Compassionate Integrity Training Final CIT training manual 11-30 - Page 53

Compa ssionate Integrit y Tr a ining A S e cu l a r Ethic s Appr oa c h to C ulti vat ing Pe rs on al, S o ci al and E n vir on me n tal F lo u r i shing (called Schadenfreude in German) may feel good temporarily, society look like if people in general had more X?” such but is hardly an emotion that is likely to lead to long-term as generosity, forgiveness, etc. We can also look at our well-being or something we would want to promote in experience, asking, “How do I feel, and what experiences ourselves and society. do I tend to have when I am experiencing X?” Lastly, one can look into the emerging scientific literature and see, If our purpose is ethical discernment, then we can cate- “What does science say would happen to my body, my gorize emotions and mental states in another way, based on whether they tend to promote individual and collective mind and my relationships if I had more X?” well-being or not. No one can decide for us what is beneficial Engaging in this process of self-inquiry will lead to an or potentially harmful, and the approach in CIT is not to ever-growing understanding about what we wish to prescribe certain emotions, attitudes and mental states as cultivate and what we wish to gradually weaken and inherently beneficial or harmful. Rather, it is up to each of diminish in our minds. This is directly connected with us to determine what we feel is potentially beneficial or our values, what kind of person we want to be and harmful. We can use several methods for doing so. First, is what kind of life we want to lead. Fortunately, as noted to use common sense. We can ask ourselves, “What would before, the science of neuroplasticity shows that through my life be like if I had more of X?” where X can be any repeated practice we have the ability to strengthen mental state, such as generosity, forgiveness, contentment, certain neural pathways, and that similarly we weaken compassion, patience, self-confidence, self-acceptance or other pathways when we let them fall into disuse. This concentration; but also states like resentment, prejudice, means we do have the potential to change over time and anger, fear, arrogance, etc. Then we can ask, “What would reap the benefits of such changes in our lives. Ce n t e r for Compa s sion, I n teg r i t y a nd S e cu l ar E t hics | L ife Uni ve rsi t y | M ar ie t ta, G e or g i a - 47 -