11 Commandments for Living a Spiritual Life
Here are ten commandments (plus one extra) that you can think of as suggestions or helpful advice on ways to honor and follow the laws of this universe.
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you
This golden rule is included in the teachings of several traditions, but is generally considered to have originated with Confucius. Another converse version given by Rabbi Hillel in 30 B.C. says, “Whatsoever thou wouldst that men should not do unto thee, do not do unto them.”
What is most important about this golden rule is to be in the spiritual frame of mind that allows you to truly do unto others as you would have them do unto you. The only way you can fully enter into this commandment is to have a tangible sense of the oneness and divine nature of everything and everyone in this world. With this awareness, you know that giving to another is inherently giving to yourself.
Think good thoughts
Looking at the events of your life with a positive eye enhances the good times and softens difficult times. Your thoughts and feelings also go into everything you cook, build, say, create, and give. Shine good thoughts into your life and into the world!
Look beyond matter to spirit
Within and beyond the realm of matter is spirit. Adjust your focus so that you’re seeing not only the external appearance of matter and outer forms, but also the spiritual, inner realms of life.
Too much focus on material things can block your awareness of spirit. Therefore, spiritual scriptures advise seekers to release their attachments to outer sensory experiences so they can more easily perceive the subtle but precious spiritual ones.
This commandment doesn’t mean you should deny yourself the enjoyments of this world. Just enjoy them in moderation and with an awareness of spirit!
Keep good company
The company you keep determines to a large extent how you think, feel, and act. Even if you think of yourself as a perfectly individual and independent thinker, the fact remains that human beings are designed to absorb and reflect traits of their associates.
Psychologists have observed that if you put two people in a room together for a couple hours, their movements begin to synchronize with one another. They may start speaking with similar phrases or inflections. Their breathing may become entrained with one another. And these are just two people in a room for a couple hours. Just imagine how much people with whom you spend a great deal of time affect you!
Turn within for guidance
Turn within and make friends with your own wise soul. Let the spiritual grace that expresses in both the inner and outer world guide your steps. Seek a dialogue of continual guidance within yourself through introspection and quiet sitting and relish your own freshly flowing spring of wisdom.
Be moderate and balanced
Moderation and balance can be incorporated into all your activities, including your work, lifestyle, diet, relationships, and use of time. When you achieve balance and moderation, you naturally enter into the flow of spirit. In spirit, the stress of opposing qualities gives way to peaceful centeredness.
The death of your body is inevitable. Therefore, the truly intelligent thing to do is to acknowledge and contemplate that which you know is going to happen one day. Thinking about death isn’t a gruesome task, but a realistic one. Remembrance of death inspires you to be generous while you’re here, makes it easier to let go of ego and false pride, and encourages you to appreciate each moment.
When you become more comfortable with the idea of death, you may also become aware of an essence within yourself that’s beyond birth and death. This is a great bonus!
Express yourself freely
This entire universe is filled with movements: planets spinning, galaxies twirling, stars being born, atoms smashing, water raining, and flowers growing. This creation goes on and on in every direction — bigger, smaller, higher, and lower — action upon action, work upon work.
Everything in nature takes place out of a sense of right action and service, which the Indian scriptures call dharma.
When you act from a sense of dharma rather than from greed-based motivations, then your actions flow smoothly and in harmony with the freely expressing universe. You don’t have to limit yourself to accommodate everyone else’s judgments or jealousies. You are serving, expressing, and being guided by spirit.
Keep your word
Learn to respect yourself and your words so that you find it natural and important to keep your word to yourself and others. If you give your word, you should do your very best to keep your word. When you speak, what you say should be in harmony with your thoughts and intentions. Don’t promise things you won’t deliver, and don’t go around making and breaking commitments all over the place.
When you truly respect your words, all kinds of great new doors open for you. The universe also begins to respect your words. You are able to declare an intention and know that your power of righteousness will bring it to be. You trust yourself, and others are also able to trust you. The universe itself is able to trust you!
Have a good sense of humor
God is funny. Life is funny. Turns of events are funny. Even suffering can be funny. And more than anything else, truth is funny.
Laughter is the wine of the soul. When you laugh with pure delight, know that God is laughing with you. Like God and spirit, humor is present through the ups and downs of good and bad times. With a good sense of humor, you laugh when you’re happy and can even laugh while you cry. Humor is a great friend on your journey!
Never let your creative spirit be limited by numbers
An appropriate topic for the 11th commandment of this list of ten!