7 simple yet powerful guidelines provide a compass for navigating life harmoniously, cultivating a peaceful mind, and spreading kindness
• Offers 7 guidelines for living a life of harmony and peace based on existing guidance from Buddhism, Yoga, and other great teachings, integrated and updated for the modern world
• Explains how to implement the guidelines in daily life on a practical basis, supported by real-life examples and practices
• Illustrates in-depth how and why each of these guidelines hold value and how they provide a set of tools to help us deal with life’s ups and downs more skillfully, mindfully, and compassionately
In our very busy world it’s easy to get lost in the details and demands of everyday living. Fatigued and overwhelmed by the sheer amount of information, the myriad of choices our technologically advanced communication era offers, we lose sight of what life is all about. How do we find balance and harmony in this overloaded world? And how do we navigate life in tune with our soul as well as with modern society?
As author Darren Cockburn explains, we are all part of one big universal process that encompasses and connects everything--every thought, emotion, action, nature, all there is. Over the centuries, religions and philosophies have provided direction on how to act ethically and in accordance with this process, yet in our modern world, these “rules” may seem outdated or too rigid. Integrating and updating existing guidance from Buddhism, Yoga, and other great teachings, the author offers 7 guidelines for living a life of harmony and balance: honor the body, bring awareness and acceptance into every moment, act with kindness, understand the truth and communicate it skillfully, do only what needs to be done, harmoniously obtain and retain only what you need, and apply the guidelines to your digital device usage. He illustrates how and why each of these guidelines hold value, revealing their interconnections, and explains how to implement them practically in daily life, sharing real-life examples as well as practices to support each guideline and deepen your existing spiritual practice.
The author explores how the 7 easy-to-practice guidelines help us gain a deeper understanding of the universal process of life, as well as provide a set of tools to help us deal with life’s ups and downs more skillfully. They enable us to face life empowered and confident, peacefully observe and accept what life presents us with, cultivate compassion and kindness, as well as spread mindfulness to those around us. Practiced together, these guidelines provide a simple yet powerful compass to guide you to a peaceful mind and harmonious living, much needed in today’s world.
Have you ever asked yourself why things happen? Why you’re here on earth, and what role you play in it all? How can you remain peaceful, and live a life of harmony? In this book I’ll be guiding you to explore and answer these intriguing questions.
The first thing to get your head around is that there’s one big universal process, which I call “The Process.” Everything’s connected. Through a series of explanations, examples, and techniques, I’ll help you gain a deeper understanding and acceptance of this universal process. You’ll be ultimately placed to observe and accept everything, leaving you feeling empowered, peaceful, confident, and stress free. Your new way of using your mind will give you the option to act wisely, regardless of the conditions you face.
It’s my hope for you that this book will serve as a friend and reference guide, to help you live skillfully and peacefully. Become fully aligned with what is, what’s happened, and what’s to come. Live a life of harmony within The Process. Let us begin...
Sample from Chapter 2. The Guidelines
Over the centuries, countless religions and philosophies have produced wonderful lists that guide their followers to act ethically and in accordance with The Process. People are advised not to steal, to speak truthfully, not to cause harm, to be loyal to their partners and so on. I’ve studied and practiced some of these lists and they’ve been extremely helpful. That said, it’s challenging to understand and apply them these days, given that they were written so long ago. In Living a Life of Harmony, I’m introducing a fresh and evolutionary set of guidelines that are simple to understand and practical now, in the twenty-first century. They’re aligned with advice from respected religions and philosophies. I’m going to present these guidelines in a way that you can understand and apply them, in your present life situation. This will provide you with a compass to guide you through The Process. Here they are:
1. Honor the body.
2. Be present, bringing awareness and acceptance into every moment.
3. Act with kindness, considering everyone and everything.
4. Understand the truth, communicating it selectively and skillfully.
5. Do only what needs to be done.
6. Harmoniously obtain and retain only what you need.
7. Apply the Guidelines to your digital device usage.
Sample from Chapter 3. Guideline 1: Be present, bringing awareness and acceptance into every moment
The path of alignment is what you need to be following. This links very much to mindfulness practice. It starts with awareness. You’re aware of the present moment, or a particular situation. The next step is to bring acceptance to what you’re aware of. From there, you’ll always take aligned action. This is the path of the Four A’s: Awareness, acceptance, and aligned action. This path is in alignment with The Process. Even if you’ve never heard about the Guidelines, when you follow this path you’ll always align yourself with them.
The path of misalignment should be avoided. When we’re lost in thought, we’re resisting our experience in the present moment. Being lost in thought is a form of dreaming. Instead of being aware and accepting of what’s taking place inside and around us, we drift off into uncontrolled thought. When this happens, we lose touch with our direct experience. As I’ve already mentioned, any thoughts that we experience, and subsequent action from this state will be misaligned, causing harm to ourselves and others. This misalignment is rooted in ignorance from our ego. The ego wishes to control situations to accommodate its own fear-based agenda rather than wanting what’s good for The Process in its entirety. The ego can be forgiven for this given its lack of connection to the intelligence within The Process. It’s analogous to somebody doing something wrong because they don’t know better. When we experience suffering, it’s feedback from The Process, and an instruction to switch from the path of misalignment, to the path of alignment.
Sample from Chapter 7. Guideline 5: Do only what needs to be done
The norm in this day and age is for people to do too much and keep themselves busy. You may observe this when you speak with people. When you ask how somebody’s doing, they say “I’ve been busy.” Businesses are following the same trend. As the push continues for economic performance, businesses are expecting increased productivity from their workforce.
Doing only what needs to be done, involves aligning your activities with The Guidelines. Review your existing activities by creating a list of everything you do. Be sure to include your digital activities, e.g., social media, emailing, and watching online videos. Work through each activity following the process below.
Sample from Chapter 9. Guideline 7: Apply the Guidelines to your digital device usage
When I was considering this guideline, I soon realized there are enough pointers to fill a book dedicated to digital device usage. I produced a shorter, high level list of principles that encompass all of the detailed guidance. These are called “The Seven Principles of Conscious Digital Device Usage.” If you follow these, you will align your digital device usage with what The Process needs. Practicing these principles will help humanity evolve through the digital era, as well as allowing you to live a life of harmony today. Here are “The Seven Principles of Conscious Digital Device Usage”:
1. Only use a device when it’s really needed.
2. Stay mindful during device usage.
3. Be kind to your body during device usage.
4. Communicate selectively, truthfully, and skillfully during device usage.
5. Have time away from your devices every day.
6. Take opportunities for real human contact.
7. Accept that digital device usage is part of life.
Darren Cockburn has been practicing meditation and mindfulness for over 20 years, studying with a range of teachers from different religions. As a coach and teacher, he has supported hundreds of people in meditation, mindfulness, and finding a connection to spirituality, with a focus on applying spiritual teachings in everyday life to cultivate a peaceful mind. Darren also works as a business consultant supporting organizations with strategy formulation, interim leadership roles, and transformation programs. He lives in Bournemouth, England.
“In a book rich with wisdom and insight, Darren Cockburn offers a path of personal and spiritual development that suits the needs of modern life. If you follow its guidelines, you will surely experience greater contentment and fulfillment.”
– STEVE TAYLOR, Ph.D., author of The Leap and Spiritual Science and featured in Watkins’ list of
“Living a Life of Harmony can help us all do just that. It is simple to follow, down-to-earth, and practical, with many suggestions that can help us bring our lives more in line with our spiritual values. Darren has been influenced by the teachings of Buddha, yoga, and, from modern times, Eckhart Tolle, but you don’t have to be acquainted with any of them to understand and apply his ideas. This book is absolutely for and of its time, bringing perennial principles to life for the twenty-first century.”
– SARAH RYAN, yoga teacher
“Living a Life of Harmony is a resource I would encourage people with addiction issues to study. Someone with an addiction will often overcomplicate and ruminate to a level far removed from the reality of their situation. Recovery is therefore essentially a correction of views. In this book they will see and appreciate the practical maxim, ‘Do the right things and the right things will follow.’ They will gain insight into the reasons why we change our conditions, beyond the need to end personal suffering. Over time, if we follow the guidelines proposed by Darren, we can bring ourselves into alignment with the way things really are and see and feel the harmony that was always there.”
– DENNIS WAREING, substance misuse worker
“Living a Life of Harmony is a handbook for everyday living! Darren explains how life is one big universal process, which he calls ‘The Process,’ and how everything is connected. While reading this book, I felt as if I was being gently and lovingly walked through each part of The Process, step-by-step, at my own pace. I felt empowered and confident in the choices I was making, as I had a structured way of assessing each choice so that it would have a positive effect, not only on myself but on those around me. This book has transformed how I approach my everyday life and I highly recommend it.”
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