The Rewards of Right Action

It’s not always easy to identify what right action is, but mindfulness and compassion can help you gain this wisdom. Read the following article and listen to the suggested audio dharma talk, and then deepen your understanding of the teachings by contemplating the reflections provided below.


For Your Reflection:

1. Can you recall three situations in your life that you now recognize as having been wrong action? What clues did your body provide you with at the time? What was your mind state? Tense? Fuzzy? Jumpy? Buzzing? Start to be aware of such body-mind clues.

2. Is there someone in your life whom you admire for their right action? What seems to distinguish him or her from others? Imagine cultivating those same qualities in you.

3. Can you give yourself permission to acknowledge a moment of wrong action without collapsing into self-judgment or self-hatred? How could you develop a more compassionate attitude toward yourself when you do the wrong thing? Ask yourself if this compassionate attitude might help you to be more in touch with yourself, therefore you do the wrong thing less often.

4. Reflect on a couple of situations where you did the right thing at some cost to your own preferences. How does it feel in retrospect? If it feels good, contrast that with the uncertainty and hesitation that you felt at the time you were doing the right thing. This is why you can’t trust the mind at the time of turmoil but rather need to rely on your deep-seated intentions.

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