Another excellent TED talk, it just goes to show what a little vulnerability can do for your life and relationships, definitely a must-watch: http://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_on_vulnerability.html
The people of Kalama asked the Buddha who to believe out of all the ascetics, sages, venerables, and holy ones who, like himself, passed through their town. They complained that they were confused by the many contradictions they discovered in what they heard. The Kalama Sutta is the Buddha’s reply.
– Do not believe anything on mere hearsay.
– Do not believe in traditions merely because they are old and have been handed down for many generations and in many places.
– Do not believe anything on account of rumors or because people talk a a great deal about it.
– Do not believe anything because you are shown the written testimony of some ancient sage.
– Do not believe in what you have fancied, thinking that, because it is extraordinary, it must have been inspired by a god or other wonderful being.
– Do not believe anything merely because presumption is in its favor, or because the custom of many years inclines you to take it as true.
– Do not believe anything merely on the authority of your teachers and priests.
– But, whatever, after thorough investigation and reflection, you find to agree with reason and experience, as conducive to the good and benefit of one and all and of the world at large, accept only that as true, and shape your life in accordance with it.
The same text, said the Buddha, must be applied to his own teachings.
– Do not accept any doctrine from reverence, but first try it as gold is tried by fire.
I found inspiration in the 59 Slogans of the 7 Points to Lojong:
ONE: The preliminaries, which are the basis for dharma practice
1. First, train in the preliminaries.
TWO: The main practice, which is training in bodhicitta.
2. Regard all dharmas as dreams.
3. Examine the nature of unborn awareness.
4. Self-liberate even the antidote.
5. Rest in the nature of alaya, the essence.
6. In postmeditation, be a child of illusion.
7. Sending and taking should be practiced alternately. These two should ride the breath.
8. Three objects, three poisons, three roots of virtue.
9. In all activities, train with slogans.
10. Begin the sequence of sending and taking with yourself.
THREE: Transformation of Bad Circumstances into the Way of Enlightenment
11. When the world is filled with evil, transform all mishaps into the path of bodhi.
12. Drive all blames into one.
13. Be grateful to everyone.
14. Seeing confusion as the four kayas is unsurpassable shunyata protection.
15. Four practices are the best of methods.
16. Whatever you meet unexpectedly, join with meditation.
FOUR: Showing the Utilization of Practice in One’s Whole Life
17. Practice the five strengths, the condensed heart instructions.
18. The mahayana instruction for ejection of consciousness at death is the five strengths: how you conduct yourself is important.
FIVE: Evaluation of Mind Training
19. All dharma agrees at one point.
20. Of the two witnesses, hold the principal one.
21. Always maintain only a joyful mind.
22. If you can practice even when distracted, you are well trained.
SIX: Disciplines of Mind Training
23. Always abide by the three basic principles.
24. Change your attitude, but remain natural.
25. Don’t talk about injured limbs.
26. Don’t ponder others.
27. Work with the greatest defilements first.
28. Abandon any hope of fruition.
29. Abandon poisonous food.
30. Don’t be so predictable.
31. Don’t malign others.
32. Don’t wait in ambush.
33. Don’t bring things to a painful point.
34. Don’t transfer the ox’s load to the cow.
35. Don’t try to be the fastest.
36. Don’t act with a twist.
37. Don’t make gods into demons.
38. Don’t seek others’ pain as the limbs of your own happiness.
SEVEN: Guidelines of Mind Training
39. All activities should be done with one intention.
40. Correct all wrongs with one intention.
41. Two activities: one at the beginning, one at the end.
42. Whichever of the two occurs, be patient.
43. Observe these two, even at the risk of your life.
44. Train in the three difficulties.
45. Take on the three principal causes.
46. Pay heed that the three never wane.
47. Keep the three inseparable.
48. Train without bias in all areas. It is crucial always to do this pervasively and wholeheartedly.
49. Always meditate on whatever provokes resentment.
50. Don’t be swayed by external circumstances.
51. This time, practice the main points.
52. Don’t misinterpret.
53. Don’t vacillate.
54. Train wholeheartedly.
55. Liberate yourself by examining and analyzing.
56. Don’t wallow in self-pity.
57. Don’t be jealous.
58. Don’t be frivolous.
59. Don’t expect applause.