Wholesome Goals for Every Day

by Max Rohde,

I've discussed a number of practices that may aid in the path to enlightenment. Each of these, I believe is valuable and worthwhile to pursue; however, in their sum, they are quite an undertaking to accomplish, and it is very difficult to practice each of them daily. I, for once, fail at that miserably.

Thus I have thought about if there could be a small number of goals, which we could weave into our everyday lives. So, rather than explicitly settling down to perform a practice, we instead set ourselves a number of signposts for our thoughts and actions we try to follow morning to evening. After some deliberation, I could come up with the following:

Find deep peace and harmony within

Without being of a calm mind and in harmony with ourselves, it is difficult to go about our day in a virtuous and enlightened manner. Thus we should seek to find peace of mind. Of course, this is easier said than done, for instance it might require years of meditation practice to reach a perfectly calm state of mind; if at all this is possible. However, this should not deter us trying our very best to achieve this.

Find love for the existence and every living being within it (including yourself)

I have already discussed that love is a powerful emotion to guide us towards a happier and more enlightened state of mind. I truly think that the feeling of love might be the one key to unlocking a better life for ourselves and others. It is a great gift to us that we have been given the ability to love and we should embrace this gift as much as we possibly can. I think in order make the best use of our ability to love, we should cast the net as wide as possible, including not only ourselves but every other living, feeling being, as well as the wonder that anything exists at all and that we have been given such beautiful universe to live and think in.

Radiate peace, love and harmony

Others perceive us through the way we conduct ourselves, the clothes we wear, the posture we hold. Usually this basic fact of human psychology is used by us to project power, wealth, knowledge or attractiveness in order to gain an advantage in life. However, that is not the only way may use other's perception of us. We might just as well use it to see us as someone who brings peace, love and harmony into the world. This way we hopefully enrich their day by bringing them a smile or making them feel respected and loved in our presence. Does this mean we should fake this peace and harmony? Maybe somewhat. We should of course strive to foster these qualities within ourselves but attempting to project them outward may very well help us to accomplish just that.

Bring forth goodness with every word and action

Lastly, and maybe most importantly, I believe that we are measured against the impact, however minuscule that may be, we have on the world around us. Thus it is critical that we attempt to say and do only what is to the best of our knowledge to the betterment, in sum, of ourselves and others and refrain from doing things that bring harm and misery. We must do so with humility, however. Humility that what we believe best might be misguided and stay open to be corrected since it is possible to cause a lot of harm in the name of 'good'. Generally we should try to avoid doing things that upset others or harm them in any way unless there are exceptional circumstances. Instead we should try to do things which bring happiness and contentment to others without harming anyone else.

The list of goals that we can attempt to follow every day provided above does not aim to be comprehensive or correct. These are just some of the things that came to my mind. Certainly there are other goals and I think we each need to find our own ones. However I hope the above provides some inspiration for you to think of your all goals of things to embrace every day.

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Categories: buddhismphilosophy