By George A. Boyd © 2022
I often quip when people ask me for advice, “I don’t add vice, I only add virtue.” This brings to mind the question, “How might you add virtue and overcome your bad habits and vices?”
There are twelve different ways people acquire virtue to improve their character and bring more kindness, thoughtfulness, caring, and love into their relationships with others:
- Journal method – You monitor your thoughts, words, and deeds to see if you have failed to observe a selected virtue and write down each instance where you failed to observe the virtue. For example, you might monitor chastity, humility, forgiveness, and compassion to see if you have done anything, said anything, or thought anything that is counter to these virtues. At the end of the day, you pray to God and/or your spiritual Master to confess your shortcomings and ask for help to overcome these vices.
- Spiritual Transformational method – You transform the karmic impressions that substand vices that arise from the karma stored in the Nadamic channels, through practicing Nada Yoga.
- Contemplation – In this method, you contemplate the pairs of opposites that make up the virtue vice duality. You choose to act on the virtue and stop doing the vice. This is a practice employed in Jnana Yoga.
- Work on the Shadow – In this method, you encounter vice as a “voice” or a “subpersonality” in your unconscious mind. You apply a method to get to the core of the vice and resolve it. Methods such as Voice Dialog work with the issue as a voice; Imagery therapies interface with it using visualization and dialog. Meditations we teach such as the Rainbow Technique, the Mandala Method, and Process Meditation enable you to get to the bottom of the issue and to discover why it continues to operate. These methods work with the issues that commonly make up Destiny Karma.
- Deconstructing the Vice – This method identifies each belief that makes up the vice and refutes each one. This collapses and deconstructs the vice, so it no longer operates. You then choose a new behavior to take the place of the vice, so you can practice a new, positive habit. Cognitive behavioral psychotherapists utilize this method to work with negative personality patterns that sabotage effective personal functioning.
- Confession and repentance – In this approach, you confess to another person and to God the exact nature of the vices you have done—Christians call these types of behavior, sin—and ask for forgiveness. Christian groups and addiction recovery programs make use of this method; in Catholicism, the parishioner will confess his or her sins to a priest.
- Transforming the Soul and its Vehicles of Consciousness – This method dissolves the karma that comes from the tracks behind the Soul or one of its vehicles of consciousness that contributes to the vice. Using a transformational mantra keyed to the Soul or receiving a Grace-Bestowing Attunement from an Initiate (Guru Kripa Yoga) removes the vices that are embedded in these strata of the mind.
- Elimination through Wisdom – Those who can operate on the Wisdom Plane consciously uproot the karmic seeds of vice and replace them with the seeds of virtue.
- Fiery Attunement Directed to Elements of the Unconscious Mind – Certain Adepts have the ability to direct the Divine Light to burn away the karma that underlies vice in the unconscious mind, and anchor the thought seeds of virtue in their place. During initiation into meditation, Master Teachers of the Transcendental Sphere awaken the spirit and ensouling entity upon their Path and awaken holy virtues to counter the negative tendencies of the unconscious mind at this level.
- Rebirth – This type occurs when you have a life-changing revelation or undergo a religious conversion that inspires you to identify with a spiritual essence and live from its platform. In conjunction with this experience, you disidentify with your former life and you abandon it. These rebirth experiences can radically change your behavior: you enthusiastically abandon your former “life of sin” and embrace love and holiness. The evangelical “born-again” Christians seek to catalyze this type of experience in their believers; monastic ceremonies with the giving of a “new name” also seek to instill this new state of identity and a new life for the renunciant.
- Speaking the Word – Certain Adepts are able to speak the Word to exorcise entities or eradicate negative karmic patterns that give rise to passions and vices. In the Bible, Jesus demonstrated this miraculous power.
- Completion of a Karmic Cycle – Upon completion of an issue that is part of Destiny Karma—which happens in the course of living your life—certain patterns of vice simply drop away. You no longer have any desire to engage in them. You have no motivation to do this behavior any more. Your craving and obsession is gone.
In Mudrashram®, we give specific techniques to eradicate vices—patterns of sinful or addictive behavior—to empower people to take responsibility for their behavior and make positive changes in their character and expand their Soul’s innate kernel of virtue. We teach methods for types 2, 3, 4, and 7 in our intermediate meditation classes, the in-person Mudrashram® Master Course in Meditation and the by-mail and online Accelerated Meditation Program.
We encourage you to honestly identify what your vices are, and embark upon the path to eradicate them and replace them with virtues. You need to identify which of these 12 methods will enable you to free yourself from vice’s thrall and allow your Soul’s innate love and goodness to be expressed in your life to touch the lives of others around you.
Those of you who are interested in this topic of developing virtue may enjoy our eBook on Amazon Kindle, A Primer on Spiritual Ethics and Character.