Monday, February 8, 2016

Moral compass

Religion of Islam
      1.   Join not anything in worship with God (Shirk)
      2.   Be good and dutiful to parents
      3.   Kill not your children because of poverty
      4.   Come not near to "shameful" sins whether committed openly or secretly
      5.   Kill not anyone whom God has forbidden
6.   Come not near to the orphan’s property, except to improve it, until he (or she) attains the age of full strength.
7.   Give full measure and full weight with justice
8.   Whenever you speak, say the truth even if a near relative is concerned
9.   Fulfill the Covenant of God
10.  And, indeed, this is My Straight Path, so follow it, and do not follow other paths, for they will separate you away from His Path.  This He has ordained for you that you may become pious."

Buddhism has 5 precepts that speak about causing no harm to self, other humans and all living things.

I think the cause no harm precept summarizes all of the commandments listed above.

I can work on these commandments/precepts in my life and it can seem easy when I am comfortably at home writing a blog post. 

What happens when I read email or social media sites, go to work or the supermarket and what about interactions with my family? 

What attitude am I wearing? 

Is it one that will help me to continue to work on the commandments/precepts? Or do I fall into the "default mode" of doing what comes naturally, making sure I get what I want when I want it?

I operate in default mode more than I like to admit. It takes a great deal of self awareness to try to follow the commandments/precepts.

Here is a short example;
My husband received a gift of lottery tickets and some of them were winners. I went to the supermarket to cash them in and possibly buy more, greed always gets a hold of me when I have winning lottery tickets. 

I waited on line for my turn. I noticed another person approached the other side of the counter several minutes after I had arrived and was being helped by the same person I was waiting to help me. I wanted to say, "hey, wait a minute, I was here first!" I kept my mouth shut and repeated the word patience in my head with a bit of contempt for the person being helped. I totally blew the cause no harm precept in the short time this was taking place. I ended the "session" with a heartfelt thank you. I continued on my journey with hyper care. Basically avoiding any other encounters that may stir my dark side.

I did better in the next stop to the Italian restaurant because there was nothing to cause a conflict within me. I'll call this the grace and mercy of God.

Right now as I am sitting in the living room writing this blog while someone is in the kitchen is playing music. I had mentioned to this person yesterday that I like to start my morning with silence. This is where we differ. He likes noise at certain times and I prefer silence.

He put the music on very low. I thought, "ok he is being considerate and I can meet him there in the halfway point." I continued writing and he turned off the music to read the paper. Ah, silence again.

I was aware of what I was doing and how I was feeling. I made a conscious effort to just be comfortable with the music playing.

It is hard work to abide the commandments/precepts. It is work I am willing to take on because I see the benefits in my inner being and in my relationships. 

There are much larger issues that I want to be a part of the solution, like homelessness, human trafficking, the nutrition value of our food and how we, the human race/tribe can live side by side without causing harm, joining everyone's efforts to help on these an other issues so that we create solutions to end them.

These topics seem overwhelming and I freeze. I think it is just too big for one person. 

Yet if I know the overall moral compass of these commandment/precepts, become aware of when its application is needed and act with them in mind change occurs. And maybe the change that is occurring within me spreads to those I know, those within my circle of influence, and it builds from there.

I think of the old Faberge shampoo TV commercial where one person tells another and they tell two friends and so on and so on until the whole TV screen was full of people who knew of and was using this great shampoo.        

Do you think we can start that here? 

Will you share this blog post with two friends and so on and so on?