The biblical tenth, directs us not to yearn after our neighbor’s wife or his other property. The old school commandments may still have application in directing our choices. But this post is taking a new look from our corner of the universe.
No flaming bushes are found in this story. No commands from a higher power… Finding an old file folder with a single sheet of paper headed Rick’s Commandments was my starting point.
My First Four
- Listen to yourself
- Don’t defer
- Allow others to think differently
- Ask what would you like me to do
These are my words. I think. They are stratagies for daily life — pointers, and suggestions that point the paths.
Number 18 was, “When stuck — do the smallest thing.”
My commandments are ones I wrote for myself.
I asked Catharine, my spouse. She thought Gretchen Rubin might be the source. A search found this post,To Be Happier, Write Your Own Set of Personal Commandments.
Gretchen’s First Six
- Be Gretchen
- Let it go.
- Act the way I want to feel.
- Do it now.
- Be polite and be fair.
- Enjoy the process.
Gretchen in another post went on
The Sixth of my Personal Commandments is “Enjoy the Process.” I learned from my father, who reminds us to “Enjoy the process” at every turn.
Enjoy the step in getting our tasks accomplished.
Her words pushed me to think about my personal commandments and where they came from.
”Big Suprise” One I Borrowed
Number seventeen on my list is “Big Suprise.” I know this came from a Steven Levine workshop in Seattle.1 It was his reaction to life experience. In the midst of a gut wrench experience “Big Suprise” addresses them as logical consequences of living.
How About You?
What are your commandments? Are there few or many?
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- Stephen Levine was an American poet, author and teacher best known for his work on death and dying. He is one of a generation of pioneering teachers who, along with Jack Kornfield, Joseph Goldstein and Sharon Salzberg, have made the teachings of Theravada Buddhism more widely available to students in the West. Like the writings of his colleague and close friend, Ram Dass, Stephen’s work is also flavoured by the devotional practices and teachings of the Hindu Guru Neem Karoli Baba. This aspect of his teaching may be considered one way in which his work differs from that of the more purely Buddhist oriented teachers named above. Since Buddhism is largely considered a non-theistic faith, his allusions in his teachings to a creator, which he variously terms God, The Beloved, The One and ‘Uugghh,’ further distinguish his work from that of other contemporary Buddhist writers. ↩