An Exercise For Developing Virtue
December 2, 2010 §
Examine your character.
Pick up the defects you find in it, and find their opposites.
Let us say that you suffer from irritability.
The opposite of irritability is patience.
Try to develop this virtue by meditating on the abstract virtue of patience.
Regularly, every morning, sit down in the lotus posture.
Sit in a solitary place for half an hour – think of patience.
Think of its values, think of its practice under provocation.
Thus, take one point each day.
Think about that point steadily, without letting the mind wander.
Think of yourself as perfectly patient, a model of patience.
End the meditation with a vow that:
“This patience, which is my true self, I will feel and show, today and every day”.
For a few days there may be no perceptible change.
You may still show and feel irritability.
But go on practising.
You will see that soon, thoughts of patience will arise simultaneously
with the irritable impulse and the irritation will be checked.
Go on practising.
Irritable impulses will grow more and more feeble,
until you find that irritability has disappeared
and patience has become your normal attitude towards annoyance.
In this manner you may develop various other virtues, such as sympathy,
self-restraint, purity, humility, benevolence, nobility and generosity.
Concentration of the mind on God, after its purification, gives real happiness and knowledge.
You are born for this purpose only.
The divine flame, the Light of lights is burning there.