Ancient Wisdom Posts

The Proposed Monthly Focus of the Daily Posts 

OCTOBER 2020

Benjamin Franklin 13 Virtues

JANUARY 2021

Rumi, The Sufi

APRIL 2021

Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu

JULY 2021

Teresa of Ávila

NOVEMBER 2020

Patanjali Yoga Sutra

FEBRUARY 2021

Surprising Metaphors of the New Testament

MAY 2021

Carl Jung

AUGUST 2021

The Eightfold Path of Buddhism

DECEMBER 2020

The Divine Mother appearing across all times and places

MARCH 2021

Maya Angelou
 

JUNE 2021

The Tree of Life, The Kabbalah

SEPTEMBER 2021

George Gurdjieff

An explanation of how these ancient wisdom posts work

We, humans, are forgetting machines. Our ancient wisdom has always taught us how to quiet our minds so that we can remember who we truly are.  Instead, our minds seem to be getting busier and busier, stressed and ruing the past and fearing the future. Technology has metamorphosised our world, but the ancient wisdom still applies.  This wisdom is found in any of our great religions or philosophies --for theists, atheists, or agnostics.  

I would invite you to take five minutes each day with me in a morning contemplation of an inspiring quote from a well-known text or philosopher that sets up the day's awareness challenge. I will post a different one by midnight (Australia/Sydney time) for the next day's contemplation. 

 

Sample daily posts are found below Benjamin Franklin's Chart of 13 Virtues to give you a sense of what these are all about, shown for the first seven days In October.  In October, the focus is Benjamin Franklin's virtues throughout the month. 

 

We will then focus on a particular text, religion, philosophy or writer each month. My intention is to cover all kinds of thought from across the world, time and purpose (theism atheism, and agnosticism included). The "wisdom" would not always be classified as "ancient," but I've chosen the source for its enduring insight. Also, I do not always feature the words of the particular source each day, although the day's quote is directly about the source we are covering. For example, you can see below that I am covering Benjamin Franklin's 13 virtues in October, but I use different people's quotes to cover each of these virtues.  

 

We the People are the opening words of t

October 2020: Focus on Benjamin Franklin 13 Virtues

The daily practice of Benjamin Franklin* and my current practices in meditation and contemplation inspire me to set an intention each day of an aspect of awareness I would like to grow. Each morning, Benjamin Franklin would review his intentions for the day, concentrating on one of his 13 virtues.  Each night, he would review how the day went on this particular virtue as well as aspects of the other 12 virtues. He concentrated on one virtue for each four-week period of the fifty-two weeks of the year. See this link for an article providing more background. 

Benjamin Franklin.jpg
Benjamin Franklin list.JPG

The Schedule for August is:

  • October 1-6: Temperance

  • October 7-8 Silence

  • October 9-10: Order

  • October 11-12: Resolution

  • October 13-14: Frugality

  • October 15-16: Industry

  • October 17-18: Sincerity

  • October 19-20: Justice

  • October 21-22: Moderation

  • October 23-24: Cleanliness

  • October 25-26: Tranquility

  • October 27-28: Chastity

  • October  29-30: Humility

  • October 31: Overall Reflections

 

October 1-7, 2020: First week's sample of the daily posts. 

October 7: Blaise Pascal

Quote: 

All men’s miseries derive from not being able to sit in a quiet room alone.

The Awareness Exercise for Today

Find a quiet room today, and sit for at least 20 minutes. Notice your thoughts, your emotions and your bodily sensations without judgement.

On Silence

October 6: Marianne Williamson

Quote: 

While overeating would be seen by some as an indulgence of self, it is in fact a profound rejection of self. It is a moment of self-betrayal and self-punishment, and anything but a commitment to one's own well-being. 

The Awareness Exercise for Today

Notice your eating habits today. How committed are you to well-being in your eating and what would you need to change?

On Temperance

October 5: Socrates

Quote: 

He who is not contented with what he has, would not be contented with what he would like to have.

The Awareness Exercise for Today

Notice three things for which you have content -- and notice three things that you would like to have -- what does that tell you

On Temperance

October 4: Pema Chodron

Quote: 

For one day, or for one day for a week, refrain from something you habitually do to run away, to escape. Pick something concrete, such as overeating or excessive sleeping or overworking or spending too much time texting or checking e-mails. Make a commitment to yourself to gently and compassionately work with refraining from this habit for this one day. Really commit to it. Do this with the intention that it will put you in touch with the underlying anxiety or uncertainty that you've been avoiding. Do it and see what you discover.

The Awareness Exercise for Today

Notice something that you habitually do to run away or escape -- see Pema's suggestions above.

On Temperance

October 3: Ambrose Bierce 

Quote: 

"Self-restraint is an indulgence of the propensity to forgo"

The Awareness Exercise for Today

Notice yourself in the act of forgoing something -- what habit did you see that needs some work in self-restraint? How would you benefit by that?

On Temperance

October 2: Frances Gray Patton

Quote: 

"Restraint is the better part of beauty"

The Awareness Exercise for Today

Notice yourself restraining from a temptation today and what that feels like inside at the end of the day.

On Temperance

October 1: Aristotle

Quote: 

1. You can delight in the wrong thing.
2. You can delight in something too much.
3. You can delight in the wrong manner.

The Awareness Exercise for Today

Notice 2-3 thoughts about desires that you have and may or may not have acted upon:
 

  • Are these desires the "right" thing, according to your own belief?
     

  • Would you delight in this desire too much?
     

  • Would you delight in this desire in the wrong manner?

On Temperance