How do you get to heaven or nirvana? Little steps. And I'm not talking about some place you go to when you die, but how you are living now and until the time you are not living? It is the little things that you do every day that determines your fate. We tend to focus on the essential practices and events, but we should give equal if not greater attention to the little things we do in the course of our day. How many times did you think ill of someone today? How many times did you have a warm feeling towards a stranger as you were walking down the street? Upon hearing of an unfortunate event that befell someone you know, did get a feeling that you were glad it wasn’t you? Did you even for a brief moment get a tinge of pleasure because of their misfortune? These little steps or small acts determine our overall mental wellbeing.
This is also referred to as Karma. Karma, as I have been taught, is not some being who is keeping score on you. It is the mental impressions you place upon your mind. You must remember that there is someone who is always watching what you do, what you say, and what you think. That person is you. You're always watching, and you're continually placing impressions in your mind. Since the outside world is mainly the projections from your mind, it would be reasonable to assume that your mental state or what is swimming around your mind would have an impact on the world around you. In the Buddhist tradition, they would say that it determines what is occurring and what you experience. Not just your perception of what is happening, but causing it.
The double slit experiment in quantum mechanic studies has confirmed many times that the observer in the experiment is the determining factor of what happens to a proton being projected at a double slit. Further, it might explain why two people can be engaged in the same activity yet receive, not just perceive, different results. They receive different results because of the past mental impressions that influenced the results.
The seven habits that would benefit you originate from The Diamond Sutra. Which is the oldest surviving dated printed book in the world (868 A.D.) If you want a life of greater fulfillment and less strain, then you might want to explore these habits to see if they work for you. They are numbered, but they are of equal importance.
1. To see yourself prosper financially, plant the mental imprints by maintaining a generous state of mind towards all beings.
2. To see yourself living in a happy world plant the mental imprints by maintaining an ethical way of life.
3. To see yourself as physically healthy and attractive plant the imprints by refusing to ever get angry.
4. To see yourself as a great leader plant the imprints by taking joy in constructive and helpful actions.
5. To see yourself as someone who has a great focused and steady mind plant the imprints by practicing deep concentration and meditation.
6. To see yourself free from a world where things don’t work the way you want them to plant the imprints by learning the principles of the hidden potential in all things and the principles of mental imprints.
7. To see yourself and others get everything you wish for, then plant the imprints by cultivating an attitude of compassion towards all beings.
Now, these are difficult to do all the time. We spend so much time lost in our thoughts and distracted. I believe the key is to create rituals and habits that allow you do these things without thinking about it. It becomes who you are. I am working on becoming that person. I invite you to do the same. At the very least it would make you a much nicer person to be around.