Five basic training percepts as a way to cultivate and strengthen mindfulness. Pick and refine one or more…
1. Refrain from killing: reverence for life. For one week purposefully bring no harm in thought, word or deed to any living creature. Particularly become aware of any living beings in your world (people and animals) whom you ignore, and cultivate a sense of care and reverence for them too.
2. Refraining from stealing: care with material goods. For one week act on every single thought of generosity that arises spontaneously in your heart.
3. Refraining from false speech: speech from the heart. Undertake for one week not to gossip (positively or negatively)or speak about anyone you know who is not present with you (any thrid party)
4. Refraining from sexual misconduct: conscious sexuality. For one week observe meticulously how often sexual feelings and thoughts arise in your consciousness. Each time, note what particular mind states you find associated with the, such as love, tension, compulsion, caring, loneliness, desire for communication, greed, pleasure, aggression, and so forth.
5. Refraining from heedless use of intoxicants. Undertake for one week or one month to refrain from all intoxicants and addictive substances. Observe impulses to use these, and become aware of what is going on in the heart and mind at the time of those impulses.
*Oh man! These are hard exercises, courtesy of Seeking the Heart of Wisdom. I don’t know about you, but I will definitely be working overtime.