Perfecting, or developing traits of greatness and virtue

We sometimes get angry because we want everything to be perfect and nothing ever appears to be… least of all ourselves. As we look to perfection and to why we are here – the paradox we appear to live and die for. Why the writing of Inward Training has been like a clarion call through the ages. As we look to and become mentors who are here to show the way. As ancient scriptures and texts through the ages have tried to lay out, or give, the framework for us to follow. While we spend our time getting lost in manifestations of things of little or no eternal value instead of what provides comfort and takes us there. 

Why a great teacher must thoroughly know his or her subject with the understanding of absorbing and conveying both knowledge and wisdom. Showing the way has been the motive behind all great teachers through the ages. Seeing beyond ourselves we soon learn that we have many purposes while we are here.

Why the cycle of both teaching and learning is by its very nature a function of our own growth. Why knowing history becomes essential as it begins by expecting nothing but greatness from us. Acknowledging just as with us, that what is found as greatness in nature is what has taken centuries to perfect over time. 

How do we know what greatness is without believing and then seeing it from within ourselves? It is looking for perfection with the compassion previously mentioned, that remains so elusive. As our ego and what may be defined as humaneness gets in the way of virtue.

For some time, I have wanted to look for the right format or venue that can provide the benchmark, or starting point, which speaks to our highest endeavor. It is something I have had here on my website for several years entitled Nei-yeh – Inward Training. Asking where do seeds of greatness exist, if not from within ourselves. 

It’s twenty-six verses were written in China well over two thousand years ago as the companion piece or response to Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching. With little accolades and attention, it is a precise fixture that serves as a starting place as we look to seeds of virtue that reside from within each of us. For many it may appear too simple for our modern-day 21st century way of living, but as Emerson and Thoreau in 18th century America taught us…  it’s not complicated. What is virtue but the barometer we use to measure our personal growth as demonstrated through our actions as if no one is watching and doing the right thing unconsciously, or anonymously. Just by being us. 

What can be the value of meditation if not acting as the benchmark reminding us of our past endeavors and steps we are to take in the present. Greatness in and of itself is not enough. Even attributes of genius are not enough – it takes courage to change minds. Especially our own. It is what is often seen as unimportant things that contribute to our greatness. We often confuse living with doing important things such as what changes we need to make that contribute to the lives of all living things found in nature. But it is the unimportant, or insignificant things, that often serve to define our motives that define the outcome. 

Approaching Inward Training is not a haphazard affair. Why Buddhist and Taoist monks and precepts would take years of preparation and study to first “clear and get their mind straight.”  Crossing over the stream.

A lifetime of understanding the value of nothing important against the benchmark of virtue. It’s letting go that makes us great as we look to the inner virtue that defines us. What caught my attention more than thirty years ago in a time of turmoil was Ram Das saying, “The person I am from nine to five is not who I am from five to nine.”

What segues together defines who we are meant to be as a person. But we must first condition our body, mind, and spirit, to go there. The hardest part is wanting to change who we think we are – to become who we are meant to be. It is like opening yourself to go somewhere different, and embracing the new when it comes. To go fearlessly with courage to what is yet undefined, but to embrace the new with passion.

It is simply a matter of “establishing the presence of mindfulness and having our daily routine and activities follow with greatness and virtue in tow”. 

The complete work of Inward Training is found here on my website at Please refer to at your leisure.  

By 1dandecarlo

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