Thomas Merton was a catholic writer and mystic, a trappist monk, and a pioneer in interfaith communication, specially with Asian religions and philosophies. Recently I have found a proposal about way of life, written by Merton, in the form of ten rules. Yet Merton was a monk, I think this rules can be applied to every person that are searching for a happy, joyful and fullness in their life, so I’m sharing here them, with some short comments of my own.
1. Meditate. Search for a meditation technique that fits your personality. Or, alternatively, be contemplative for a while in Nature or at home, alone. And do it daily, almost for a half an hour.
2. Live ethically. Try to make your life a positive contribution for people. Work ethically; if you can’t, consider to change your work. Don’t worry too much for money and successful career, at last, all these stuff are secondary.
3. Live responsibly. You always have to know who you really are, who you are to be and what you are to do. If you don’t, then stop, think deeply and wait until you know it.
4. Have dreams and or goals. They give you the strong needed for surface the difficults of the daily life, and give you long-term perspective.
5. Work your mystic side. Enjoy art and music. Expand your sense of self, achieving higher states of awareness. The greater sense of self is achieved through losing yourself first.
6. Be intimate with Nature. Take daily note of the sky, the Sun, the Moon, the stars. Observe and be astonished with plant life.
7. Be partially a monk. Adapt any variety of monasticism to your life. Read deeply, study. Enjoy and honor the good food, the community.
8. Search for bliss. Not only for temporal happiness, entertainment, possessions, etc, but bliss. Think you are now in the right place doing what you must to do.
9. Develop your philosophy of life. Don’t follow the crowd, be free. Take the road less taken. Think about what you really are and want.
10. Learn form the spiritual traditions. Is not needed to join or believe, just learn. Find insights and meditations methods, and try them. Don’t separate secular from sacred.