[from book part 7 – APPRECIATE YOUR SELF]

Educating your Heart, by Training your Mind. This is the title of part two of HHDL’s book Beyond Religion. It would be too much of an honour to call me a Buddhist. This would suggest that I studied and meditated a lot more than I actually do. I’m more of a humanist. What I read in the ideas of Buddhism appeals to me a lot, especially the practices and that is what ‘part two’ is all about. It suggests that we live an ethical life. The most important is not to know what that is, but to do it, to practice it. In fact, there are three subsequent levels of development (or personal mastery as you could call it).

First of all is the ethic of restraint; restrain from harming others.

Second is the ethic of virtue; cultivate our inner values and positive behaviour.

Third is the ethic of altruism; to dedicate our live in favour of the wellness of others.

Preferably, the three levels reflect in all of our behaviour. That is: our visible actions (body), our language (speech), and even our thoughts and intentions (mind). And because our mind is the source of all what we say and do, the mind is the most important part that needs attention, and training.

In addition, HHDL quotes six principles, founded in the second century:

  1. Stay away from drugs that influence your behaviour
  2. Stick to the principle of an ethical way of living
  3. See to it that your body, speech and mind are non-violent
  4. Treat others with respect
  5. Appreciate those who deserve to be honored, like parents, teachers and the kind-hearted
  6. Be friendly

So… if this seems to you the right thing to do (or to be) where to start? Here are the three basic ‘tools’ we need to train our minds and educate our hearts; cautiousness, mindfulness and awareness.

  • Be cautious before you do something. This is based on former knowledge and advice about what is good and less good. (Like when a doctor has told you to take less sugar.)
  • Being mindful means to reflect on what happened and on what is, by ‘jogging through your memory’ from time to time and inviting all good and bad experiences.
  • Be aware of your self, and of your behaviour, by observing it as if you were in a second level of attention.

Applying and exercising these three ‘tools’ may require some effort, but if you are a human being, you will be able to train to quite an extent. It invites you to make active connections between your thinking, your talking and your physical actions. You can apply the training every moment of the day. And the reward is always nearby: the better you train, the more beauty and pleasure will await you.


When would be a suitable moment for you to start or resume your training?


You’ve just read one of the 100 chapters of my book Appreciative Inquiries of the 3.0 Kind.
Check www.appreciativeinquiries.eu for free download and ordering printed copies.