Here’s my update for the final week of Dianne Sylvan’s Becoming a Spiritual Nomad Course, which I found a lot of resistance to; and thus it’s taken a while to write my final update on this module. However, I’ve enjoyed taking my time looking through each aspect slowly.
My experiences with ethical codes have led me to follow the Five Precepts of Buddhism. These are a guidelines rather than rules, but I find they allow me a good guide which doesn’t stop me form living life as I’d like to:
Abstain from killing / Be kind
Abstain from stealing / Give
Abstain from manipulation and misconduct / Be content
Abstain from lying / Be honest
Abstain from actions which lead to mindlessness / Be mindful
I’d like to be kind, to feel able to give, to be content with my life, to be honest, and to ensure that when I drink alcohol, I do not become so mindless I cannot be responsible for my actions.
Thinking about this topic, I’d like to include a few more values; inspired from the Nine Noble Truths:
honour – This is a very resonant value for me, particularly in terms of keeping your word
hospitality – although part of being kind and giving, worth saying separately
I feel that fidelity and truth are covered by the precepts. Self Reliance, Industriousness and Perseverance fail to inspire me as much; so I’ve left them out.
Project: Offering Pouch
This is an exercise I would like to do more often. I used to have a sunglasses case with herbs and ribbon in it for sacrifice; but have fallen out of the habit.
I do have a pouch of herbs with me for my own protection / sense of safety. Which I could get into the habit of using as an offering too – but it doesn’t have a very secure closing mechanism.
I think I’ll have to loo through my materials and see if I can find something which suits the purpose.
I have an up and running gratitude practice already; but I like the idea of expanding this to bring in aspects of metta meditation – bringing to mind a difficult person to be grateful for. Will have a play around with the ideas here.
1. I had a few moments of spiritual crisis when I was losing my faith in Christianity. I prayed to the Christian God for help and felt only emptiness. I tried and tried and nothing changed. I prayed to the Gods of other faiths; and began to feel a response in my own being. Change happened in my situation, (i.e. person left for own reasons) which happened at the time I began praying to the Pagan deities. It took a few months to really settle with this new experience.
2. Three negatives: person D, the cause for the above experience, not getting into the clinical course last year. Three positives: The people I turned to in 2005, finding writing, joining Anderida.
3. One rule I would not practise would be any that says this is the only way. “There is one god, one way, one path, one prophet”. I don’t agree that in this universe of wonders, of connections, contrasts and balance that there is only one of something for all beings.
4. My life is most affected by the value of honour – I have serious issues dealing with people who do not keep their word; and serious problems dealing with times when I break mine. I do not make promises. I find it hardest to be kind to people I feel have wronged me for deliberate reasons. Being kind to people who have been deliberately unkind or are dishonourable.
Thanks for being on this journey with me. The course had ended, but I’ll still be posting about my spiritual journey here. If you’re interested in taking part in this course, I’d recommend it. All details can be found here: http://diannesylvan.com/the-spiritual-nomad