareness. We can be more aware of the enormous amount of information people convey about themselves through subtle movements and voice tones. We can also catch our own emotional reactions, which might otherwise go unnoticed and unconsciously dictate our responses.
6- Cultivate Spiritual Intelligence – Develop Wisdom and Understand Life
Exercise (2) Reflect on the Four Mind-Changers (233)
(This a Tibetan Buddhist practice, used for the first month of a three-year retreat)
Life is inconceivably precious
Life is short and death is certain
Life contains inevitable difficulties
Our ethical choices mold our lives
7- Express Spirit in Action - Embrace Generosity and the Joy of Service
Exercise (7) –Take time for awakening service (274)
1)      Begin by dedicating the time and all that you do during it.
2)   Then, wherever you are, whoever you are with, and whatever you do, look for ways to help.
       3)   Whatever you do, try to do it in a spirit of service.
4)   Whenever you serve, try to do it as awakening service in which you learn from each activity while   releasing attachments to the way things turn out.