What is it that differentiates those who live full lives of Abundance and prosperity from those who struggle in poverty, pain, and misery? Here you will find the answer.
The truth of this matter is plain for anyone to see, however it is the struggle to realize and implement these simple ways into our own life that sometimes causes great difficulty. In other words, these virtuous ways may be simple but they are certainly not easy, or common.
And, as you’ll see, we sometimes delude ourselves into believing that we have already taken care of these things, when in fact we have a long way to go. Only by honest, objective observation of our self can we truly understand the depth of the matter, and begin down the path of personal transformation.
The good news is that, as this process of transformation unfolds, we see tangible results in the world around us that assure us of our progress. And it is this progress which is used as a springboard for further refinement, ultimately bringing us closer to perfection and self mastery.
In his book, “White Fat Cow”, spiritual scholar Bill Bodri speaks of seven virtues – discipline, patience, hard work, morality, meditation, wisdom, and charity – that can truly change your fortune.
And while these virtues may not be “sexy”, cultivating them to their fullest is the only way to redeem one’s self of past transgressions, burn up stores of bad karma, and create new, good karma that will produce the types of results you have been lacking.
It all starts with personality responsibility. You see, whether or not we are happy with our current situation in life, we must accept and understand that we have nobody to blame besides our self.
Every action yields an equal and opposite reaction, and if the actions and energies we have been putting into the world do not reflect the type of reality we’d like to see in return, then we must look at ourselves – in terms of our own thoughts, deeds, and mindset – in order to change what we’re getting out of life.
The first virtue – discipline – means continued effort towards a particular way of living. We must not abandon our selves, or give up on the noble pursuits we begin to undertake before their fruits have been borne. After all, we must continually be planting seeds if we wish to reap a harvest.
We can say that discipline is the track upon which our life unfolds. Whether we like it or not, it is impossible to reach any significant level of attainment in any endeavor at all without the discipline to stick with our convictions when we know it is in our own best interest to do so.
When we don’t have discipline, there are unavoidable consequences that may not be desirable. We may begin to waver, wander, lose focus, and even forget why we are on this path at all. We begin to doubt ourselves and feel lost, as we no longer have a firm and honest master upon which to rely.
Lack of discipline is a form of self deception that can break down our trust in what we know we should be doing. By not trusting our intuition about what’s right, we no longer have a guide. The unavoidable result is a foray into errant and destructive ways for which we must later pay the price.
On the other hand, a disciplined mind yields a stable platform upon which to truly become great. Only with discipline can we plan for the future and actually bring life to our visions. Discipline allows us to trust in our selves and our actions, now, next week, and next year.
Because of this trust, we are able to make connections with other forces in the universe – whether people, groups, or movements – and use these connections to facilitate the changes or results we wish to produce.
It is this which yields a life of Abundance. As we plan and act in this way, with a solid foundation and connections based upon trust, good fortune flows our way. And although these flows can appear to be effortless to an outsider, it is in fact the continued effort of discipline that makes it possible at all.
Discipline also means the ability to make sacrifices now in order to ensure a better outcome in the future. But in order for this sort of practice to make sense, we must have patience.
Patience is a well-known virtue. Despite this, the modern man seems to have lost his ability to abide in what is, without longing for something else. This is the essence of patience – to accept what we have, here and now, as all there needs to be.
Because of this acceptance, we are able to rest comfortably in the knowledge that we are able to welcome our future as it arrives.
Without patience our mind wanders from desire to desire, endlessly hoping for something other than what exists here and now. Being impatient, by the time our desires arrive we’ll be impatiently anticipating what’s next, unable to enjoy the fruits of our very existence.
When we are patient, we can have anything, if we’ll simply let the world run its course. Understanding that we can’t change the fundamental forces of the universe that have already been set in motion, we accept what’s real, and in that way gain the power and understanding to shape and direct the future.
To deny what’s real is to have no power at all.
The reason many people are impatient is often due to a deep-seated desire to have everything instantly, even when it means going against the natural laws of science and the universe.
Another way of looking at this desire is to see it as the aversion to effort, or hard work.
It has been said that contemplation and self-reflection is the hardest work there is. Most men will go to great lengths to avoid the need to make decisions or honestly assess a given situation. There is no thinking.
What most common men call ‘thinking’ is in fact nothing more than a set of reactionary and volitional impulses, seated in place by neurological habit. It is this kind of delusion that leads people to believe that they are actually in control of something, rather than living out a fixed pattern.
This is the reason why it can be said that some men who may lift heavy weights or travel great distances have not completed any hard work. Rather, it is the intent that matters. Blindly following ‘mental orders’ out of rote or submission to perceived authority is not work, it’s simply living out pre-existing and pre-determined fate.
You see, if one intends to change or transform the fundamental forces that shape one’s future, he must intend to do so, in order to break free from past habits and well-worn pathways. One must build new pathways, which is true work, and most men fall short of this out of fear or insecurity.
Those who do forge new directions in the Universe begin to see the unfolding of a type of true limitless Abundance, for as we tap into the source of vital energy, we see that there is a never-ending supply of what we need, no matter where we are.
Intending and producing this type of effort, we must always be aware and vigilant that our efforts are right, and this is where the question of morality enters. Buddhism talks about right livelihood and right effort, and to really know what these things are, one must practice morality in all of one’s dealings.
What this means is that, because of the laws of karma and the idea that what we put out in the world will always come back to us in equal force, a moral life is the only way to assure a prosperous and Abundant future in this world, and beyond the grave.
Sometimes we might believe that we can ‘pull a fast one’ and hide in the shadows, letting minor or even major transgressions sip by, thinking they will do us no harm.
But knowing that all that we think and do is judged by the final judge – ourselves – we realize that there is nothing under the sun that is not seen and heard by our fundamental, all-knowing nature.
Because of this, only by monitoring and measuring our own state of being on a continual basis, and striving toward moral perfection can we truly become free of negative results and punishment in this world.
Whether we realize it or not, because of the interdependence and interconnectedness of all phenomena, this is not a matter of choice, but rather a matter of duty and obligation. You see, the Universe is always completely fair. The life we have is the life we ourselves have created, and realizing this we undertake complete personal responsibility for changing our future.
Another way of describing the process of striving towards perfect morality is this monitoring and measuring of our thoughts and actions, also known as cessation-contemplation meditation.
Through cessation, we aim to calm our minds of distracting thoughts, fears, lust, and other divergences from the peace and calmness that exist beyond and underneath all of those things. Through contemplation, we see these phenomena for what they are, transient and without substance, making it easier to let go of them and not cling to the negative karmic results that would otherwise be perpetuated.
This continual process, a living meditation, connects us with our fundamental nature as we live out the passing moments of our existence. In each new turn of events, the situation unfolds as an integral part of our entire existence, for there is no place other than the current moment to enter into and become a part of the stream of Abundance that’s all around us.
Meditation is a form of focus and attention, which allows us to keep our mind directed and committed to the proper action, freeing us from the difficulty and disconnection of judgment. By not discriminating anything which enters into our stream of consciousness, and instead accepting what’s real, which is this, we come to terms with who we are.
Knowing who we are, we are always able to live and act in a way that is perfectly in line with our true nature and purpose in this life.
This is the true wisdom that frees us from suffering and gives us the gift of discernment in determining the right course of action. Being wise, we are able to avoid the negative karmic consequences that result from incorrect action.
Seeing reality for what it is and not judging it as either right or wrong is the wisdom to know how to live free from bondage. This wisdom or insight comes from experience, seeing the results of our past actions and understanding how they determine our present state.
Being wise in our present state means we do not fall into the all-too-common traps or digressions in thought and behavior.
Realizing this, we understand that there is no other proper behavior than the generation and creation of merit, through the process of charitable giving. Whether we are giving time, money or effort (energy), in all moments we generate vast stores of merit that support us and form the foundation for growth and accomplishment.
Since there is no such thing as a permanent result without the requisite merit and deservedness, we understand that it is our duty in life to act in this way. Giving is the true source of all that we are to receive. Without giving, it’s as if our efforts take place on a weak foundation of sand, ready to blow away into the abyss at the first sign of trouble.
But with a firm foundation of giving, our life and momentum becomes like a stone mountain, emerging and growing from the earth below, with the strength of endless history behind it. No wind can overturn this mountain, and each day it continues to reach new heights.
It is these seven virtues, taken together, that give us, and allow us to give others, a life and existence that is worth living. With these principles as your focus, there is nothing you can’t do, and nobody who can stop you.
No matter where you find yourself, you will always have these by your side. They are the true source of Abundance and freedom, now, and forever.