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Refocusing on the Dharma: A life mission statement

Recently I've come to the conclusion that my disappointment with my loved ones could be used as a useful tool in interacting with the Dharma, but I was really stuck on feeling my disappointment.  A mentor suggested I write a life mission statement in order to re-focus my energy.  Well actually, she had been urging me to write one for about 3 months.  And so one day, I found myself writing about the Dharma and how I wanted my life to enact the Dharma.  I will not be sure if this a low or high understanding of the Dharma, but it is a map.  In accordance with my mentor's suggestion, I am putting this mission statement out to the universe -- the my friends, family, and communit(ies).  I also decided to put it here, because as you might have noticed, another member recently threw down the gauntlet (although very constructively!) regarding a past blog post.  "Start where you are," --that's what kept going through my head.  And so this is my roadmap-for-living-the-moment.  Any comments, suggestions, concerns, or gripes are welcome.

Life Mission Statement

    I walk through life enacting the Dharma in the best way I know how, modeling my life, thought, action, and speech off of the Noble Eight-Fold Path.  These are the centers of compassionate action in my life:

Positive and Productive Self-Care
I model my self-care off of the Noble Dharma, the ever-present wheel journeying alongside me on the Path of Life.  I realize that care-of-self leads to a productively interdependent life.  I care for myself in all of the following ways:
•    Eating consciously for nourishment and with respect for my and my health and body’s needs
•    Generating spiritual awareness through meditation and interaction with the Dharma, Sangha, and Buddhas.
•    Generating physical health through fun and rigorous exercise of my own choosing
•    Cultivating a healthy living environment by respecting my living space through compassionate daily cleaning
•    Engaging in a productive form of employment/scholarship in order to garner an efficient income.
•    Approaching my hobbies by respectfully asking them to help me relax
Should I find that I have strayed away from this self-care, I return through positive encouragement, repetition, and re-visiting these goals.  I listen to the Dharma when I am unsure or afraid of my choices, subduing the demons of doubt, jealousy, low self-esteem, self-hate, self-destructiveness, and apathy by listening to them and compassionately quieting them.
Mantra: Self-care is a practice void of perfection, full of simplicity, compassion, and respect.

The Adventure of Creativity
I rejoice in the adventure of creativity that I have been blessed with in my life!  I recognize that creativity and the creative process engages the Dharma directly, and I walk along a path that integrates Creation-as-Dharma-practice.  I engage in the adventure of creativity in the following ways:
•    Creative Writing – Poetry, chapbooks, short stories, novels
•    Scholastic Writing – creatively framed articles for publication and the editing process
•    Listening to and playing music
•    Painting, drawing, and henna mehndi
•    Cooking
•    Cleaning and decorating my living space
Should I find that I have strayed from creativity-as-adventure, I return through positive encouragement, repetition, and re-visiting these goals.  I listen to the Dharma when I feel blocked in my creative process, subduing the demons of perfection, doubt, jealousy, apathy, anxiousness, and critical mind by listening to them and compassionately quieting them.
Mantra: Through art I illuminate the Dharma, finding adventure in meditative simplicity and the beauties of imperfection!

The Wheels of Relationships as the Seed of Compassion
In walking alongside the Dharma, I learn from every interaction, seeing its positive potential.  I note that often, the movement of relationships is like a wheel – sometimes moving upwards, sometimes moving downwards, always seeming to reach a high or a low, always on a path.  I interact with myself and those in my life consciously and with awareness, enacting compassion without expecting it in return.  I seek out healthy and productive partnerships with mentally, spiritually, and physically healthy partners, noting the expectation of perfection as a destructive force.  I speak, act, and think in a productive way regarding my relationships with myself and others, avoiding the negativities of unconscious speech, action, and thought.  I hold the following realizations and actions as the seed of relationships-as-compassion:
•    I seek to have a positive, productive, and healthy relationship with myself, noting that my mind is not myself.  I also note that what the world tells me I am is also not myself.  Through enacting compassion for myself, I will understand who or what I truly am in this lifetime.
•    I seek and enact positive, productive, and healthy interactions with others, expecting only to model positive interaction. 
•    I do not bear malice towards negative interactions nor those who create them, nor do I dismiss such interactions.  Instead, I compassionately and realistically evaluate them in order to better understand my relationships.
•    I accept disappointment as a vast gift, always measuring my capacity for compassion against the potential of sorrow, guilt, anger, or negative emotions that I may feel within the moment of interaction.
•    I agree to the universe that in addition to right speech, I will also cultivate the skill of active and compassionate listening, enacting it as care for myself and others.
•    I note that judging my self-worth based whether I have a partner or not is a self-destructive act erasing the reality of interdependence-without-partnership.
Should I find I have strayed from relationships as the seed of compassion, I return through positive encouragement, repetition, and revisiting these goals.  I listen to the Dharma when I harbor negative emotions towards myself, those I love, and others, subduing the demons of perfection, doubt, anger, jealousy, and apathy by listening to them and compassionately quieting them.
Mantra: I live within the moment of relating, enacting its positive potential through conscious and aware (inter)action.

Submitted by Rolintzin on March 3, 2008 - 1:31pm

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very timely

Thank you, I needed this reminder this morning. om

Thank you to you....

Thanks to everyone for your response, and please feel free to utilize it if it helps. Please give me some tips on enacting it as I am still learning how to myself! How does it work out for you moment to moment? What sticks out to you? Are there any texts you might connect this to for study? This novice would like your opinion as a cyber-sangha member! ;)

That is absolutely beautiful

That is absolutely beautiful and I hope it's all right that I've copied it off and posted it on my fridge to read every day. Thank you for this... And the mantra is marvellous!

Be well...

Quando dou pão aos pobres, chamam-me santo. Quando pergunto pelas causas da pobreza, chamam-me comunista. "When I give bread to the poor, they call me a saint. When I inquire into the causes of poverty, they call me a communist."

lovely!

Thanks very much for sharing. This: "Self-care is a practice void of perfection, full of simplicity, compassion, and respect," is my new favourite thing to remind myself!