These are personal practices of mine. They came to me while I was meditating on my Second Spiritual Principle:
There is no inherent purpose to life beyond survival. We determine higher meanings according to our conditioning and experience. We are, more or less, the reflection of the sum of our life experiences. By extension, the only way we can understand good and evil is subjective and personal. Good is what we want; evil is what we don’t want.
Like my spiritual principles, the following practices are not original. They simply seem good to me and in line with what I value most: harmony, tranquility, and a joyful life. They are ideals to strive for. I hope they will inspire you.
- Live and Let Live. How I feel does not depend on people, places, things, events, or potentials. I’m ultimately responsible for my feelings and, by extension, for my personal well-being. My thoughts and actions do not require others to think and act the way I do. I follow an individualistic path and allow others to do the same.
- Acceptance. I take everything life offers and use it to become smarter, stronger, and more joyful. This may at times be difficult but, when it is possible, it is the best course of action.
- Appreciation. I pay attention to the good, true, beautiful, and / or useful dimensions in everything, recognizing that such qualities exist in all things if I only know how to look.
- Trust. I celebrate the cause-and-effect transactions that have brought me to this point in space and time. My existence is the sum of my past experiences and is the strongest argument for trusting that there will be more experiences that I can accept and appreciate in the future.
- Harmonium. I contemplate the eternity or nothingness that existed before I was born into a physical body. Likewise, I contemplate the eternity or nothingness that will exist after my physical body dies. With those two eternities in mind, I know that the meaning of life is for me to decide. And I do not cling to people, places, things, events, or potentials that pass through my awareness. Instead, I bear witness to my life as I (1) live and let live, (2) accept, (3) appreciate, and (4) trust, seeking balance and tranquility.
- Spiritual Engagement. My life is more enjoyable and meaningful when I practice my spirituality on a daily basis.
- Physical Health. My life is more enjoyable and meaningful when my physical body is strong and healthy.
Though raindrops are many, they are of the same water.
Though rays of light are not one, they are of the same body.
The form and mind of that One are immeasurable.
The ultimate reality is vast and boundless.
– Yoshito S. Hakeda, Kukai: Major Works