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Rules #22d: Living the Way of Dharma by Building Character

"We must become the change we want to see." (Mohandas Gandhi)

From Karma to Dharma...

Karma is designed to bring us all onto the way of Dharma, the path of CoWorkership with God. The "pain and suffering" of karma are designed to teach us how to live within the laws of karma. Learning to live a karma free life ingrains in us a deep and abiding respect for the law so that we always stay within it's bounds. This creates empowered living.

For only by staying inside it's bounds can we become free of it. Once we can handle this freedom responsibly, do we get off the road of karma and move onto the path of Dharma.

The way of Dharma is the way of CoWorkership with God in loving service to and respect for all life by building character.

Civilization: Fair guidelines and firm boundaries from society that build character.
Morals: The five sets of morals needed to heal your karma & relationships.
Manners: The six sets of manners needed to heal your karma & relationships.
Ethics: The perils of group imposed codes of conduct for the individual.

Politeness: Why this time honored "oil of life" cuts through karma like magic.
Tolerance: Why this is a stepping stone toward having unconditional love for life.
Kindness: The seven ways you can practice kindness on a daily basis.
Compassion: The five ways you can practice compassion on a daily basis.


"The first human who hurled an insult instead of a stone was the founder of civilization." (Sigmund Freud)

Civilization teaches "good karma" through fair guidelines and firm boundaries that build character.

* "Civil" in Civilization: When people think of civilization, they think of laws, courts, judges, and police. They think of trials where the actions and inactions of conflicting parties are weighed and balanced and judgments are rendered. They think in terms of their rights and freedoms as determined by their society.

* "Civil" in Daily Life: Yet, on a daily basis, most people do not need to be controlled by laws. What truly creates civilization are the codes of conduct they live by. These codes come from three sources… all of which are important.

* Morals: Morals are a code of conduct (created by a society or a religion) which is accepted by an individual to guide their behavior. Morals are based in duality: they teach us how to know "right from wrong", how to discern "good from evil", and how to act with "love, kindness, and respect" while avoiding "hate, cruelty, and dishonor". Morals help us discern what is and what is not like love.

* Manners: Manners are a code of conduct which encourages an individual to show genuine interest in others and to ensure words/actions always help and never hurt. A person can be certain their manners are exactly as they should be when others feel they have acted politely. Good manners are the hallmark of civilization.

* Ethics: Ethics are a code of conduct (created by a group) which offers rules, principles, or ways of thinking that guide the actions of an individual. Ethics may have a moral component but often do not. Ethics are "group think" which can only be judged as good or evil based on their results (as judged by society or religion).

The individual's character can only be judged by their consistent conduct:

* Politeness: You are civilized when you are always courteous and polite and when "Please" and "Thank You" are words that you frequently speak and always mean. Civilized people always act as a "guest" wherever they go, being mindful - that when others help them - to express proper gratitude, appreciation, and respect for their time, energy, and attention. Politeness is the hallmark of civilization.

* Tolerance: You are civilized when you are have respect for all ways of life, for all kinds of people, and for all systems of belief. Civilized people understand that for society to function we all must coexist despite/because of our differences.

* Kindness: You are civilized when you are always kind and when you want the best for yourself and others in equal measure. Civilized people want to give and receive kindness, to create "win-win" scenarios, and to act as a role model of proper conduct by following fair guidelines and by enforcing firm boundaries.

* Compassion: You are civilized when you are consistently think, speak, and act from the desire to help another out of love and love alone. Civilized people act from compassion which is the highest form of love. Compassion is what karma and reincarnation mean to teach us as we build our character one life at a time.


"Morals are the compass which guides us safely through the rocks and shoals of life." (Anonymous)

Do you think morals are an old fashioned thing? If so, you are navigating life with a broken compass.

* Morals Defined: Morals are defined as a code of conduct (usually created by a society or a religion) which is accepted by an individual to guide their own behavior. Morals are based in duality: they teach us how to know "right from wrong", how to discern "good from evil", and how to act with "love, kindness, and respect" while avoiding "hate, cruelty, and dishonor". Karmically, morality points us in the direction of "good" karma and away from "bad" karma.

* Love vs Unlike-Love: Each situation we face in life presents us with a choice. By the choices we make, we are either choosing a loving action or an unloving one. Morals guide us toward loving actions by challenging us to do the "right/good" thing and so - at the same time - they also guide us away from unloving actions.

* Kindness vs Unlike-Kindness: Each person we meet in life presents us with an opportunity to say kind words and do kind actions. Morals challenge us to do random acts of kindness: a smile, an encouraging word, a polite action, a helpful idea, and so on. All of the kind actions prompted by morals are free but priceless.

* Joy vs Unlike-Joy: Each moment we create our experience of what it is like to be us. The moral imperative of karma is joy. Karma pushes us to create better circumstance for ourselves: vibrant health, abundant wealth, blissful relationships so we can know more joy. Morals guide us toward successfully achieving all these.

* Respect vs Unlike-Respect: Each life experience tests our ability to respect our rights and the rights of others. Morals show us how to navigate successfully through the sea of life by balancing our needs and theirs. This allows the moral person to win friends, influence people, and to manifest their dreams into reality.

* Awareness and Discernment: The end result of what morality has to teach us is greater awareness and discernment of what it means to show love, kindness, and respect and so to create a life full of joy, wisdom, and awareness.


"Manners or etiquette ('accessibility, affability, courtesy, propriety, refinement, and captivating behavior') call for no large measure of moral determination… They are a means of developing virtue...." (Immanuel Kant)

Do you think manners are an old fashioned thing? If so, you are closing doors instead of opening them.

* Accessibility: When you are practicing good manners, you are making others feel comfortable with you. Your manners make others feel as if you are always approachable. You make them feel as if they can always call on you whenever needed and that you will always be there for them as a true friend would always be.

* Affability: When you are practicing good manners, you create the impression that you are warm and kind. Your manners make others want to be your friend because you have that magnetic personality. You make them feel welcome as if they are "at home" with you and that all they say and do will be received kindly.

* Captivating: When you are practicing good manners, you are "ingratiating" yourself (antique). Your gracious manners make you welcome whenever you go and always ensure you are invited back. Your manners make others feel your gratitude. Your sincere thankfulness motivates others to want to help you more.

* Courtesy: When you are practicing good manners, you are always courteous and polite. "Please" and "Thank You" are words that you frequently speak and always mean. You always act as if you are a "guest" wherever you go, being mindful that when others help you, you must express proper appreciation.

* Propriety: When you are practicing good manners, you are acting "properly" according to the customs of the day. When what you say and do is regarding as "proper" by most people, you know that you are acting with "propriety". To be proper, your conversation is on pleasant topics that include everyone in the group.

* Refinement: When you are practicing good manners, you are acting with "refinement" (antique). Where you can speak intelligently on current topics, when you show genuine interest in others, and when your words always help and never hurt, you are being refined. When you leave others certain that you have acted politely, you can be certain that your manners are exactly as they should be.


"An individual without ethics is a wild beast loosed upon the world." (Albert Camus)

Do you think ethics are an old fashioned thing? If so, then you are underestimating the group dynamic.

* Ethics Defined: Ethics are defined as a code of conduct created by a specific group that the group expects its individual members to follow. There are many systems of ethics: national (what fellow countrymen view as civilized behavior), professional (what organizations have defined as proper workplace behavior), and social (what peer groups such as families and friends expect). Often different sets of ethics will not only conflict with one another, they will conflict with morals and manners… and the individual must choose between them.

* Source: Ethics are "imposed" on the individual by an external social system (although they can choose to internalize them). Ethics are not inherently right or wrong but derive their "rightness" from the shared beliefs of the group.

* "Rightness": The "rightness" can change depending on the leadership and composition of the group… and may not be rooted in any set of principles. The "rightness" is highly dependent upon the needs and the agenda of the group. This kind of pressure invariably leads to the worst kind of karma for the individuals pressured by their group to do what they might not do on their own.

* Group Think: Ethics are vulnerable to "group think" pressure. Individuals can be forced to follow the rules imposed by the group that conflict with their morals. For example, following the ethics of the Nazi's, the German population was turned into "Hitler's willing executioners" who collaborated in the destruction of non-Aryans.

* Group Hazing: Ethics are vulnerable to "group hazing" pressure. Individuals can be forced to follow the practices of the group that normally they would not participate in. For example, following the ethics of the "frat" many a student has died during what should have been harmless initiation rituals.

* Guru Influence: Ethics are vulnerable to "guru influence" pressure. Individuals can be forced to follow the rules imposed by the group by the authority of its leader. For example, following the ethics of the People's Temple, the followers of its leader, Jim Jones, all committed suicide to prove their loyalty to the group.


"Love is a choice you make from moment to moment." (Barbara De Angelis)

Politeness is often one of the first casualties of bad karma… when it could have been a useful lifeline.

* Welcome to the Jungle: For most of my life, I have been hacking my way through the (seemingly) endless and treacherous rainforest of my "bad" karma with a machete of toughness, tenacity, and grim determination. I thought that this hard knock life left no room for politeness but I was dead wrong. My lack of politeness just made things tougher than they had to be during my time in the karma jungle.

* Oil of Life: Politeness is the "oil of life" that helps human relationships function smoothly. For when you are being polite, you are showing others that you respect and value them. This helps them to feel more comfortable with you and it gains their cooperation. This helps life to flow around you as smoothly as oil.

* Karma Regulator: Politeness helps you to be and show more love. When you are polite, you automatically only say what is true, necessary, and kind. When you are polite, you automatically only act in honorable ways: ways that are the hallmark of the gentleman/gentlewoman. Quite simply, politeness creates "great" karma.

* Sets You Apart: Politeness is attention getting. Did you know that writing a "thank you" note for a job interview really impresses potential employers? Being consistently polite is a rare thing in modern times: it helps you to win friends, influence people, and to travel with "ease and grace" through your life.

* Save Energy: Politeness is "green": it saves precious life energy. Did you know that anger and other negative emotions burn life energy while love and other positive emotions increases life energy? If you want to live a long life then politeness is one of the best things you can do to achieve your goal of longevity.

* Always Time: If you think that politeness takes too much time and effort, it does not. There is always time to say "Thank you", to speak a kind or encouraging word, to give up your seat to someone who needs it more, and so on. Think of politeness as going on karma diet: the more you practice it, the more karma you will burn off and the more you will refine and build your chracter.


"The highest result of education is tolerance." (Helen Keller)

Tolerance is an important stepping stone toward having unconditional love for all life.

* Teaching Tolerance: Teaching tolerance is a key purpose of reincarnation and the laws of karma. For tolerance and compassion are the keys to learning pure love. What you cannot tolerate, what you have no compassion for, what you resist or hate, persists until the wheels of karma and reincarnation grind it out of you.

* Resists=Persists: Chances are you have come into the present life as someone-something you resisted or hated in a past life. What you resist or hate now, you will reincarnate into in a future life. For example, the Women's Movement today is populated with former Victorian men who thought that "barefoot and pregnant" was good enough for women. Now they must live with the restrictions in the present as women that they helped to create in the past as men.

* Experiential Learning: There is only one way for anyone to truly understand what it is to be man or woman, rich or poor, in sickness or in health, and so on. That is for someone to live through that experience for a lifetime having forgotten that they agreed to do it in the first place. That makes it more real because they are that person - for better or worse - and it is a life sentence with no possibility of parole. So we all must accept the consequences of our place in life and work to create-manifest better ones. Learning tolerance is essential to that manifestation.

* Order of Operations: Tolerance precedes compassion because you have to "stand being around someone" before you can "want to help them". Compassion precedes love because you need to know how to "care" for and "like" someone before you can truly "love" them from a deep place in your heart. Love precedes unconditional love because you need to "love" someone because of "who they are to you"... before you can love them just for "who they are."

* Stepping Stones: So tolerance is the first big step towards love and away from the path of negative emotions like anger and hate. This negativity cannot exist in the same space as tolerance. Once you are tolerant, you are ready for more love.


"My message is the practice of compassion, love, and kindness." (Dalai Lama)

Are you ready to experience more kindness in your life? Start by being kinder to others.

Each person you meet is an opportunity for you to practice kindness. Here are some easy ways to do this:

* Kind Words: What kind word you can say? Say things like "Please", "Thank you", "I appreciate your help", "You did a great job", "You are so awesome", and so on. Say them like you mean them (because you should!).

* Genuine Compliments: Give compliments generously. Everyone does something well. Everyone has a special quality or talent. Everyone can use praise and encouragement… and rarely do they get enough!

* Kind Actions: What act of kindness can you do? Opening a door for a mom toting a baby or for an elderly person who can barely walk is kind. Giving up a seat or your place in line for someone who needs it is also kind.

* Thoughtful Actions: Give to someone else what you would like to receive in their place. Make it a point to cheer others up. Remember their birthdays and their other key anniversaries. Help them to feel special and important.

* Good Manners: Act as if you were a role model of proper conduct. Be on time. Be prepared. Be courteous. Be respectful. Be fully present wherever you are. Be thankful for the gift of others in your life.

* Kind Opportunities: Create "win-win" scenarios wherever you go. Be willing to forgive wrongs done to you. Be grateful for and praise blessings granted to you. Be generous where you can with tips for those who serve you. Share want you know to smooth another's path and make their life more harmonious.

* Holy Ground: Treat the Earth as the holy ground it is. Pick up trash and put it in its place. Reuse and recycle whenever you can. Flow useful items you no longer want to others who could benefit from them. Be kind!


"If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice it too." (Dalai Lama)

Are you ready to be more compassionate to yourself? Start by being compassionate to others.

* Uplifting Practice: What wisdom can you share to make things better? If you have had a similar problem and can share how you solved it with someone else, this is true compassion. If you hear a negative complaint and you can turn it around into a positive solution, this is true compassion. If there is no opportunity for words, can you just smile at someone who looks unhappy? If you can do all these uplifting things every day day after day, this is extending true compassion.

* Similarity Practice: What do you have in common with whoever you meet? When you focus on how you are like another - by saying to yourself "just like this person, I…" - this opens your heart to compassion. When you focus on what you have in common, this also opens the other person's heart to compassion. Please remember that we are all human and this automatically gives everyone something in common with everyone else despite any seeming differences.

* Empathy Practice: Can you walk for a moment in someone else's shoes? Can you understand why they are feeling pain? Can you realize this person is lashing out at you because they are hurt and this has nothing to do with you? If you can put yourself in the other person's place, this is true compassion. The more you can feel empathy for others, the more compassion you can extend to them… and the more love you can give to yourself. Remember compassionate begins with you!

* Frenemy Practice: What you can do to think and feel about enemies as friends? When you have an enemy, they are a reminder of what you do not like or cannot forgive about yourself. So forgive what your enemy has done as if you loved them. Extending compassion to an "enemy" makes "you" your own best friend.

* Reflective Practice: How did you show compassion today? Think about how you treated the people you interacted with whether at home, at work, on the road, in the store, in the bank, at the restaurant, and so on. How well did you do in expressing compassion today? What could you do better tomorrow? What did you learn from demonstrating compassion today? Regularly reflecting on compassion helps you to be better at practicing it and experiencing it in your daily life!

Credits: from channeled information.



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