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Friday, December 28, 2012

18 Principles of a Spiritual Life 靈性生活的18個法則

18 Principles of a Spiritual Life

- By H. H. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar


Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is both visionary and practical. At the dawn of the new millennium, he calls for a return to the timeless values common to all religious traditions as a means to resolving conflict in the world today. He recognizes that this begins with individuals who embody those values in their own lives. In guiding people around the globe to finding this life for themselves, Sri Sri offers the eighteen principles of the spiritual path.

 When attention is given to the spiritual aspect of one’s life, it brings responsibility, a sense of belongingness, and compassion and caring for the whole of humanity. Spirit upholds and sustains life. It makes you strong and solid. It breaks down the narrow boundaries of cast, creed, religion and nationality and gives you an awareness of life present everywhere. It is only through this awareness, this uplifting of consciousness, that wars can be eliminated and human rights restored in the world today. How can these things be achieved? What are the main principles of a spiritual life?

1. Confidence

The first principle of the spiritual path is to have confidence in yourself. Without confidence, achievement does not come. Doubt is what opposes confidence. Once you eliminate the negative, you will see that the positive has already happened. When doubt clears, confidence is there. So to gain confidence, you must understand what doubt is.
If you observe the nature of doubt, it is always about something positive. You never doubt what is negative. You know this from your experience. You doubt someone’s honesty, but you never doubt dishonesty.You doubt the goodness of other people, but you never doubt their bad qualities. If someone says, “I love you very much,” you say, “Really?” But if someone says, “I hate you,” you never say, “Do you really?” Understand your doubt as questioning the positive and having confidence in the negative, and know that if you are having doubt, there must be something good present. Approached in this way, doubt gives you a means to move ahead. I am not telling you to drop your doubt. Doubt as much as you can! Give it your 100%. That will help you through it. Once you cross this barrier of doubt, then further progress comes.
2.Stop Blaming Others and Yourself

The next principle is to stop blaming others and yourself. The spiritual journey is a journey to the Self, and when you are engaged in blaming yourself, you will not want to approach the Self. You will not be attracted to that. Without this movement toward the Self, toward spirit, you have a journey toward matter. The joy you get from matter is tiring. The joy you get from spirit is uplifting. You will find negative qualities within yourself, but you don’t need to blame yourself for them. Whenever you blame yourself, you are bound to blame the other, because self-blame cannot stand for too long. You will find reason to escape from it by hooking it onto someone else. This causes hatred to arise. And whenever you blame someone else, you are preparing again to blame yourself. There is so much blame being given today that it is dampening the consciousness of the whole world.

3.Praise Other and Yourself

The third principle is praise yourself and praise others. Praising others goes a step beyond not blaming others. Praising kindles spirit and the presence of spirit is uplifting to yourself, to the other, and the entire environment. In praising yourself or another, a space is created within you that is filled with joy. If you can praise yourself, you won’t need praise from others. Often we think that praising ourself is ego, but, in fact, ego cannot praise itself. Rather it hopes for praise from others. And understand that all praise goes to the Divine anyway. If you say you have beautiful eyes, who made them? Every praise goes to the Divine, the Maker. The act of offering praise expands consciousness. Something inside you opens up. Blaming shrinks consciousness. Since the spiritual dimension is an expansion of consciousness, of the mind, we do not want to counter that by blaming. Sincerely offer praise to someone and see how you feel.


Sincerity is the fourth principle. In all things, be sincere. Do not fool yourself and do not try to fool anyone else. You are not on the spiritual path for anyone else’s sake. Spiritual seeking without sincerity is empty. It brings no benefits. With sincerity, it brings peace, happiness and joy you can find in no other way on this planet.


The fifth principle of the spiritual path is responsibility. The spiritual path is not escape from responsibility, but taking responsibility. However much responsibility you have taken for your life, by that much you are on the path. If you think it is difficult to manage what has been given to you to do, more will be given! People mistakenly think that being spiritual is an escape from hard work. No. The spiritual path is marked by effective and
dynamic activity.

6.Let Go of the Past

The sixth principle of spiritual life is the ability to let go of the past. See the entire past as a dream. Then you come to the present moment. You will find it is not necessary to make an effort to be in the present. The moment you let go of the past, your mind comes to the present on its own. In the present moment, spirit is kindled—even a little spark is made into a glow. When you cling to the past, the spark is covered with ashes. Be in the present and blow away the ashes of the past.


You need to know how to create a harmonious environment around you. You may think that your environment creates you, but in truth, you create your environment. See that what is, is. The acceptance of what is has two aspects. The first is the acceptance of the present moment as inevitable. It has happened as it happened. If you want it to be different, it can only become different in the next moment. Only when you accept what is and become calm, can you effectively change anything. The second aspect is to accept other people as they are. Whatever behavior they are exhibiting, see that it is the best that they have to offer in that moment. Be analytical. Look for possible explanations for their actions. And simultaneously take responsibility for your own. In this way, acceptance becomes dynamic and your environment becomes harmonious.

8.Confirmation of Your Own Death

The eighth principle of spiritual life is confirmation of death, the understanding that you are going to die one day. Because there is something deep within us that does not die, we may not fully comprehend the fact of our own death. The confirmation of death can bring you to the present moment. It can take you out of all the small temptations that keep you away from the present. Once you know that you are going to die, then the future will not haunt you.

9.Impermanence of Life

The ninth principle is the impermanence of all that exists right now—the impermanence of situations, circumstances, emotions and people around you. Knowing that all this is impermanent raises the level of spirit. You can act with more energy, enthusiasm and vigor. We think that if we recognize that everything is impermanent, it will bring down our enthusiasm and lead us to a state of apathy. No. The correct understanding of impermanence kindles spirit. Whenever spirit is kindled, you feel uplifted. Enthusiasm and
dynamism are present.


Trust the supreme and infinite Intelligence which has formed this entire creation, from the cosmic display to the interplay of genes and atoms and molecules. Just in the arrangement of electrons, something becomes a flower and something else becomes a stone, something is gold and something else is charcoal. See that there is a basic substratum, an underlying intelligence, a unity, in this entire creation. And see that it is lively. We don’t see the universe as a living thing. We see only matter everywhere; in our eyes only objects appear. We know there is a magnetic field in creation, but we often
see it as a dead field. Pure consciousness, that which is the basis of mind, that of which you are a part and everyone else is a part, is such a field and it is alive. Understanding, accepting and trusting the Intelligence which creates and sustains all things is the tenth principle of spiritual life.

11.Unity in Creation

When the human mind is stressed and tense, it judges, discriminates, loves this, doesn’t love that, makes boundaries. And in so doing, it removes itself from existence. This removal of existence from the flow of existence is called separation, but it is only apparent. Separation from existence is not possible. If a portion of a circle is removed, there is no longer a circle. See that you are part of existence, a fragment of the _expression of the supreme Intelligence, the unifying force which underlies all of creation, all that is. This is the eleventh principle.

12.Your Nature is Love and Peace

When you understand the unity in creation, you don’t have to make an effort to love others. Love is your nature. Love is what there is. Nothing other than love exists. See that love is not an action that you do, not a moral obligation that you must carry out. See that you exist in love and everything else exists in love. And know that peace is also your nature. At any moment, in any place, you can just sit and let go, knowing inside you there is a pure clear space, vast and deep. That inner space is what you are. When you feel this, you are in touch with your spiritual dimension. ”I have come from peace, I am in peace, I’ll go back to peace. Peace is my origin and my goal. I am peace, I am space, I am love” This inner affirmation or experience makes you a seeker. Knowing that your nature is love and peace is the twelfth principle.


The thirteenth principle of spiritual life is finding a balance between activity and rest—between enjoying your world and coming back to your self, and finding a balance between silence and speech. If you kept silent all your life, never uttering a word, you would not necessarily be living the spiritual life. You have been given speech. You have been given talents and abilities. Make right use of these things you have been given and balance that with meditation, the self-referral aspect of your consciousness.

14.Self Enquiry

Self-enquiry is the next principle of spiritual life. Start with awareness of the feeling of your own body —your own skin, the feeling of your skin under your garments, and under the skin your muscles and nerves and then bones. Do not be insensitive to life, like an animal who only eats, drinks and sleeps. Observe every sensation. Have the keenest awareness. In knowing your own body, you will come to know spirit—that which is different from the body.

15.Dispassion and Maturity

Keen awareness comes with maturity, or you could say, with dispassion. Maturity and dispassion come together. You cannot be mature and not be dispassionate also. Dispassion is often wrongly understood to be a flat, dull state of mind or a negative mood. It has the connotation of being aloof and disinterested. This is not true. In dispassion, you are aware; you are intimate with yourself. In maturity there is no feverishness. In maturity there is royalty, there is freedom, there is understanding, there is mystery. This is the fifteenth principle of spiritual life, gaining dispassion and living maturely.

16.Appreciation of Beauty

The sixteenth principle of spiritual life is to acknowledge the beauty in creation, the beauty in every person, the beauty within you, and to know this beauty in the nature of spirit. The mind runs after beauty, appreciates beauty, but there is a difference between appreciating beauty and wanting to possess it. In wanting to possess beauty, we lose our dispassion. Know it is spirit that is beautiful. Wherever you perceive beauty, spirit is there. If someone is beautiful, it is because of the spirit in them. A dead body is never beautiful. Attributing beauty to spirit and differentiating that from matter takes you a long way on the spiritual path.

17.Worshipfulness and Honor

The appreciation of beauty brings worshipfulness. You worship beauty, you adore it. Adoring and worshiping everything in creation as a reflection of the Creator is the next principle of spiritual life. And honor everything. Honoring is more than an emotional response. It is an attitude. It indicates a balanced understanding of life. When respect and love are both present, that brings honor. When there is honor, the mind is one hundred percent present and a sense of sacredness comes. Love and respect bring honor and honor brings sacredness. You cannot feel for something and not feel its sacredness. Sacredness brings alertness in the consciousness. Awareness comes.

18.Life is Imperishable

The final principle of spiritual life is knowing that life is imperishable. This is totally contradictory to the principle of knowing that life is impermanent, that everything is perishable. Now we say that life is imperishable; nothing can happen to it. Truth is always contradictory.



當人們把生活的注意力放在靈性上,它會帶出責任、歸屬感、慈悲和對人性的關懷.靈性支 援並維繫你的生命,它使你活得更堅強和充實.它打破狹窄的種性制度,教條、宗教和國際的疆界,帶出隨時覺知當下的生命.唯有透由覺醒、意識的提升,戰爭才 會消除,人權才能在今日的世界重建.


1. 信心 (confidence)


當你觀察懷疑的本質時,你會發現人們總是懷疑正面的事情,你從不懷疑負面的事情.你可 以從自己的經驗瞭解到這一點.你懷疑別人的誠信,卻從不去懷疑別人的不誠信.你懷疑人們的優點而從不懷疑他們的缺點.如果有人對你說“我非常愛你”,你會 回答:“真的嗎?”但別人說“我恨你”,你卻從不說:“你是真的嗎?”

瞭解你的懷疑總是質疑正面的事物,卻對負面的事物擁有信心,因此當你產生懷疑時,那必 然有好的事情出現了.以這樣的方式來應對,懷疑提供了你向前邁進的管道.我並不是要你把懷疑丟掉,盡可能的去懷疑,百分之百的去懷疑,這將有助於你去超越 它.一旦你跨越懷疑的障礙,你便能更進一步的向前邁進.

2. 停止責怪他人和自己 (stop blaming others and yourself)


你會發現自己內在負面的特質, 但不要因此而責怪自己.當你責怪自己,你就會責怪別人,因為自責無法持續很久,你將找一個理由來逃避而轉向責怪他人,這導致怨恨升起.然而當你責怪他人時也就是準備再次責怪自己,正因今日有如此多的指責,使得全球意識低落.

3. 讚美他人和自己 (praise others and yourself)




4. 真誠 (sincerity)


5. 責任 (responsibility)

在靈性道路上的第五個法則是責任感.走在靈修的道路上並不是逃避責任,而是去承擔責 任.你在生活中承擔起多少責任,將決定你的修為有多少.假如你逃避上天所賦予你的責任,則將有更多的事將降臨!人們錯誤的認為靈修就是逃避困難的工作.不 是的,靈修的成績是由效率和積極的行動力來打分的.

6. 放下過去 (let go of the past)



7. 接受 (acceptance)

你必須瞭解如何去創造一個和諧的環境。你也許會認為是環境創造了你,但事實上是你創造 了自己的環境.了知為何,然後如實接受(what is, is).接受可分為兩個層面:第一,接受當下是不可避免的,該發生的就會發生。假如你要它有所改變,唯有在下一刻才有可能.只有當你如實地接受事情的本貌 並讓心平靜下來,如此方可有效的改變任何事情.


8. 確認人將一死 (confirmation of your own death)


9. 人生無常 (impermanence of life)

第九個法則是:目前所有存在的事物都是無常的-周遭的狀況、環境、情緒和接觸的人都是 無常的.瞭解所有的一切都是無常將提升靈性的層次,你的行動將更具有能量、熱忱和活力.我們以為當我們承認一切皆是無常之後,將降低我們的熱忱,使我們變 得漠不關心.不是的,對無常的正確瞭解會激發靈性,當靈性被激發,你將感到被提升,熱忱和活力也就會出現.

10. 信任 (trust)


在整個創造界存在著一個基本的實質,一種蘊藏的智慧,一種一體性.它是充滿著活力.然 而,我們卻從不把整個宇宙看成是有生命的東西,我們把一切都看成是死的事物,在我們眼裡僅有物質實體出現.我們知道在創造界中有一個磁場,但我們經常把它 看成是毫無生氣的.純淨的意識,是心智的根基,你和每一個人都是它的一部份,它是如此有活力的磁場.去瞭解、接受和信任這個智慧,它創造及維繫萬事萬物. 這便是靈性生活的第十個法則.

11. 創造界的一體性 (unity in creation)

當人們的心智充滿壓力和緊張,就會產生論斷、分別、愛這個、不愛那個、造成疆界,如此 一來就把自己與這個存在(existence)分開.與這個存在之流分隔開來稱之為疏離(separation),但它只是表面的.與存在分離是一件不可 能的事.如果圓的一部份被移除,它就不再可能是個圓.瞭解到你就是這存在的一部份,至高無上智慧顯化的一個小區塊,有一股合一的力量一直都在整合這個創造 界.一切都是一.這便是第十一個法則.

12. 你的本性就是愛和安詳 (your nature is love and peace)




13. 平衡 (balance)

靈性生活的第十三個法則是在活動與休息之間找一個平衡點,在享受世界與回歸本我之間找 一個平衡點,在靜默與言語之間找一個平衡點.假如你的生活完全禁語,不說一句話,這未必算是過著靈性的生活.說話的能力已給予了你,你具足才華和能力,善 用它們並透過靜心、對意識的自我觀照來平衡它們.

14. 自我探索 (self inquiry)


15. 不動心與成熟度 (dispassion and maturity)

高度的覺知來自成熟度,或你可以說是來自不動心.成熟度與不動心兩者併存;你不可能成 熟而不具備不動心,然而不動心常被人們錯誤的理解為枯燥、乏味的心智狀態或是負面的情緒,不動心在字眼上即具有疏離感和不感興趣,這是錯誤的.處在不動心 時,你是完全的覺知,和本性親密的在一起.達到一定的成熟度時就不會有狂燥不安的心,反而是有尊貴、自由、諒解和神秘的特質.這就是靈性生活的第十五個法 則,擁有不動心和過著成熟的生活.

16. 欣賞美 (appreciation of beauty)



17. 虔誠和崇敬 (worshipfulness and honor)


崇敬一切事物,崇敬不單單只是情緒上的回應,它更是一種態度,它顯示出對生命的平衡感 知.當尊敬和愛同時存在時,將帶出崇敬;當崇敬出現時,心智就百分之百的處在當下,並帶出莊嚴神聖的感受.你不會對事物感到莊嚴神聖的同時卻沒有愛的感 覺;亦不會對事物產生愛的同時卻沒有莊嚴神聖的感覺.莊嚴神聖使意識變得機敏,覺知也隨之而來.

18. 生命是永恆不朽 (life is imperishable)


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