Philosophical disciplines


There are many "disciplines", including religions, which are collections of philosophical view points, most of which lead to the same conclusion.  An interesting study which ties together five principles a week for 48 weeks is the sweet and to the point book Wisdom From World Religions, Sir John Templeton - ignore the religious parts and you'll see so much wisdom tied together - a rarely valuable work.  See the pieces where we explain how to alternatively view the language and beliefs in the "spiritual" or "religion realm, in order to glean the greater message. (See the linked pieces on language, but you might first read the page: Religion - Structured Frameworks And Delivery Of Beliefs.)

The term "discipline" means "the way" or "the path".  Self discipline is simply about getting yourself back to the path.  So "the disciplines" are paths to a greater life that you can choose from.  I am, with this site, attempting to provide paths that will lead you to the same place.  I include many pieces from "the disciplines" and aim at integrating things into an effective whole.  See The Paths.

I recommend that you set aside at least an hour a day to follow a chosen path that will lead you to living life at a higher and much better level - there is no "other way", where "somehow" you will happen upon or the stars will all align for sudden happiness and freedom from emotional pain.  Read Do I Have Enough Time To Create A Great Life?


A special section has been started that addresses Buddhism, including a "re-write" of   the ideas so that they are more understandable and so you don't have to interpret and study everything so hard to come up with a few ideas of what works and how to apply it.  It is much easier and more effective than you think - and you don't have to meditate for many years or go into deprivation or isolation.  Buddha, instead, recommended going "the middle way", with balance - you'll see.            

This seems to be the most effective, reality-based system to use.

Some samples, but go the the actual Buddhism Main Page.

     A "Quik-Guide" To Buddhism - Overview of key precepts - 1 page
    The Eight-Fold Path of Buddhism - A quick summary (1 1/2 pages) that gives
        you the basis of living a life without suffering.
    The Four Noble Truths Rewritten - Converted to truths understandable in my
        ordinary mind, not requiring one to reach Nirvana, but profound nonetheless.
    Overview at Wikipedia - A useful, quick overview of the key tenets of
           Buddhism Summarized at Wikipedia - A good coverage that saves time.
    Buddhism Test - What In Buddhism Do I Believe Or Practice Or Intend To Do?
         - The "three jewels" (the foundational pillars), the four noble truths, the
            eight-fold path, and some of the other pieces - doing this test helps one to
            establish some more pillars for one's own life philosphy, which will help one
            increase the strength of the foundational philosophy upon which the quality
            of your life will be determined.


With a Buddhism base, it teaches reality and gives you the means to learn it and see it.

The "Great Intangible" In "The Disciplines"

On the surface, many disciplines appear to be just training the mind to focus and to dismiss untrue thoughts. 

But there is much, much more to it.  And much of the "more" takes relentless "action" to achieve.

The "action" is in the "looking" and "experiencing" and in "seeing" much deeper. 

To do that, we must go into super-super detail, looking over and over and over into what is going on inside of us and inside of our mind, until we "get it" and fully understand, to the nth degree.

And only when you go to that (seemingly ridiculous, too far) degree will you truly be able to understand and "fully grok" what is happening.  ("Grok" is a term for incredibly deep understanding as if you are actually inside whatever it is and looking out...)

The question might then be: "How far do I go and when is the payoff no longer adding enough to be worth it?" 

Only by doing it and experiencing it can you answer that question (which you must remind yourself to ask, probably by tickling it for questioning as part of your planning routine.

If we have full confidence that the teacher has the greatest wisdom (and it shows up in his/her life), then it is up to us to follow the instructions.

"PL" corrects one of my surface conclusions in writing on Vipassana:  "You have missed some key insights in there which become so clear when you start practicing 2 hours a day however two things I wanted to point out if I may."  You can read the commentary by clicking on this:  "PL - Seeking Life Mastery" and then using CTRL F, entering "missed some".


Most of the thought disciplines contain these on the path to relieve suffering and/or to gain greater "happiness" (defined in a number of different ways):

1.  Learn to breathe to help calm the mind so that the higher brain can function for clearer thought.  (Breathing properly is a "means to".)

2.  Train the mind to focus and to prevail with healthy thinking over the lower mind's reactiveness.

3.  Learn what reality is and that the lower mind's "thoughts" are not reality.
(See the box to the right.)

4.  Learn to apply reality to one's life to cause one's life to be psychologically healthy and happy (or "relieve suffering"). 

In my opinion, there is no other path to happiness that would not include the necessity to learn reality and to learn how to apply reality principles to life.  In other words, you must put in the time and effort to do the learning or you will not be able to live life at a higher level.  That seems obvious, but few people bother to spend the time to do this essential, vital process!!!!!!
Key reference directory

Philosophy - Contents, Links