Austerity means wholesome rigor. It does not equate with pain or loss, as is sometimes erroneously believed. In fact, it makes the spiritual journey pleasant and enjoyable. It speeds up the process of climbing the ladder of intelligence. It is spiritually rewarding.
Developing the virtue of austerity means:
• Living upon the minimum resources necessary, so that there is neither physical torture, nor indulgence. This requires a balanced level of convenience and comfort.
• Living in a moderate-sized house—neither cramped, nor overly spacious.
• Neither fasting, nor overeating. Eat so that your stomach always remains 30 percent empty.
• Speaking sparingly, listening frequently, and avoiding frivolous chatting, useless discussions, criticism, and so on.
• Neither being miserly, nor being wasteful.
• Avoiding noisy and crowded places.
• Avoiding excessive or back-to-back entertainment.
• Spending more time in silence and seclusion than with people.
• Minimizing (rather than suppressing) sexual activities and eventually eliminating sexual thoughts as old age approaches.
Also, the virtue of austerity can be developed by practicing soul meditation as follows.
• Remaining mindful of desires for more: more things, food, talk, entertainment, money, space, power, and so on
• Not reacting to such desires
• Giving wise attention to the impermanent and impersonal nature of such desires, and allowing them to subside in mind on their own before they gain sufficient strength to turn into cravings and struggle for opulence, material abundance, and undue comfort
• Concentrating on the beneficial aftereffects of austerity, which include wakefulness, alertness, energy, and a sense of accomplishment
SOUL RESEARCH INSTITUTE NEWSLETTER, MAY 14, 10
EVENTS AT S.R.I.
Sam Adettiwar's Book
Available on amazon.com
All profits go to S.R.I.
"There is no austerity equal to a balanced mind."
"What will one accomplish by mere reading? One needs spiritual practice--Austerity."
At Flying Horse Subdivision, 2663 Cinnabar Road, May 23rd, 2010. No practice at Briargate hall on May 23rd.
10am-Noon: Yoga and meditation as usual for those who are interested in weekly practice. No practice at Briargate hall on May 23rd.
Noon-1pm: Potluck veg. luncheon. Families can either come to practice or directly at Noon for potluck and for children's essay competition (Topic: Compassion). SurPrizes for children awaiting!
1pm-1.30pm: Noble Presentations.
Art Sanchez will present a short 5 min inspirational picture slide show set to music and a spiritual teaching called "A Grand Opportunity."
Don Abdallah will present 'wise brain,' a 10-minute talk on brain science of meditation.
Followed by 15 minutes of Q/A.
1.30pm-2.30pm: Round Table Noble conversation on Buddha's most inspirational quotes.
2.30pm-3.00pm: Reading of children's essays on 'Compassion' and prize distribution.
II. 12-Hr Meditation Marathon honoring The Buddha
At the Retreat Center located just north of Monument, CO. Starting May 27, Noon to May 27, midnight (Full Moon Day). For details contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Whenever you feel like having “more,” observe that feeling without reacting, recollect the benefits of austerity, and compare those benefits to the conditions of non-austere living. Such recollection and comparison will arouse the energy for non-reaction and wise attention.
Whenever you succeed in not reacting to the desire for “more,” observe how good you feel. The aftereffects are wonderful. In the beginning of being austere, it may be somewhat painful or even distasteful. You may find it hard to stop eating when your stomach is 70 percent full, but if you stop anyway later you’ll notice that you are more alert and energetic than before. In addition, you will notice a sense of accomplishment and the pleasant feeling of being able to master the mind.
Austerity begets wholesome discipline. It helps minimize the controlling influence of the immediate environment on the body and mind. It helps the body and mind stay awake, alert, and energetic. These qualities are necessary both for having fun and maintaining the stamina while working hard, as well as for making the efforts significant. Without such a combination of “fun, hard work, stamina and results” the extraordinary pursuit of higher intelligence does not last for long.