How to Live a Good Life
Advice from Wise Persons

Principles, Rules, Essentials, Precepts, Recommendations, and Key Concepts for Right Living
Advice Regarding a Worthy Lifestyle


Compiled by Michael P. Garofalo
Valley Spirit Grove, Red Bluff, California

The Good Life Website

Cloud Hands Blog

Fitness and Well Being

Aging Well

The Ten Paramitas

Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu

This webpage is now updated and maintained at another location.





Characteristics of Healthy People

"So far as motivational status is concerned, healthy people have sufficiently gratified their basic needs for safety, belongingness, love, respect and self-esteem so that they are motivated primarily by trends to self-actualization (defined as ongoing actualization of potentials, capacitates and talents, as fulfillment of mission (or call, fate, destiny, or vocation), as a fuller knowledge of, and acceptance of, the person's own intrinsic nature, as an unceasing trend toward unity, integration or synergy within the person. .. These healthy people are there defined by describing their clinically observed characteristics.  These are:
1.  Superior perception of reality.
2.  Increased acceptance of self, of others and of nature.
3.  Increased spontaneity.
4.  Increase in problem-centering.
5.  Increased detachment and desire for privacy.
6.  Increased autonomy, and resistance to enculturation.
7.  Greater freshness of appreciation, and richness of emotional reaction.
8.  Higher frequency of peak experiences.
9.  Increased identification with the human species.
10.  Changed and improved interpersonal relations.
11.  More democratic character structure.
12.  Greatly increased creativeness.
13.  Certain changes in the value system."

-  Abraham Maslow.   Toward a Psychology of Being.  New Jersey, Van Nostrand, 1962.  3rd Edition, Wiley, 1998.  320 pages.  ISBN: 0471293091. pp.23-24




Nine Essentials for Lifelong Vitality

"1.  Moving with Attention, Wake Up to Life, Mindful Movements
2.  The Learning Switch, Bring in the New, Lifelong learning, Retraining
3.  Subtlety, Experience the Power of Gentleness
4.  Variation, Enjoy Abundant Possibilities
5.  Taking Your Time, Slowing Down, Not Rushing, Luxuriate in the Richness of Feeling 
6.  Enthusiasm, Turn the Small into the Great
7.  Flexible Goals, Make the Impossible Possible  
8.  Imagination and Dreams, Create Your Life
9.  Awareness, Cultivating Mindfulness, Thrive with True Knowledge"

-   Anat Baniel, Move into Life: The Nine Essentials for Lifelong Vitality, Harmony Books, 2009.




The Six Principles of Enlightened Living
The Six Perfections (Paramitas) in Mahayana Buddhism:

"1.  Generosity: charity, kind-hearted giving, altruism, unattached generosity, boundless
     openness, unconditional love (Dana) .
2.  Virtue: ethics, morality, self-discipline, not harming, proper conduct, impeccability (Sila). 
3.  Patience: tolerance, forbearance, acceptance, endurance (Kshanti). 
4.  Energy: diligence, courage, enthusiasm, vigor, effort (Virya). 
5.  Meditation: absorption, concentration, presence of mind, contemplation (Dhyana). 
6.  Wisdom: transcendental wisdom, mystical insight, enlightenment (Prajna)."  

-   Dzogchen Buddhism, Dharma Talk: Six Principles of Enlightened Living and Six Perfections (c 50 CE)




Creating Optimism

"1. Connect to Others, socialize, maintain friendships.
2. Maintain Autonomy: a feeling of independence and a sense of being in control.
3. Self-Esteem: a function of how you perceive others view you. 
4. Competence: relates to how effective you feel you are. 
5. Purpose: fulfillment and meaning throughout your life. 
6. Connection to Your Body: vital to our complete sense of self…
    Exercise, mind/body arts, pampering, wholesome food, rest, relaxation. 
7. Connection to Nature: its permanence, its beauty and power. 
8. Spirituality: a powerful weapon against depression." 

-  Bob Murry, PhD and Alicia Fortinberry, MS, 2004
   Creating Optimism, 8 Tips for Happiness  




Twenty Rules for Optimal Living in the 21st Century

1.  Face Reality
2.  Take Action
3.  Create Yourself
4.  Accept Responsibility
5.  Do It Now
6.  You Can't Change the Past 
7.  Act Like a Scientist 
8.  Work, Work, Work and Practice, Practice, Practice 
9.  Push Yourself 
10.  Do and Feel 
11.  There's No Gain Without Pain 
12.  Accept and Forgive Yourself Unconditionally 
13.  Live for Now and for the Future 
14.  Commit Yourself 
15.  Take Risks 
16.  Be Interested in Yourself and in Others  
17.  Remain Flexible  
18.  Use It Or Lose It 
19.  Accept Uncertainty 
20.  Don't Expect Heaven on Earth 

Albert Ellis, Ph.D., and Emmett Verlten, Ph.D.  Optimal Aging: Get Over Getting Older  1998




Seven Strategies for Positive Aging

1.  You can find meaning in old age.
2.  You're never to old to learn.
3.  You can use the past to cultivate wisdom.
4.  You can strengthen life-span relationships.
5.  You can promote growth through giving and receiving help.
6.  You can forgive yourself and others.
7.  You can possess a grateful attitude. 
-  Robert T. Hill, Ph.D.,
Seven Strategies for Positive Aging, 2008




Seven Perennial Spiritual Practices:

"1.  Transform your motivation: reduce craving and find your soul's desire.
2.  Cultivate emotional wisdom: heal your heart and learn to love. 
3.  Live ethically: feel good by doing good. 
4.  Concentrate and calm your mind. 
5.  Awaken your spiritual vision: see clearly and recognize the sacred in all things. 
6.  Cultivate spiritual intelligence: develop wisdom and understand life. 
7.  Express spirit in action: embrace generosity and the joy of service." 

-   Roger Walsh, M.D., Ph.D. 
    Essential Spirituality: The 7 Central Practices to Awaken Heart and Mind,



Twelve Gateways to Personal Growth

"1.  Preparation: Stairway to the Soul 
2.  Discover Your Worth: Opening to Life 
3.  Reclaim Your Will: The Power to Change 
4.  Energize Your Body: A Foundation for Life 
5.  Manage Your Money: Sufficiency and Spiritual Practice 
6.  Tame Your Mind: Inner Peace and Simple Reality 
7.  Trust Your Intuition: Accessing Inner Guidance 
8.  Accept Your Emotions: The Center of the Cyclone 
9.  Face Your Fears: Living as Peaceful Warriors 
10.  Illuminate Your Shadow: Cultivating Compassion and Authenticity 
11.  Embrace Your Sexuality: Celebrating Life 
12.  Awaken Your Heart: The Healing Power of Love 
13.  Serve Your World: Completing the Circle of Life"

-  Dan Millman
   Everyday Enlightenment: The Twelve Gateways to Personal Growth,





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The Ten Emotions of Power

"1.   Love and Warmth
2.   Appreciation and Gratitude
3.   Curiosity
4.   Excitement and Passion
5.   Determination
6.   Flexibility  
7.   Confidence 
8.   Cheerfulness  
9.   Vitality 
10.  Contribution"

-   Anthony Robbins, Awaken the Giant Within, 1991, p. 264 



Reverse Your Biological Age By:

"1.  Changing your perceptions.  
2.  Deep rest, restful awareness, and restful sleep. 
3.  Lovingly nurturing you body through healthy food.  
4.  Using nutritional complements wisely.  
5.  Enhancing mind/body integration: breathing exercises, yoga, tai chi, qigong, aikido, etc.. 
6.  Exercise: strength and aerobic conditioning.  
7.  Eliminating toxins from you life.   
8.  Cultivating flexibility and creativity in consciousness.  
9.  Love and loving relationships.   
10.  Maintaining a youthful mind."

-   Deepak Chopra, M.D., and David Simon, M.D. 
    Grow Younger, Live Longer: Ten Steps to Reverse Aging
.  (2001) 



Nine Pagan Virtues

"1.  Wisdom - Good judgment, the ability to perceive people and situations correctly, deliberate about and decide on the correct response. 
2.  Piety - Correct observance of ritual and social traditions; the maintenance of the agreements (both personal and societal),
we humans have with the Gods and Spirits.  Keep the Old Ways, through ceremony and duty. 
3.  Vision - The ability to broaden one's perspective to have a greater understanding of our place and role in the cosmos,
relating to the past, present and future. 
4.  Courage - The ability to act appropriately in the face of danger. 
5.  Integrity - Honor; being trustworthy to oneself and to others, involving oath-keeping, honesty, fairness, respect, self-confidence.
6.  Perseverance - Drive; the motivation to pursue goals even when that pursuit becomes difficult.
7.  Hospitality - Acting as both a gracious host and an appreciative guest, involving benevolence, friendliness, humor, and the
honoring of "a gift for a gift."
8.  Moderation - Cultivating one's appetites so that one is neither a slave to them nor driven to ill health (mental or physical),
through excess or deficiency. 
9.  Fertility - Bounty of mind, body and spirit, involving creativity, production of objects, food, works of art, etc., an
appreciation of the physical, sensual and nurturing." 
The Ar nDraíocht Feín Dedicant Program, 2005, p. 15  



The Good Life Website: Virtue Ethics

Dhammapada Sutra by The Buddha

Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu 

Aging Well

The Ten Paramitas:  Transformational Practices for Realizing an Enlightened Heart-Mind

Cloud Hands Blog



Confucian Virtues

"Li: Propriety, reverence, courtesy, ritual or the ideal standard of conduct.
Jen: Goodness, benevolence; recognition of value and concern for others, no matter their rank or class. 
Chun-Tzu: The idea of the true gentleman who lives according to the highest ethical standards.
The gentleman displays five virtues: self-respect, generosity, sincerity, persistence, and benevolence."

-   Confucius (550-479 BCE)
    The Analects




Strive Conscientiously To

1.  Increase our objectivity and eliminate confusing facts and inferences
2.  Break any habit with which we habitually put ourselves at risk
3.  Get rid of agendas that conflict with our higher priorities
4.  Replace self-defeating demands and damnation with realistic preferences and appraisals
5.  Accept ourselves and others as the fallible human beings we actually are."

-  Albert Ellis and Robert A. Harper, A Guide to Rational Living, 1961, 1997, p.58




The Twelve Principles of Natural Liberation

"1.  All forms are interconnected, constantly change, and continuously arise from and return to primordial Source.
2.  Commit yourself completely to liberation in this lifetime. 
3.  Relax and surrender to life. 
4.  Remain in now. 
5.  Cultivate union with universal energy.  
6.  Go with the universal flow.  
7.  Rest in the radiance of your open heart. 
8.  Active compassion arises naturally out of unconditioned love.  
9.  Cutting through to clarity, luminosity, and spaciousness.  
10.  Return to Source.  
11.  Pure Source awareness is - remain in recognition.  
12.  Serve as a warrior of the open heart and liberated spirit." 

-   John P. Milton, Sky Above, Earth Below, 2006  




The Four Classic Western Cardinal Virtues

"1.  Temperance: moderation, self-control, mindful, purity, disciplined. 
2.  Prudence: wise, intelligent, knowledgeable, insightful, forward thinking, sagacious, sound judgment. 
3.  Courage: fortitude, endurance, composure, determination, will, overcoming adversity. 
4.  Justice: fairness, principled, harmony, equality, utility, rule of law." 

-   Plato (c 340 BCE), Republic




Six Virtues of Positive Psychology

"The introduction of  the Character Strengths and Virtues (CSV) Handbook suggests that these six virtues are considered good by the vast majority of cultures and throughout history and that these traits lead to increased happiness when practiced.  Notwithstanding numerous cautions and caveats, this suggestion of universality hints that in addition to trying to broaden the scope of psychological research to include mental wellness, the leaders of the positive psychology movement are challenging moral relativism and suggesting that we are "evolutionarily predisposed" toward certain virtues, that virtue has a biological basis."   -  Positive Psychology

The organization of these virtues and strengths is as follows:

  1. Wisdom and Knowledge: creativity, curiosity, open-mindedness, love of learning, perspective, innovation
  2. Courage: bravery, persistence, integrity, vitality
  3. Humanity: love, kindness, social intelligence
  4. Justice: citizenship, fairness, leadership
  5. Temperance: forgiveness and mercy, humility, prudence, self control
  6. Transcendence: appreciation of beauty and excellence, gratitude, hope, humor, spirituality"  




The Ten Grave Precepts

"1.  Affirm life; Do not kill.
2.  Be giving; Do not steal.
3.  Honor the body; Do not misuse sexuality.
4.  Manifest truth; Do not lie.
5.  Proceed clearly; Do not cloud the mind.
6.  See the perfection; Do not speak of others errors and faults.
7.  Realize self and other as one; Do not elevate the self and blame others.
8.  Give generously; do not be withholding.
9.  Actualize harmony; Do not be angry.
10.  Experience the intimacy of things; Do not defile the Eight Treasures."

-   John Daido Loori, The Eight Gates of Zen, 2002, P. 240.  
     The Five Precepts of Mahayana Buddhism




Ten Positive Energy Prescriptions

"1.  Awaken intuition and rejuvenate yourself.
2.  Find a nurturing spiritual path.
3.  Design an energy-aware approach to diet, fitness and health.
4.  Generate positive emotional energy to counter negativity.
5.  Develop a heart-centered sexuality.
6.  Open yourself to the flow of inspiration and creativity. 
7.  Celebrate the sacredness of laughter, pampering, and the replenishment of retreat.
8.  Attract positive people and situations.
9.  Protect yourself from energy vampires.
10.  Create abundance."

-  Judith Orloff, M.D.. 
   Positive Energy,




Buddha's Charter of Free Inquiry

“Do not go upon what has been acquired by repeated hearing;
nor upon tradition;
nor upon rumor;
nor upon what is in a scripture:
nor upon surmise;
nor upon an axiom;
nor upon specious reasoning;
nor upon a bias towards a notion that has been pondered over:
nor upon another’s seeming ability;
nor upon the consideration, “The monk is our teacher.”
When you yourselves know:
“These things are good; these things are not blamable;
these things are praised by the wise; undertaken and observed,
these things lead to benefit and happiness,” enter on and abide in them.”"
-   Gautama Buddha
     Kalama Sutta, The Buddha’s Charter of Free Inquiry
     Translated by Soma Thera (The Wheel Publication, No. 8),
     Buddhist Publication Society, 1987  




Dalai Lama's Rules for Living

  1. "Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.
  2. When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.
  3. Follow the three Rs:  Respect for self, Respect for others, Responsibility for all your actions.
  4. Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.
  5. Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.
  6. Don’t let a little dispute injure a great friendship.
  7. When you realize you’ve made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.
  8. Spend some time alone every day.
  9. Open your arms to change, but don’t let go of your values.
  10. Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
  11. Live a good and honorable life. Then when you get older and think back, you’ll be able to enjoy it a second time.
  12. A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation for your life.
  13. In disagreements with loved ones, deal only with the current situation. Don’t bring up the past.
  14. Share your knowledge. It’s a way to achieve immortality.
  15. Be gentle with the earth.
  16. Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before.
  17. Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other.
  18. Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it."

-  Dalai Lama 




A Twelve-Point Program for Healthy Aging

"1.  Eat an anti-inflammatory diet.
2.  Use dietary supplements wisely to support the body's defenses and natural healing power.
3.  Use preventive medicine intelligently: know your risks of age-related disease, get appropriate diagnostic and screening
tests and immunizations, and treat problems (like elevated blood pressure and cholesterol) in their early stages.
4.  Get regular physical activity throughout life. 
5.  Get adequate rest and sleep.
6.  Learn and practice methods of stress protection. 
7.  Exercise your mind as well as your body. 
8.  Maintain social and intellectual connections as you go through life. 
9.  Be flexible in mind and body: learn to adapt to losses and let go of behaviors no longer appropriate for your age.
10.  Think about and try to discover for yourself the benefits of aging. 
11.  Do not deny the reality of aging or put energy into trying to stop it.  Use the experience of aging as a stimulus
for spiritual awakening and growth. 
12.  Keep an ongoing record of the lessons you learn, the wisdom you gain, and the values you hold.  At critical points in
your life, read this over, add to it, revise it, and share it with people you care about." 

-  Andrew Weil, M.D., Healthy Aging: A Lifelong Guide to Your Physical and Spiritual Well-Being, 2005, p. 239.   




Eight Elements West

"1.  Consistent Exercise:  Energize through safe, results-oriented exercise.
2.  Body Alignment:  Promote proper posture, spinal strength with flexibility, and body awareness.
3.  Natural Nutrition: Implement sound eating practices for life.
4.  Sound Mind: Embrace life obstacles with self-awareness, reflection, imagination and creativity.
5.  Relaxation and Centering: Cultivate and calm the body-mind connection everyday.
6.  Community and Environment: Surround yourself with trusted friends and family. Be kind to the Earth.
7.  Individual Action: Time is precious. Let change begin now, with you.
8.  Heart of the Human Spirit: Transform life through your heart, where true strength resides."

-   Eight Elements West, 2005 




Cultivating a Positive Mindset

"Think in a calm, pacified, and reflective manner instead of being disturbed, agitated, and impulsive in one's reactions.
Put ideas together rationally and arrive at the right judgment even in the absence of obvious evidence or proof. 
Decide, plan, and execute a course of action in a patient, persistent, and disciplined manner. 
Recognize the changes and be flexible in adapting to them.
Observe and perceive things with a sense of humor instead of outrage, indignation, and anger.
Let go of useless and counterproductive thoughts, desires, and ambitions instead of being preoccupied with them.
Relax and meditate or rest.
Resist temptation and coercion."

- Michael Fekete
  Strength Training for Seniors, Hunter House, 2006, p. 36





Tao Te Ching
 Chapter Number Index

Standard Traditional Chapter Arrangement of the Daodejing
Chapter Order in Wang Bi's Daodejing Commentary in 246 CE
Chart by Mike Garofalo

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40
41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50
51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60
61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70
71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80





Some Guiding Principles for Integral Practices and Institutions That Support Them:

"1.  They promote a simultaneous development of our various faculties.
2.  They generally require mentors, rather than a single guru.
3.  They require a strong and developing autonomy.
4.  They are facilitated by personal traits that promote creativity in general.
5.  Though they encourage individual autonomy, they require surrender at times to transformative agencies beyond ordinary functioning.
6.  They require patience and the love of practice for its own sake.
7.  They utilize inherited all-at-once responses, or psychosomatic compliance for high-level change.
8.  They utilize the manifold changes catalyzed by images and altered states.
9.  They enlist more that one mediation to achieve particular outcomes.
10.  They surpass limits by negotiation rather than force.
11.  They depend upon improvisation.
12.  They utilized images of unity.
13.  They require and facilitate conscious transitions between different states of consciousness.
14.  They depend on a developing awareness that transcends psychological and somatic functioning.
15.  They orient all our capacities and somatic processes toward the extraordinary life arising in us."

-   Michael Murphy, "The Future of the Body: Explorations Into the Further Evolution of Human Nature," 1992, pp. 579-586.




The Song of Ch'an Tao Chia
The Twenty Seven Precepts of Taoism

"Have compassion for all sentient beings causing them no unnecessary hurt nor needless harm.
Refrain from needless competitiveness, from contriving for self-advantage and from subjugating others.
When accepting authority over others know also that you accept responsibility for their wellbeing.
Value true friendship and fulfill your obligations rather than striving with egotistical motive.
Seek liberation from the negative passions of hatred, envy, greed and rage, and especially from delusion, deceit and sensory desire.
Learn to let go of that which cannot be owned or which is destroyed by grasping.
Seek the courage to be; defend yourself and your convictions.
Accept transience, the inevitable and the irrevocable.
Know that change exists in everything.
Negate the barriers to your awakening. Discover the positive in the negative and seek a meaningful purpose in what you do.
Be just and honorable. Take pride in what you do rather than being proud of what you have accomplished.
Having humility and respect, give thanks to those from whom you learn or who have otherwise helped you.
Act in harmony with your fellow beings, with nature and with inanimate objects. 
Know that a thing or an action which may seem of little value to oneself may be a priceless treasure to another. 
Help those who are suffering or disadvantaged and as you yourself become awakened help those who seek to make real their own potential.
Know that there is no shame in questioning.
Be diligent in your practice and on hearing the music of the absolute do not be so foolish as to try to sing its song.
Remember to renew the source in order to retain good health.
Seek neither brilliance nor the void; just think deeply and work hard.
When still, be as the mountain. When in movement be as the dragon riding the wind. Be aware at all times like the tiger, which only seems to sleep and at all times let the mind be like running water.
When you are required to act remember that right motive is essential to right action, just as right thought is essential to right words.
Beware of creating burdens for yourself or others to carry.
Act with necessary distinction being both creative and receptive and transcending subject/object dichotomy.
Know that you are not the center of the universe but learn to put the universe at your center by accepting the instant of your being.
Seek security within yourself rather than in others.
Know that even great worldly wealth and the accumulation of material things are of little worth compared with the priceless treasures: love, peace and the freedom to grow.
Allow yourself to be so that your life may become a time of blossoming."

-   Stan Rosenthal, (Shi-tien Roshi) of the British School of Zen Taoism, 
The Song of Ch'an Tao Chia: The Twenty Seven Precepts of Taoism
Translation of the Tao Te Ching by Stan Rosenthal   




Seven Precepts of Merlin:

"First:  Labor Diligently to acquire knowledge, for it is power. 
Second:  When in authority, decide reasonably, for thine authority may cease. 
Third:  Bear with fortitude the ills of life, remembering that no mortal sorrow is perpetual. 
Fourth:  Love virtue - for it bringeth peace. 
Fifth:  Abhor vice - for it bringeth evil upon all. 
Sixth:  Obey those in authority in all just things, that virtue may be exalted. 
Seventh:  Cultivate the social virtues, so shalt thou be beloved by all men. 
The motto of the Druids the world over is “United to Assist.”
The aim of the Druids is Unity, Peace and Concord.”"

-  Isaac Bonewits, Bonewit's Essential Guide to Druidism, 2006, p.162.




By Max Ehrmann

“Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy. ”

-  Max Ehrmann, Desiderata, 1927.  Max Ehrmann (1872–1945), a poet and lawyer from Terre Haute, Indiana. 




The Good Life Website

Dhammapada Sutra by The Buddha

Aging Well

Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu

Cloud Hands Blog




Ten Principles for Living

"1.   Never obey anyone's command unless it is coming from within you also. 
2.   There is no God other than life itself. 
3.   Truth is within you, do not search for it elsewhere. 
4.   Love is prayer. 
5.   To become a nothingness is the door to truth.  Nothingness itself is the means, the goal and attainment. 
6.   Life is now and here. 
7.   Live wakefully.  
8.   Do not swim – float.  
9.   Die each moment so that you can be new each moment.  
10.  Do not search.  That which is, is.  Stop and see." 

-   Osho (Acharya Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh)



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Ten Golden Rules for Living the Good Life

“1. Examine life, engage life with vengeance; always search for new pleasures and new destines to reach with your mind.
 2.  Worry only about the things that are in your control
, the things that can be influenced and changed by your actions, not about the things that are beyond your capacity to direct or alter. 
 3.  Treasure Friendship, the reciprocal attachment that fills the need for affiliation. Friendship cannot be acquired in the market place, but must be nurtured and treasured in relations imbued with trust and amity. 
 4.  Experience True Pleasure
. Avoid shallow and transient pleasures. Keep your life simple. Seek calming pleasures that contribute to peace of mind. True pleasure is disciplined and restrained. 
 5.  Master Yourself. Resist any external force that might delimit thought and action; stop deceiving yourself, believing only what is personally useful and convenient; complete liberty necessitates a struggle within, a battle to subdue negative psychological and spiritual forces that preclude a healthy existence; self mastery requires ruthless cador. 
 6.  Avoid Excess. Live life in harmony and balance. Avoid excesses. Even good things, pursued or attained without moderation, can become a source of misery and suffering. 
 7.  Be a Responsible Human Being
. Approach yourself with honesty and thoroughness; maintain a kind of spiritual hygiene; stop the blame-shifting for your errors and shortcomings. 
 8.  Don’t Be a Prosperous Fool. Prosperity by itself, is not a cure-all against an ill-led life, and may be a source of dangerous foolishness. Money is a necessary but not a sufficient condition for the good life, for happiness and wisdom. 
 9.  Don’t Do Evil to Others. Evildoing is a dangerous habit, a kind of reflex too quickly resorted to and too easily justified that has a lasting and damaging effect upon the quest for the good life. Harming others claims two victims—the receiver of the harm, and the victimizer, the one who does harm. 
 10.  Kindness towards others tends to be rewarded
. Kindness to others is a good habit that supports and reinforces the quest for the good life. Helping others bestows a sense of satisfaction that has two beneficiaries—the beneficiary, the receiver of the help, and the benefactor, the one who provides the help.” 
-   By M.A. Soupious and Panos Mourdoukoutas
    The Ten Golden Rules: Ancient Wisdom from the Greek Philosophers on Living the Good Life, 2009




Principles for Living in Balance

"1.  Attitude
2.  Accountability
3.  Commitment 
4.  Supportive Relationships  
5.  Service  
6.  Personal Mastery  
7.  Faith"   

-  Joel Levey and Michele Levey,  Living in Balance 



Ten Worthy Goals

1.  Mellowness of mind
2.  A healthy, balanced life
3.  An unobstructed, undefeated spirit
4.  Loving people and rendering service
5.  Unifying the body and mind
6.  The rich emotion of enjoying simple relationships and things
7.  Frequent self-examination of one's personal and public life
8.  Avoidance of obsession or extravagance
9.  Humility
10.  Constantly collecting the floating emotions that take you out of your center

-  Hua-Ching Ni, The Gentle Path of Spiritual Progress, 1990, p. 108



The Ten American Indian Commandments

"Remain close to the Great Spirit.
Show great respect for your fellow beings.
Give assistance and kindness wherever needed.
Be truthful and honest at all times.
Do what you know to be right.
Look after the well-being of mind and body.
Treat the Earth and all the dwell thereon with respect.
Take full responsibility for your actions.
Dedicate a share of your efforts to the greater good.
Work together for the benefit of all mankind."   

Poster of the Ten American Indian Commandments, 2000




Seven Keys to Health and Happiness

"Practice Silence - Wisdom is a state of emptiness, listening, and attentiveness. 
Learn from Nature - Every tree, every animal, every stone has a lesson to teach. 
Find and Honor Your Life Purpose -  Your purpose is a gift from the Great Spirit. 
Respect Your Ancestors and Ancestry - All people have indigenous roots, and no culture has a monopoly on wisdom.
Maintain Emotional Balance - Keep your emotions calm and cultivate humor 
Eat According to Your Genes  - Follow the diet of our hunter-gatherer ancestors. 
Get Plenty of Exercise - Stand and move with dignity, and breathe slowly." 

-  Ken Cohen, Native Wisdom: Seven Keys to Health and Happiness, 2003.




Ground Rules for Living

"1.  Be Positive.
2.  Accept Yourself. 
3.  Let Go. 
4.  Express Your Love. 
5.  Accept Full Responsibility for Your Life. 
6.  Forgive Yourself. 
7.  Handle What Does Not Work. 
8.  Let Go of Resentment. 
9.  Don't Overspend.  
10.  Find a Dream to Go For.  
11.  Serve.  Have Your Life Be More Than You.  
12.  Experience Your Spirituality." 

-   Bill Ferguson, Mastery of Life 




Discourse on Happiness

"Not to be associated with the foolish ones,
to live in the company of wise people,
honoring those who are worth honoring –
this is the greatest happiness.

"To live in a good environment,
to have planted good seeds,
and to realize that you are on the right path –
this is the greatest happiness. 

To have a chance to learn and grow,
to be skillful in your profession or craft,
practicing the percepts and loving speech –
this is the greatest happiness. 

To be able to serve and support your parents,
to cherish your own family,
to have a vocation that brings you joy –
this is the greatest happiness.

To live honestly, generous in giving,
to offer support to relatives and friends,
living a life of blameless conduct –
this is the greatest happiness. 

To avoid unwholesome actions,
not caught by alcoholism or drugs,
and to be diligent in doing good things – 
this is the greatest happiness.

To be humble and polite in manner,
to be grateful and content with a simple life,
not missing the occasion to learn the Dharma –
this is the greatest happiness. 

To persevere and be open to change,
to have regular contact with monks and nuns,
and to fully participate in Dharma discussions –
this is the greatest happiness.

To live in the world
with your heart undisturbed by the world,
with all sorrows ended, dwelling in peace –
this is the greatest happiness.

For he or she who accomplishes this,
unvanquished wherever she goes,
always he is safe and happy –
happiness lives within oneself."

-  The Buddha, Mahamangala Sutta, Sutta Nipata, 2.4
    Found in "Chanting from the Heart," by Thich Nhat Hahn, p. 270




Seven Core Values

"1.   The inherent worth and dignity of every person. 
2.   Justice, equity and compassion in human relations. 
3.   Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations. 
4.   A free and responsible search for truth and meaning. 
5.   The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large.  
6.   The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all. 
7.   Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part."

Unitarian Universalist Seven Principles 




The Ten Commandments of Health

"East Wisely
Drink Plentifully of Water
Eliminate Thoroughly
Bathe Cleanly
Exercise Rationally
Accept Inevitables (Don't Worry)
Play Enthusiastically 
Relax Completely
Sleep Sufficiently
Check Up Occasionally

Give 5% of your time to keeping well.
You won't have to give 100% to getting over being sick."

-  George W. Claver, M.D.
   Physician to the U.S. Congress in 1928




Five Ways to Be Real
Through the Practice of Dzogchen

"1.  Naturalness and Simplicity
Rely on the natural state.  Be yourself, your true unaltered self.  Everything we need is within
the natural mind - innately whole and complete.  So relax. 

2.  Authenticity, Non-contrivance, Non-fabrication
There is nirvanic peace in things left just as they are.  Striving and struggle is extra.  Leave
it as it is and rest the weary heart and mind.  See through everything, be through everything;
and remain free, luminous and complete. 

3.  Openness and Oneness
Stay open-minded and inclusive.  Pure presence is a state of nonjudgmental, non-interfering
choiceless awareness or panoramic attention to the "is-ness" and "now-ness" of all things.
Be open to your experience.  Let go and let things fall into place as they will.  Perhaps
wherever they fall
is the right place. 

4.  Awareness and Wisdom
Present awareness knows and sees what is, as it is.  Innate wakefulness is wise and effective
in its own brand of insight and discernment combined with uncommon common sense. 

5.  Spontaneous Energy Flow
With freedom and decontraction, inexhaustible uninhibited energy is released, surging forth,
bubbling up from within.  When we let go and loosen our tight-fisted grasping, or repetitive
holding patterns, we are buoyed up and become one with the flow.  This is the natural flow,
the sacred zone masters describe.  You can access it at will.

-  Lama Surya Das, "Awakening to the Sacred," 1999, p. 325 
Dzogchen is the "Natural Buddha Meditation."




Characteristics of the More Fully-Functioning Individual

"Nonconformity and Individuality
Acceptance of Ambiguity and Uncertainty 
Acceptance of Human Animality  
Commitment and Intrinsic Enjoyment 
Creativity and Originality 
Social Interest and Ethical Trust  
Enlightened Self-Interest  
Flexibility and Scientific Outlook 
Unconditional Self-Acceptance 
Risk-Taking and Experimenting 
Long-Range Hedonism  
Work and Practice" 

-  Albert Ellis, The Albert Ellis Reader, p181-194. 




Noble Eightfold Path of the Buddha

"I will attempt to live my life moving toward:
1.  A balanced wholeness of perspective that centers around the idea of achieving a complete experience of life.   [Right Views]
2.  A balanced wholeness of resolve in which I deliberately move away from what is toxic and move toward that which is nourishing.   [Right Intentions]
3.  A balanced wholeness of the manner, content, and intent of my speech.   [Right Speech] 
4.  A balanced wholeness of life-affirming moral conduct.   [Right Action]    
5.  A balanced wholeness of a profession that affirms life and does not obstruct or negate it.   [Right Livelihood]  
6.  A balanced wholeness of life-affirming spiritual activity.   [Right Efforts] 
7.  A balanced wholeness of mindful awareness and alertness as tools for profound living.   [Right Mindfulness] 
8.  A balanced wholeness of concentrated bodymind skills as tools for fully awakening my Buddha Nature.   [Right Concentration]" 

-  The "balanced wholeness" version is from the Venerable Reverend John Bright-Fey, The Whole Heart of Zen: The Complete Teachings from the Oral Tradition of Ta-Mo, p. 254.  The [short version] is a rather standard formulation of Siddhartha Buddha's Noble Eightfold Path




Four Principles for a Successful Life

"1. The practice of giving love without expectations.
2. To seeking true knowledge of ourselves and of the meaning of existence.
3. Practicing reflection to understand the mistakes we made in life and to release ourselves from attachment that causes suffering.
4. To develop ourselves so that we can help guide others and to become useful in the world - to, ultimately, evolve spiritually."

-   Ryuho Okawa, The Laws of Happiness, 2004




Nine Heart Paths to Healing and Abundance


-  Karen Speerstra, "Sophia: The Feminine Face of God: Nine Heart Paths to Healing and Abundance," 2011




Ten Basic Epicurean Values

1)  Prudence
2)  Self-management
3)  Self-sufficiency
4)  Serenity
5)  Simplicity
6)  Friendliness
7)  Honesty
8)  Generosity
9)  Cheerfulness
10)  Gentleness

Epicurus, 341-270 BCE 




Seven Habits of Highly Effective People

1.  Be Proactive
2.  Begin with the End in Mind 
3.  Put First Things First 
4.  Think Win-Win 
5.  Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood 
6.  Synergize 
7.  Sharpen the Saw - Continuous Improvement, Renewal, Readiness

-  Stephen R. Covey, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, 1989




Ten Rules for the Good Life

"1.  Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.
2.  Never trouble another for what you can do yourself.  
3.  Never spend your money before you have it. 
4.  Never buy what you do not want because it is cheap; it will never be dear to you. 
5.  Pride costs us more than hunger, thirst, and cold.
6.  Never repent of having eaten too little.  
7.  Nothing is troublesome that we do willingly. 
8.  Don't let the evils which have never happened cost you pain. 
9.  Always take things by their smooth handle.
10.  When angry, count to ten before you speak; if very angry, count to one hundred."

-   Thomas Jefferson, Ten Rules for the Good Life, 1790




Nine Rules for Living the Good Life

"Be Grateful.
Be Smart.
Be Involved.
Be Clean.
Be True.
Be Positive.
Be Humble.
Be Still.
Be Prayerful."

-  Gordon B. Hinkley, Way to Be!, 2002 




Principles for Purposeful Living

"1.  Unity  
2.  Self-Determination  
3.  Collective Work and Responsibility  
4.  Cooperative Economics  
5.  Purpose  
6.  Creativity  
7.  Faith"

-  Barbara Dixon, Seven Principles for Purposeful Living 




Advice for Young People

"Young people need compassion and guidance, not obscure mysticism.
Here are some guidelines for young people:

Remember that you are always your own person. Do not surrender your
mind, heart, or body to any person. Never compromise your dignity for
any reason.

Maintain your health with sound diet, hygiene, exercise, and clean
living. Don't engage in drugs or drinking.

Money is never more important that your body and mind, but you must
work and support yourself. Never depend on others for your livelihood.

Choose your friends and living situation carefully, for they will
influence you. Find a mentor you can trust, one who can answer your
every question, but never give up responsibility for your own life. No
one lives your life for you.

A good education is always an asset.

Emotions are transitory and are not a good way to make decisions.

Every day, you must make decisions. Everything you do will have
irrevocable effects upon your life. Before you go down any path,
consider carefully. Rivers very rarely reverse course.

Know evil, but do not do evil yourself. Remember, there is a way
out of the delusions of life. When you weary of the world, find someone
who will show you Tao."

-  Deng Ming-Dao, 365 Tao: Daily Meditations  




Five Keys to Mindful Loving

"Fear can be a warning to be more cautious.
Desire allows you to open and reach out to others.
Judgment fosters viewing a situation with intelligence.
is needed to maintain some stability in your everyday life.
Fantasy stimulates the imagination and fosters creativity."  

-   David Richo, How to Be an Adult in Relationships: The Five Keys to Mindful Loving




The Calculus of Felicity

Intensity:  How powerful is the pleasure?
Duration:  How long lasting is the pleasure?
Certainty:  How guaranteed is the pleasure?
Proximity:  How close is the pleasure?
Fecundity:  Will this pleasurable activity generate additional pleasures?
Purity: How pain-free is this particular pleasure?
Extent:  How many other persons will experience this pleasure?

Jeremy Bentham, 1748-1832 
   We might add:  Financial: What is the cost of the objects that provide the pleasure?  Environmental:  What are the
   consequences to our environment if we indulge in this pleasure? 




Ways to Lift Your Spirits, Boost Your Mood
Revitalize Yourself, Banish the Blues 

Be grateful for the good in your life.   
Give yourself permission to be human.
Brighten someone’s day. 
Learn something new. 
Listen to upbeat music.
Do some exercise on a regular basis.
Simplify your life, remove clutter, and clean. 
Go for a walk. 
Enjoy sex and discover romance. 
Get organized.
Do a good deed or volunteer.  
Smile and put on a happy face. 
Indulge your senses. 
Seek and cultivate beauty. 
Take time to breathe deeply. 
Look at some old photos. 
Focus on the positive. 
Forgive yourself. 
Get some fresh air. 
Eat often and eat light. 
Begin a program of meditation or contemplation.
Talk with your physician or counselor.   
Cook and prepare a lovely and tasty meal. 
Eat something nutritious like nuts or fruit. 
Pamper yourself.
Alter your routines in some way. 
Have confidence. 
Talk with your spouse. 
Fake it till you make it. 
Sign a song out loud. 
Tap into your creative side. 
Take up a mind-body practice like Taijiquan, Qigong or Yoga. 
Inhale a calming scent. 
Sit quietly, rest, or sleep. 
Brainstorm a problem for solutions. 
Avoid bad or negative companions, and find good friends. 
Watch a good non-violent movie. 
Work in the garden. 
Cool down strong emotions. 
Take some vacation time for relaxation and retreat. 
Look on the Bright Side.
Small steps of progress are better than no steps. 
Avoid watching the news for a week. 
Don’t take yourself too seriously. 
Focus on past successes, not failures. 
Create a wish list and make one wish come true.
Explore ways to boost your self-esteem. 
Focus on what you can control and what you can change.
Get some more sunlight on your body. 
Choose your attitude and how you will react to life's events. 
Spend less, avoid shopping. 
Punch a bag or bang on a drum. 
Keep a journal or express yourself in writing. 
Go easy on yourself and yield.  
Count your blessings. 
Take a long shower or refreshing soaking bath. 
Get relevant and accurate information. 
Chat with a friendly person or neighbor.
Things change and time heals. 
Adapt, adapt, adapt. 
Agree to disagree; you don’t need to win every argument.   
Think fast.  
Consider vitamin or herbal supplements that lift mood. 
Seek professional help for serious mental health problems. 
Read something inspiring. 
Avoid comparing yourself to others, and envy is a waste of time.  
Seek spiritual support or pray. 
Evaluate and revise your goals. 
Pet your dog or cat and care for them. 
Get a massage. 
Enjoy a non-competitive sport. 
Try fasting or staying up all night. 
Donate your stuff, your skills, or your time.   
Forgive and forget. 
Don't sweat the small stuff. 
Dance till you are tired. 
Stop using any recreational drugs. 
Spend some time with children. 
Abandon false ideas and unrealistic aims. 
Enjoy a refreshing drink. 
Make someone laugh. 
Allow yourself to be eccentric, and enjoy some silly thoughts.
Have a bowl of soup or a cup of tea. 
Less talking and more doing. 
Get up, dress up, and show up. 
Observe nature carefully and respectfully. 
Visit your public library and borrow some beautiful books. 
Be less self-centered and selfish. 
A spiritual advisor, rituals, or religious beliefs can sometimes help. 
Love expands your horizons of caring and happiness. 
Accept the fact that some things are broken and can’t be fixed.
Memorize an inspirational saying, prayer, poem, or quote.
Call or visit a sick person. 

-  Michael P. Garofalo, Ways to Lift Your Spirits, 9/15/2011, 3 pages PDF Format




Metta Sutra

"This is what should be done
By one who is killed in goodness,
And who knows the paths of peace:
Let them be able and upright, 
Straightforward and gentle in speech.
Humble and not conceited,
Contented and easily satisfied. 
Unburdened with duties and frugal in their ways.
Peaceful and calm and wise and skillful,
Not proud and demanding in nature.

Let them not do the slightest thing
That the wise would later reprove.
Wishing: In gladness and safety,
May all beings be at ease.
Whatever living beings there may be,
Whether they are weak or strong, omitting none,
The great or the mighty, medium, short or small,
The seen and the unseen,
Those living near and far away,
Those born and to-be born,
May all beings be at ease.

Let none deceive another,
Or despise any being in any state.
Let none through anger or ill will
Wish harm on another. 
Even as a mother protects with her life
Her child, her only child,
So with a boundless heart
Should one cherish all living beings;
Radiating kindness over the entire world
Spreading upwards to the skies,
And downwards to the depths;
Outwards and unbounded,
Free from hatred and ill will.

Whether standing or walking, seated or lying down
Free from drowsiness,
One should sustain this recollection. 
This is said to be the sublime abiding,
By not holding to fixed views,
The pure hearted one, having clarity of vision,
Being freed from all sense desires,
Is not born again into this world."

-  Traditional Buddhist Scripture, found in "Awakening to the Sacred" by Lama Surya Das, 1999, p. 301 
         Alternate translations:  Ñanamoli | Amaravati | Piyadassi | Thanissaro




Tenets of Zen

1.   The realities of the life are most truly seen in everyday things and actions.
2.   Everything exists according to its own nature.  One individual perceptions of worth, correctness,
      beauty, size, and value exist inside our heads, not outside them.
3.   Everything exists in relation to other things.
4.   The self and the rest of the universe are not separate entities but one functioning whole.
5.   Man arises from nature and gets along most effectively by collaborating with nature,
      rather than by trying to master it.
6.   There is no ego in the sense of an endlessly enduring, unchanging private soul or personality that
      temporarily inhabits the body.
7.   True insight does not issue from specialized knowledge, from membership in coteries, from doctrines
      or dogmas.  It comes from the preconscious intuitions of one's whole being, from one's own code.
8.   In emptiness, forms are born.  When one becomes empty of the assumptions, inferences, and
      judgments he has acquired over the years, he comes close to his original nature and is capable
      of conceiving original ideas and reacting freshly. 
9.   Being a spectator while one is also a participant spoils one's performance.
10.  Security and changelessness are fabricated by the ego-dominated mind and do not exist in nature. 
      To accept insecurity and commit oneself to the unknown creates a relaxing faith in the universe.
11.  One can live only in the present moment.
12.  Living process and words about it are not the same and should not be treated equal in worth.
13.  When we perceive the incongruity between theories about life and what we feel intuitively to
       be true on the nonverbal, nonjudging plane, there is nothing to do but laugh. 
14.  Zen art has this characteristic quality, that it can fuse delight in a work of visual art, knowledge of life,
      and personal experiences and intuitions into one creative event. 
15.  Each of us develops into a unique individual who enters into unique transactions with the world as it
      exists for him.  

-  Stewart W. Holmes and Chimyo Horioka, Zen Art for Meditation, 1973




The Good Life Website: Virtue Ethics

Dhammapada Sutra by The Buddha

Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu

Aging Well


Cloud Hands Blog




Disputing Irrational Beliefs:
Questions to Ask Yourself  

"1.  What self-defeating irrational belief do I want to dispute and surrender?
2.  Can I rationally support this belief?
3.  What evidence exists of the falseness of this belief?
4.  Does any evidence exist for the truth of this belief?
5.  What are the worst things that could actually happen to me if I don't get
     what I think I must (or do get what I think I must
not get)? 
6.  What good things could I make happen if I don't get what I think I must
     (or do get what I think I must
not get)?" 

Albert Ellis, Ph.D.  The Albert Ellis Reader: A Guide to Well-Being Using Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy, 1998, p. 140 




Daily Resolutions

"I am a seeker of truth on a spiritual journey.  I believe life has sacred meaning and purpose.
May my behavior today express my deepest beliefs. 
May I approach each and every task today with quiet impeccability. 
May I be a simple, humble, and kind presence on the earth today. 
May I see the Divine Nature in all beings today. 
May I be grateful today to those who came before me, and may I make the roads smoother
     for those who will travel them after me. 
May I leave each place at least a little better than I found it today. 
May I truly cherish this day, knowing that it may be my last. 
May I remember, remember, remember, not to forget, forget, forget."
-   Bo Lozoff, It's a Meaningful Life: It Just Takes Practice 



Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.




Qualities of Self-Actualizing Persons









Principles of Enlightened Living - The Six Buddhist Paramitas (Perfections)

1.   Dana Paramita: the perfection of generosity.  Unattached generosity, boundless openness, unconditional love.
       Open heart, open mind, open hand.
2.   Sila Paramita: virtue, morality.  
3.   Shanti Paramita: patience, tolerance, forbearance, acceptance, endurance.  
4.   Virya Paramita: energy, diligence, courage, enthusiasm, effort.
5.   Dhyana Paramita:  meditation, absorption, concentration, contemplation.  
6.   Prajna Paramita:  transcendental wisdom." 

The Six Principles for Enlightened Living Dharma Talk (Mayahana Buddhism)



The Ten Paramitas of Buddhism

  1. Dāna pāramī : generosity, giving of oneself, charity, altruism
  2. Sīla pāramī : virtue, morality, proper conduct, ethics
  3. Nekkhamma pāramī : renunciation, simplicity, letting go, not-doing (wu-wei)
  4. Paññā pāramī : transcendental wisdom, insight, enlightenment
  5. Viriya pāramī : energy, diligence, vigor, effort
  6. Khanti pāramī : patience, tolerance, forbearance, acceptance, endurance
  7. Sacca pāramī : truthfulness, honesty, fidelity, correctness
  8. Adhitthāna  pāramī : determination, resolution, intention, willpower
  9. Mettā pāramī : loving-kindness, love, compassion, not harming
  10. Upekkhā pāramī : equanimity, calmness, peace, serenity

-   Pāramitā (Sanskrit) or Pāramī (Pāli) is "perfection, completedness, virtue."

The Ten Paramitas:  Transformational Practices for Realizing an Enlightened Heart-Mind




The Seven Holy Virtues

"1.  Humility: modesty, selflessness, respectful, not prideful or vain.  
2.  Kindness: compassion, friendliness, gentleness, harming none, sympathy without prejudice. 
3.  Patience: forbearance, endurance, composure, forgiveness, not angry. 
4.  Diligence: energetic, decisive, careful, attentive, enthusiasm, working, zeal, not lazy. 
5.  Liberality: generosity, giving, charity, Sermon on the Mount, vigilance, not covetous or envious.       
6.  Abstinence: restraint, moderation, temperance, self-control, mindful, abstinence, not lacking sensual self-control. 
7.  Chastity: sexual self-control, purity, cleanliness, not lustful." 

-  Aurelius Clemens Prudentius (c. 410 CE),  Psychomachia and Dante Aligihieri's (c 1315 CE), Divine Comedy




The Path Towards Spiritual Transformation

1.  We admit the fact that our ordinary human condition, based on the dualistic perception of life, is a stubborn habit that we normally conceal from ourselves through denial. 

2.  We begin to look and ask for guidance in our effort to cultivate a new outlook that embraces the spiritual vision of the interconnectedness of all existence.  The means of doing so are varied from supportive spiritual environments to uplifting books. 

3.  We initiate positive changes in our behavior, which affirm that new outlook.  It is not enough to read and talk about spiritual principles.  Spirituality is intrinsically a practical affair.

4.  We practice self-understanding: that is, we accept conscious responsibility for noticing our automatic programs and where the fall short of our new understanding of life.

5.  We make a commitment to undergoing the catharsis, or purification, necessary to change our old cognitive and emotional patterns and stabilize the new outlook and disposition, replacing the old egoic habit of splitting everything into irreconcilable opposites with and integrative attitude. 

6.  We learn to be flexible and open to life so that we can continue to learn and grow on the basis of our new outlook.

7.  We practice humility in the midst of our endeavors to mature spirituality.  In this way we avoid the danger of psychic inflation.

8.  We assume responsibility for what we have understood about life and the principles of spiritual recovery, applying our understanding to all our relationships so that we can be a benign influence in the world.

9.  Guided by our new outlook, we work on the integration of our multiply divided psyche.

10.  We cultivate real self-discipline in all matters, great and small. 

11.  We increasingly practice spiritual communion, which opens us to that dimension of existence where we are all connected.  Through such communion and through continued growth in self-understanding, we become transparent to ourselves.

12.  We open ourselves to the possibility of bliss, the breakthrough of the transcendental reality into our consciousness, whereby th ego principles is unhinged and we fully recover our spiritual identity.  Through this awakening the world becomes transparent to us and we are made whole. 

-  Georg Feuerstein (1947-2012)
   The Deeper Dimensions of Yoga: Theory and Practice, 2003, p. 93



Four Agreements

"1. Be impeccable with your word.
2. Don't take anything personally.
3. Don't make assumptions.
4. Always do your best."
-  Don Miguel Ruiz, The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom, 1997



Characteristics of a Wise Practical Person

"They educate themselves
They are disciplined
They admit their mistakes and learn from them
They are patient
They take instruction humbly 
They can handle rejection and failure 
They know that they can only control themselves
They are guided by wisdom
They know their priorities
They are trustworthy and steadfast
They take calculated risks
They make the most of their relationships 
They don't live beyond their means 
They don't pay full price 
They don't squander money"
-  By Casey Slide 




Yamas and Niyamas of Hinduism 

Yamas:  Moral Observances and Restraints

1.  Nonviolence, Not Harming, Not Killing   Ahimsa  
2.  Truthfulness, Not Lying, Not Gossiping, Good Speech   Satya  
3.  Not Stealing, Paying Debts, Not Gambling, Keeping Promises, Not Wasting   Asteya  
4.  Divine Conduct, Immersed in Divinity, Celibacy, Following Marriage Vows   Brahmacharya
5.  Patience, Restraining Intolerance, Don't Argue, Slow Down   Kahama 
6.  Steadfastness, Persistence, Perseverance, Industriousness   Dhriti   
7.  Compassion, Kindness, Helpfulness   Daya 
8.  Honest, Law Abiding, Not Cheating, Fair   Arjava 
9.  Moderation, Proper Eating, Simplicity, Not Greedy   Mithara and Aparigraha  
10.  Purity, Cleanliness, Proper Language, Keep Good Company   Saucha 

Niyamas:  Spiritual Practices, Religious Observances, Values

1.  Remorse, Humility, Apologize, Acknowledge Wrongdoing, Correct Your Faults   Hri 
2.  Contentment, Serenity, Gratitude, Simplicity, Following Spiritual Values   Santosha  
3.  Giving, Charity, Liberality, Volunteer, Support Worthwhile and Spiritual Causes   Dana
4.  Faith   Astikya  
5.  Worship, Surrender to God, Love of God   Ishvara Pujana  
6.  Scriptural Listening   Sidhanta Shravana 
7.  Cognition, Self-Study, Meditation, Seek Knowledge, Follow Guru   Mati  and Svadhyaya
8.  Sacred Vows   Vrata 
9.  Recitation   Japa 
10.  Austerity, Fervor, Effort, Work, Energy   Tapas  
-   Yamas and Niyamas
    From the Indian scriptures, The Upanishads:
Shandilya and the Varuha.
    From 600-100 BCE
    Hinduism's Code of Conduct

    See also Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra, Circa 2nd Century CE
    (Yoga Sutra, Verses 2:30 – 2:34.) 




Humanist Manifesto 2000

I. Preamble.  Humanism is an ethical, scientific, and philosophical outlook that has changed the world. Its heritage traces back to the philosophers and poets of ancient Greece and Rome, Confucian China, and the Charvaka movement in classical India. Humanist artists, writers, scientists, and thinkers have been shaping the modern era for over half a millennium. Indeed, humanism and modernism have often seemed synonymous for humanist ideas and values express a renewed confidence in the power of human beings to solve their own problems and conquer uncharted frontiers.

II. Prospects for a Better Future. 
For the first time in human history we possess the means provided by science and technology to ameliorate the human condition, advance happiness and freedom, and enhance human life for all people on this planet.

III. Scientific Naturalism.  The unique message of humanism on the current world scene is its commitment to scientific naturalism. Most world views accepted today are spiritual, mystical, or theological in character. They have their origins in ancient pre-urban, nomadic, and agricultural societies of the past, not in the modern industrial or postindustrial global information culture that is emerging. Scientific naturalism enables human beings to construct a coherent world view disentangled from metaphysics or theology and based on the sciences.

IV. The Benefits of Technology. 
Humanists have consistently defended the beneficent values of scientific technology for human welfare. Philosophers from Francis Bacon to John Dewey have emphasized the increased power over nature that scientific knowledge affords and how it can contribute immeasurably to human advancement and happiness.

V. Ethics and Reason.  The realization of the highest ethical values is essential to the humanist outlook. We believe that growth of scientific knowledge will enable humans to make wiser choices. In this way there is no impenetrable wall between fact and value, is and ought. Using reason and cognition will better enable us to appraise our values in the light of evidence and by their consequences.

VI. A Universal Commitment to Humanity as a Whole.  The overriding need of the world community today is to develop a new Planetary Humanism—one that seeks to preserve human rights and enhance human freedom and dignity, but also emphasizes our commitment to humanity as a whole. The underlying ethical principle of Planetary Humanism is the need to respect the dignity and worth of all persons in the world community.

VII. A Planetary Bill of Rights and Responsibilities.  To fulfill our commitment to Planetary Humanism, we offer a Planetary Bill of Rights and Responsibilities, which embodies our planetary commitment to the well-being of humanity as a whole. It incorporates the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, but goes beyond it by offering some new provisions. Many independent countries have sought to implement these provisions within their own national borders. But there is a growing need for an explicit Planetary Bill of Rights and Responsibilities that applies to all members of the human species.

VIII. A New Global Agenda.  Many of the high ideals that emerged following the Second World War, and that found expression in such instruments as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, have waned through the world. If we are to influence the future of humankind, we will need to work increasingly with and through the new centers of power and influence to improve equity and stability, alleviate poverty, reduce conflict, and safeguard the environment.

IX. The Need for New Planetary Institutions.  The urgent question in the twenty-first century is whether humankind can develop global institutions to address these problems. Many of the best remedies are those adopted on the local, national, and regional level by voluntary, private, and public efforts. One strategy is to seek solutions through free-market initiatives; another is to use international voluntary foundations and organizations for educational and social development. We believe, however, that there remains a need to develop new global institutions that will deal with the problems directly and will focus on the needs of humanity as a whole. These include the call for a bicameral legislature in the United Nations, with a World Parliament elected by the people, an income tax to help the underdeveloped countries, the end of the veto in the Security Council, an environmental agency, and a world court with powers of enforcement.

X. Optimism about the Human Prospect.  Finally, and perhaps most importantly, as members of the human community on this planet we need to nurture a sense of optimism about the human prospect. Although many problems may seem intractable, we have good reasons to believe that we can marshal our talent to solve them, and that by goodwill and dedication a better life will be attainable by more and more members of the human community. Planetary humanism holds forth great promises for humankind. We wish to cultivate a sense of wonder and excitement about the potential opportunities for realizing enriched lives for ourselves and for generations yet to be born.

Humanist Manifesto 2000, A Call for a New Planetary Humanism

   Drafted by Professor Paul Kurtz, International Academy of Humanism, USA




Traits and Behaviors of Mental Heath

"Although no group of authorities fully agree on a definition of the term mental health, it seems seems to include several traits and behaviors that are frequently endorsed by leading theorists and therapists (e.g., Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, Alfred Adler, Karen Horney, Erich Fromm, Rudolf Dreikurs, Fritz Perls, Abraham Maslow, Marie Jahoda, Carol Rodgers, Rollo May, Albert Ellis, etc.).  These include such traits as self-interest, self-direction, social interest, tolerance, acceptance of ambiguity and uncertainty, flexibility, acceptance of social reality, commitment, risk taking, self-acceptance, rationality and scientific thinking.  Not all mentally healthy individuals possess the highest degree of these traits at all times, but when people seriously lack them or when they have extreme opposing behaviors, we often consider them to be at least somewhat emotionally disturbed. 

Self Interest:  Emotionally healthy people are primarily true to themselves and do not subjugate themselves or unduly sacrifice themselves for others.  Realizing that if they do not primarily take care of themselves no one else will, they tend to put themselves first, a few selected others a close second, and the rest of the world not too far behind.

Self-Direction:  Mentally healthy people largely assume responsibility for their own lives, enjoy the independence of mainly working out their own problems, and, while at times wanting or preferring the help of others, do not think that they absolutely must have such support for their effectiveness and well-being. 

Social Interest:  Emotionally and mentally healthy people are normally gregarious and decide to try to live happily in a social group.  Because they want to live successfully with others, and usually to relate intimately to a few of these selected others, they work at feeling and displaying a considerable degree of social interest and interpersonal competence. 

Tolerance:  Emotionally healthy people tend to give other humans the right to be wrong.  While disliking or abhorring other's behavior, they refuse to condemn them as total persons for performing poor behavior.  They fully accept the fact that all humans seem to be remarkably fallible; they refrain from unrealistically demanding and commanding that any of them be perfect; and they desist from damning people in toto when they err. 

Acceptance of Ambiguity and Uncertainty:  Emotionally mature individuals accept the fact that, as far as has yet been discovered, we live in a world of probability and chance, where there are not, and probably ever will be, absolute necessities or complete certainties.  Living in such a world is not only tolerable but, in terms of adventure, learning and striving, can even be very exciting and pleasurable. 

Flexibility:  Emotionally sound people are intellectually flexible, tend to be open to change at all times, and are prone to take an unbigoted (or at least less bigoted) view of the infinitely varied people, ideas, and things in the world around them.  They can be firm and passionate in their thoughts and feelings, and they comfortably look at new evidence and often revise their notions of "reality" to conform with this evidence. 

Acceptance of Social Reality:  Emotionally healthy people, it almost goes without saying, accept was is going on in the world.  This means several important things: (1) they have a reasonably good perception of social reality and do not see things that do not exist and do not refuse to see things that do; (2) they find various aspects of life, in accordance with their own goals and inclination, "good" and certain aspects "bad" ─ but they accept both these aspects, without exaggerating the "good" ones and without denying or whining about the "bad" ones; (3) they do their best to work at changing those aspects of life they view as "bad," to accept those they cannot change, and to acknowledge the difference between the two.

Commitment:  Emotionally healthy and happy people are usually absorbed in something outside of themselves, whether this be people, things, or ideas.  They seem to live better lives when they have at least one major creative interest, as well as some outstanding human involvement, which they make very important to themselves and around which the structure a good part of their lives.

Risk Taking:  Emotionally sound people are able to take risks.  They ask themselves what they would really like to do in life, and then try to do it, even though they have to risk defeat or failure.  They are reasonably adventurous (though not foolhardy); are will to try almost anything once, if only to see how they like it; and look forward to different or unusual breaks in their usual routines. 

Self-Acceptance:  People who are emotionally healthy are usually glad to be alive and to accept themselves as "deserving" of continued life and happiness just because they exist and because they have some present or future potential to enjoy themselves.  They fully or unconditionally accept themselves.  They try to perform competently in their affairs and win the approval and love of others; but they do so for enjoyment and not for ego gratification or self-deification. 

Rationality and Scientific Thinking:  Emotionally stable people are reasonably objective, rational, and scientific.  They not only construct reasonable and empirically substantiated theories relating to what goes on in the surrounding world (and with their fellow creatures who inhabit this world), but they are also able to supply the rules of logic and of the scientific method to their own lives and their interpersonal relationships. "

-  Albert Ellis, Ph.D.  The Albert Ellis Reader: A Guide to Well-Being Using Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy, 1998, pp. 235-252.  Based on the 1962 essay titled "The Case Against Religion: A Psychotherapist's View." 




"The philosopher should be a man willing to listen to every suggestion, but determined to judge for himself.  He should not be biased by appearances, have no favorite hypothesis, be of no school, and in doctrine have no master.  He should not be a respecter of persons, but of things.  Truth should be his primary object.  If to these qualities be added industry, he may indeed hope to walk within the veil of the temple of Nature."
-   Michael Faraday (1791-1867)   


“To be a philosopher is not merely to have subtle thoughts, nor even to found a school, but so to love wisdom as to live according to its dictates a life of simplicity, independence, magnanimity, and trust. It is to solve some of the problems of life, not only theoretically, but practically.” 
-  Henry David Thoreau


“That man is successful who has lived well, laughed often, and loved much, who has gained the respect of the intelligent men and the love of children; who has filled his niche and accomplished his task; who leaves the world better than he found it, whether by an improved poppy, a perfect poem, or a rescued soul; who never lacked appreciation of earth’s beauty or failed to express it; who looked for the best in others and gave the best he had.”
-  Robert Louis Stevenson 


"This is what you shall do: Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people ... re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss what insults your very soul, and your very flesh will become a great poem."
-  Walt Whitman

"Be a loner. That gives you time to wonder, to search for the truth. Have holy curiosity. Make your life worth living."
- Albert Einstein

"The focus of my life begins at home with family, loved ones and friends. I want to use my resources to create a secure environment that fosters love, learning, laughter and mutual success.  I will protect and value integrity.  I will admit and quickly correct my mistakes.  I will be a self-starter.  I will be a caring person.  I will be a good listener with an open mind.  I will continue to grow and learn.  I will facilitate and celebrate the success of others."
Merlin Olsen


Non fui, fui, non sum, non curo
I was not, I was, I am not, I do not care
Epicurus, a tombstone epitaph, 4 Feb 341 - 270 BCE


Politeness, Fidelity, Prudence, Temperance, Courage, Justice, Generosity, Compassion, Mercy, Gratitude, Humility, Simplicity, Tolerance, Purity, Gentleness, Good Faith, Humor, and Love.   
-  André Comte-Sponville, A Small Treatise on the Great Virtues: The Uses of Philosophy in Everyday Life, 1996




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Compiled by Mike Garofalo


Green Way Research, Red Bluff, California, 2004-2017

Green Way Research, City of Vancouver, State Of Washington, Northwest USA, April 2017-

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