Living a Life of Harmony: Seven Guidelines for Cultivating Peace and Kindness

Living a Life of Harmony: Seven Guidelines for Cultivating Peace and Kindness

by Darren Cockburn

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Overview

7 simple yet powerful guidelines provide a compass for navigating life harmoniously, cultivating a peaceful mind, and spreading kindness

• Offers 7 guidelines for living a life of harmony and peace based on existing guidance from Buddhism, Yoga, and other great teachings, integrated and updated for the modern world

• Explains how to implement the guidelines in daily life on a practical basis, supported by real-life examples and practices

• Illustrates in-depth how and why each of these guidelines hold value and how they provide a set of tools to help us deal with life’s ups and downs more skillfully, mindfully, and compassionately

In our very busy world it’s easy to get lost in the details and demands of everyday living. Fatigued and overwhelmed by the sheer amount of information, the myriad of choices our technologically advanced communication era offers, we lose sight of what life is all about. How do we find balance and harmony in this overloaded world? And how do we navigate life in tune with our soul as well as with modern society?

As author Darren Cockburn explains, we are all part of one big universal process that encompasses and connects everything—every thought, emotion, action, nature, all there is. Over the centuries, religions and philosophies have provided direction on how to act ethically and in accordance with this process, yet in our modern world, these “rules” may seem outdated or too rigid. Integrating and updating existing guidance from Buddhism, Yoga, and other great teachings, the author offers 7 guidelines for living a life of harmony and balance: honor the body, bring awareness and acceptance into every moment, act with kindness, understand the truth and communicate it skillfully, do only what needs to be done, harmoniously obtain and retain only what you need, and apply the guidelines to your digital device usage. He illustrates how and why each of these guidelines hold value, revealing their interconnections, and explains how to implement them practically in daily life, sharing real-life examples as well as practices to support each guideline and deepen your existing spiritual practice.

The author explores how the 7 easy-to-practice guidelines help us gain a deeper understanding of the universal process of life, as well as provide a set of tools to help us deal with life’s ups and downs more skillfully. They enable us to face life empowered and confident, peacefully observe and accept what life presents us with, cultivate compassion and kindness, as well as spread mindfulness to those around us. Practiced together, these guidelines provide a simple yet powerful compass to guide you to a peaceful mind and harmonious living, much needed in today’s world.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781620558904
Publisher: Inner Traditions/Bear & Company
Publication date: 04/09/2019
Pages: 192
Sales rank: 1,280,393
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Darren Cockburn has been practicing meditation and mindfulness for over 20 years, studying with a range of teachers from different religions. As a coach and teacher, he has supported hundreds of people in meditation, mindfulness, and finding a connection to spirituality, with a focus on applying spiritual teachings in everyday life to cultivate a peaceful mind. The author of Being Present, he lives in Bournemouth, UK.

Read an Excerpt

Introduction

Have you ever asked yourself why things happen? Why you’re here on earth, and what role you play in it all? How can you remain peaceful, and live a life of harmony? In this book I’ll be guiding you to explore and answer these intriguing questions.

The first thing to get your head around is that there’s one big universal process, which I call “The Process.” Everything’s connected. Through a series of explanations, examples, and techniques, I’ll help you gain a deeper understanding and acceptance of this universal process. You’ll be ultimately placed to observe and accept everything, leaving you feeling empowered, peaceful, confident, and stress free. Your new way of using your mind will give you the option to act wisely, regardless of the conditions you face.

It’s my hope for you that this book will serve as a friend and reference guide, to help you live skillfully and peacefully. Become fully aligned with what is, what’s happened, and what’s to come. Live a life of harmony within The Process. Let us begin...

Sample from Chapter 2. The Guidelines

Over the centuries, countless religions and philosophies have produced wonderful lists that guide their followers to act ethically and in accordance with The Process. People are advised not to steal, to speak truthfully, not to cause harm, to be loyal to their partners and so on. I’ve studied and practiced some of these lists and they’ve been extremely helpful. That said, it’s challenging to understand and apply them these days, given that they were written so long ago. In Living a Life of Harmony, I’m introducing a fresh and evolutionary set of guidelines that are simple to understand and practical now, in the twenty-first century. They’re aligned with advice from respected religions and philosophies. I’m going to present these guidelines in a way that you can understand and apply them, in your present life situation. This will provide you with a compass to guide you through The Process. Here they are:

1. Honor the body.

2. Be present, bringing awareness and acceptance into every moment.

3. Act with kindness, considering everyone and everything.

4. Understand the truth, communicating it selectively and skillfully.

5. Do only what needs to be done.

6. Harmoniously obtain and retain only what you need.

7. Apply the Guidelines to your digital device usage.

Sample from Chapter 3. Guideline 1: Be present, bringing awareness and acceptance into every moment

The path of alignment is what you need to be following. This links very much to mindfulness practice. It starts with awareness. You’re aware of the present moment, or a particular situation. The next step is to bring acceptance to what you’re aware of. From there, you’ll always take aligned action. This is the path of the Four A’s: Awareness, acceptance, and aligned action. This path is in alignment with The Process. Even if you’ve never heard about the Guidelines, when you follow this path you’ll always align yourself with them.

The path of misalignment should be avoided. When we’re lost in thought, we’re resisting our experience in the present moment. Being lost in thought is a form of dreaming. Instead of being aware and accepting of what’s taking place inside and around us, we drift off into uncontrolled thought. When this happens, we lose touch with our direct experience. As I’ve already mentioned, any thoughts that we experience, and subsequent action from this state will be misaligned, causing harm to ourselves and others. This misalignment is rooted in ignorance from our ego. The ego wishes to control situations to accommodate its own fear-based agenda rather than wanting what’s good for The Process in its entirety. The ego can be forgiven for this given its lack of connection to the intelligence within The Process. It’s analogous to somebody doing something wrong because they don’t know better. When we experience suffering, it’s feedback from The Process, and an instruction to switch from the path of misalignment, to the path of alignment.

Sample from Chapter 7. Guideline 5: Do only what needs to be done

The norm in this day and age is for people to do too much and keep themselves busy. You may observe this when you speak with people. When you ask how somebody’s doing, they say “I’ve been busy.” Businesses are following the same trend. As the push continues for economic performance, businesses are expecting increased productivity from their workforce.

Doing only what needs to be done, involves aligning your activities with The Guidelines. Review your existing activities by creating a list of everything you do. Be sure to include your digital activities, e.g., social media, emailing, and watching online videos. Work through each activity following the process below.

Sample from Chapter 9. Guideline 7: Apply the Guidelines to your digital device usage

When I was considering this guideline, I soon realized there are enough pointers to fill a book dedicated to digital device usage. I produced a shorter, high level list of principles that encompass all of the detailed guidance. These are called “The Seven Principles of Conscious Digital Device Usage.” If you follow these, you will align your digital device usage with what The Process needs. Practicing these principles will help humanity evolve through the digital era, as well as allowing you to live a life of harmony today. Here are “The Seven Principles of Conscious Digital Device Usage”:

1. Only use a device when it’s really needed.

2. Stay mindful during device usage.

3. Be kind to your body during device usage.

4. Communicate selectively, truthfully, and skillfully during device usage.

5. Have time away from your devices every day.

6. Take opportunities for real human contact.

7. Accept that digital device usage is part of life.

Table of Contents

Introduction
The Guidelines
Personal journey
Creating ‘Living a Life of Harmony’
Points for Reflection

1 The Process
What is The Process?
Why is understanding The Process important?
Who owns The Process?
Is The Process orderly?
Who am I?
Am I dreaming this?
Obvious and subtle processes
Reflecting on The Process
How does The Process relate to being present?
How does The Process relate to God?
Spirituality & science
Am I making my own choices?
Points for Reflection

2 The Guidelines
How The Guidelines were created
The Guidelines Progress rather than perfection
Decision making & conflicts
Teaching and groups
The Process & The Guidelines in action
Points for Reflection

3 Honor the Body
Honoring the body
Diet
Relaxation
Sleep
Physical activity
Acceptance of the body
Energy
Sexuality
Connections with other guidelines
Points for Reflection

4 Be Present, Bringing Awareness and Acceptance into Every Moment
Relationship with mindfulness and Mindfulness+
The Two Modes of The Mind
The Four A’s
Dealing with emotional pain
The pain-body
Relative acceptance
Absolute acceptance
Identifications and the ego
Becoming more aware
Cultivating awareness
Patience with practice
Awareness during sleep
Connections with other guidelines
Points for Reflection

5 Act with Kindness, Considering Everyone and Everything
The source of kindness
The Selfishness / Altruism Intention Scale
Applying the guideline
Being considerate
Being friendly
Being generous
Six ways to cultivate kindness
Connections with other guidelines
Points for Reflection

6 Understand the Truth, Communicating It Selectively and Skillfully

Feeling the truth
Determining the truth
Being honest with yourself
Communicating kindly and truthfully
Selective communication Harmonious communication
Helping others find the truth through true listening
Skillful self-disclosure Connections with other guidelines
Points for Reflection

7 Do Only What Needs to Be Done
The global epidemic of being busy
Reviewing your activities
Aligning new activities
Prioritizing your activities whilst being present
Karma yoga
Is this really necessary?
Treading your own unique path
Working within The Guidelines
Communication and thoughts
Consideration of others
Connections with other guidelines
Points for Reflection

8 Harmoniously Obtain and Retain Only What You Need Reviewing your items
Harmoniously obtain only what you need
obtaining things for pleasure
Simplicity and spaciousness
Greed
Connections with other guidelines
Points for Reflection

9 Apply The Guidelines to Your Digital Device Usage
Only use a device when it’s really needed
Stay mindful during device usage
Be kind to your body during device usage
Communicate selectively, truthfully and skillfully during device usage Have time away from your devices every day
Take opportunities for real human contact
Accepting that digital device usage is a part of life
Connections with other guidelines
Points for Reflection

10 Building & Structuring Your Practice
Benefits and measures
Three areas of practice
Opportunities for practice
General challenges and questions
The link to spiritual awakening
Points for Reflection

Afterword

Notes

Bibliography

About the Author

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