•  by Dawn King  •  You may find yourself, as I do, feeling that this is a season of chaos. If not, you may find that happening soon as the busyness of the holiday season and its demands crescendoes. It’s a season in which we need to find a calm center within ourselves, or be out of harmony with Nature’s inward-moving season and our innermost selves.

We are all challenged to find contentment while living in a “universe that tends to disappoint.” (I’m borrowing a phrase from Jon Meacham, a current American historian). Discontent was the root cause for Gautama’s purposeful seat beneath the bodhi tree over 2,000 years ago. The search for truth, understanding of life, should goad each of us into quiet reflection until we have our needed awakening.
Buddha’s Four Noble Truths:
Suffering, pain and misery exist in life.
Suffering arises from attachment to desires.
Suffering ceases when attachment to desires ceases.
Freedom from suffering is possible by practicing the Eightfold Path.

Buddha’s Eightfold Path:
Right understanding
Right thought
Right speech
Right conduct
Right living
Right effort
Right mindfulness
Right concentration

Perhaps because I haven’t studied it, Buddha’s Eightfold Path seems a bit vague to me. What I have studied is Sunburst’s similar Eightfold Path, which focuses on living a balanced life.
Sunburst’s Eightfold Path:
Conscious study
Conscious work
Conscious recreation
Conscious nourishment
Conscious association
Conscious speech
Conscious conduct
Conscious meditation

Sunburst teachings include an understanding of Buddha’s Four Noble Truths, and probably Buddha’s Eightfold Path. The founder of Sunburst, Norman Paulsen, had a Buddhist minister for a father. Norman was also inspired to spell out 12 virtues, which he ascribed to the personality of our Creator. When we strive to incorporate these virtues into our own personality, we find more harmony with Nature and our own strong, calm inner life force.
Sunburst’s 12 Virtues:

Sunburst reminds us to live an authentic life, true to the joyous, contented, awakened being we were created to be.   

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