Ten Beacons of Light
1. Self Awareness and Mindful Constructive Living: Seek greater awareness of emotions, thoughts, and motivations. Through a quiet attentiveness to our felt experience we become more familiar with ourselves. This is living mindfully. By being more aware of emotional triggers and behavioral responses, we can better choose a productive course of action instead of automatic emotional reactions which lead us further from our intentions.
2. Compassion Towards Myself and Others: Compassionately embrace yourself. Shortcomings and mistakes are an inherent part of living in this complex world. During our practice of mindfulness we will begin to recognize our own critical self-judgements. Just recognizing we are being self-critical begins to soften the destructive practice. If self-criticism has been a part of our thought process, it won't immediately transform upon recognition. We can ease the pain by responding to these self-criticisms with reasoned responses of compassion. Use the same process of reasoned compassionate responses when we recognize inner unjust judgments of others. We can mindfully strive to recognize the suffering of others. Be understanding of other people’s weaknesses and imperfections-- we all have them. Constantly remind yourself that no one is all “good” or all “bad.” Seek to identify healthy respectable qualities in all people.
3. Commitment to Personal Work: Make self improvement a life long practice. Seek ways to improve in the following areas:
5. Knowing and Honoring Healthy Values: Our increased mindfulness of our emotions reveal the things that we value. This knowledge can guide us in our choices. Knowing what we value allows us to conscientiously strive to live in alignment with the healthy values and work to eradicate values that may be harmful to myself and others.
6. Purpose Driven: Life without purpose can become mundane. A purpose for living transcends the immediate discomforts and gives us hope. Our purpose does not need to be fixed. Living life is dynamic and as such our purpose may change.
7. Courage: Courage allows us to act in the face of fears. We need courage to follow personal values when they are in opposition to widely accepted norms. Courage is the motivating power which pushes us forward into the darkness of the unknown.
8. Positive Associations: We need healthy relationships in our lives which support us in our troubles and push us towards our goals. We do not avoid those that need our help but give only within our capacity to give. We understand that our inner resources are limited. By actively seeking friends which lift us and nourish us, we increase our ability to give to others. We seek to participate in groups that are nourishing.
9. Honest and Open Communication: Effective communication skills are not natural. These skills take conscious effort to develop. Our mindfulness practice opens up our emotions to consciousness. We can communicate these emotions with an honest open manner. Our openness allows others to appreciate us for who we are. We try not to coerce, force, compel, punish, reward, manipulate, boss, criticize, blame, complain, nag, badger, or withdraw in order to obtain our way. Instead, we openly share our wants and need but accept “no” for an answer when appropriate.
10. Contributing to the Whole: We do not live isolated from others. We are part of a much larger whole. We can live with respect for our environment (world, community, family) and work to improve each with active participation and healthy choices.