In the following weeks, you will explore your ability to both cultivate (generate) and accept (receive) the seven virtues of the human heart. These exercises are sensitive. You should participate in these practices daily, but within your comfort zone, at your natural pace and rhythm, and away from any tension or force. Having journeyed this far into your story, you have honed your ability to direct your focus intentionally. The state of your practice may have evolved to the point at which you can consistently dedicate attention and willpower to the genuine understanding of each heart virtue throughout your daily interactions with the world around you: in any situation, with any others, and even alone with yourself.
The depth of your practice in this final chapter lies in your hands (and in your heart). You could choose to simply focus your practice on raising awareness toward the existing examples of these virtues in your day to day interactions. To expand your development, you may additionally set an intention to increase your daily generation of heart virtues, performing actions that express heart-based qualities during your daily life. If you allow this practice to guide you all the way to its natural fulfillment, you can eventually attain the experience of being wholly absorbed in each virtue, becoming a living example of the heart in action and directly embodying the supreme joy that these qualities can provide to you and those connected to you. To allow these virtues to act through you is to join yourself with the wisdom of consciousness. You are now ready to begin the practice presented in Week One.
Week One: Virtue of Authenticity
This week, begin your heart practice by focusing on the most important virtue in personal and professional development: Authenticity. For most, the lack of authenticity is easy to detect in others, but identifying your own authentic self and allowing that spontaneity to truly show through often presents more of a challenge.
Authenticity is the fundamental factor in building an honorable relationship with yourself and others. To be authentic is not to be faultless, but to be the genuine you.
As we saw in Chapter Two, we sometimes inadvertently identify with toxins that can inhabit various layers of our human system. As these toxins are not your true self, they can promptly dissipate when exposed to the light of your authenticity.
Observation and Action:
This week, begin by raising your awareness of the following concepts throughout the entirety of your daily experience:
Defining your truest self
Defining your perspective of the world
Defining your relation with the world
Understanding your true desires
Understanding your true values
Understanding your intentions
At the end of each day, set aside an open window of 20 to 40 minutes to contemplate your authentic self and how much you were able to let your intentions shine through your actions. The beauty of this exercise is that it will benefit you in maintaining your personal and universal moralities, because if you’re being authentic, then your intentions, words, and action must be aligned.
Duration and Frequency:
Focus on your authenticity throughout all your interactions over the course of one week.
Record your 20 to 40 minutes of reflection in your Development Log at the end of each day.