Improving our External Behavior

Rudra Shivananda

For those of us on the path of spiritual evolution, our cherished goal is for the freedom of higher consciousness. How does such a lofty goal translate to practical and achievable objectives? Higher consciousness must perforce lead to changes in behavior, habit patterns and emotional maturity. Conversely, as one uses one’s will to make changes to behavior patterns, one’s consciousness changes. This is because we are overcoming our karmic predispositions.

The following is a list of achievable improvements in our external behavior which will promote a shift in mental and emotional patterns and lead to higher consciousness:

• maintaining a balance between spiritual and material life is necessary in dealing with the stress of modern living. A congenial means of acquiring the necessities of life for oneself and one’s family complements our efforts in spiritual progress. It is best to avoid the temptation of avoiding one’s duties in pursuit of personal liberation.

• maintaining a balance between our spiritual progress and our physical, emotional and mental well-being. The cultivation of self-healing techniques complements the techniques of Self- Realization. It is more difficult to pursue spiritual evolution with a damaged vehicle.

• Develop a compassionate attitude towards all life, respecting the cycles of nature and refrain from violating the bounties of mother earth.

• Develop a loving attitude to all humanity – man and women, irrespective of color or caste, rich or poor, irrespective of religious or cultural affiliations.

• Resolve all conflicts whether with friends, relatives, co-workers or complete strangers from a non-violent base.

• Respect one’s own body and mind by being discriminative in the influences that we allow to affect them. For the body, this requires an attention to our diet – less quantity and more on quality – fresh and nutritious food in proper balance. For the mind, this requires paying attention to what movies and television shows we watch and what music we listen to.

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