List of basic, universal spiritual principles
By Stephen Frasier
This is a partial list of universal spiritual principles, many of which have been taught by the world’s greatest spiritual teachers throughout history including the Buddha (6th century BCE), Lao-Tsu (6th century BCE), Jesus (1st century CE), and others.
Let’s get beyond religion & come together.
One could say that most of life’s problems relate to deviations from spiritually principled behavior and having a negative view, attitude, or perspective. When we live according to universal spiritual principles (aka recovery principles), we move toward honesty, integrity, and understanding; we become more forgiving, compassionate, and tolerant toward those who are different from us in culture, belief, etc.
Spiritually principled living will hopefully lead us toward increasingly virtuous lives — help us transform ourselves into who we really are — to bring happiness and joy to others rather than spreading myriad forms of negativity, low vibes, etc. Our new behavior creates less suffering in ourselves and everyone whose lives we touch.
[ Photos on this page by Stephen F. ]
NOTES: (1) This list of universal spiritual principles is a work in progress; there’s a bit of overlap. (2) This list is actually a mix of spiritual principles and spiritual practices; one of these days I’ll do more editing. Thanks for reading.
List of spiritual principles
- Remaining open-minded and teachable; remaining pliable like clay
- Making peace with all; pacifism, nonviolence
- Mindfulness of the present moment
- Monitoring one’s stream of thoughts in an effort to maintain positivity and compassion (closely related to mindfulness of the present moment)
- Not worrying about the future
- Not dwelling upon past events
- Non-attachment (to things, people, places, ideas, habits, money, lifestyle, etc.); one must be able to walk away from it all if necessary, as the Buddha, Jesus, and many other teachers made quite clear
- Deflating the ego
- Practicing humility
- Ongoing awareness of & connection to God, to "the Source" (Mother Nature, Tao, Universal Intelligence, Creator, creative force, the universe, or whatever else one might choose to call one’s Higher Power; whatever rests behind the curtain of reality)
- Extending goodwill and Right Action not only toward humanity, but to creation in its entirety (pets, squirrels, trees, earth, insects, and yes, toward the overall environment as well; basically, having positive intent toward everything)
- Spiritual ecology: Acknowledging the critical need to recognize, understand, and address the spiritual dynamics at the root of environmental degradation
- Expressing hope; maintaining a positive outlook, even in the face of despair
- Focusing on unity, oneness, and sharing instead of division, separateness, and differences
- Tolerance and acceptance; refraining from criticizing, condemning, complaining (This is classic Dale Carnegie; certainly not easy)
- Forgiving others when we are wronged
- Displaying courage in the face of fear
- Following the heart, not worrying about the opinions and beliefs of others; avoiding habitual conformity
- Open-mindedness, flexibility, remaining teachable; willingness to learn and to objectively explore and study, rather than blindly accepting whatever you are told you "should" do or "ought" to believe
- Bringing truth to error
- Displaying faith in the face of doubt
- Showing kindness to neighbors (everyone); loving others (everyone) as ourselves
- Living with integrity (Being the same person no matter whom you’re with)
- Practicing brotherly love
- Employing perseverance and discipline in the face of obstacles
- Seeking opportunities to improve the world by asking, "How may I serve?"
- Practicing daily meditation to increase awareness, mindfulness
- Practicing quiet contemplation to develop insight, wisdom
- Treating others as we would like to be treated ("The Golden Rule")
- Facing hatred with compassion; loving one’s enemies
- Practicing honesty; telling the truth, avoiding lies
- Expressing genuine compassion; wanting as much or more for others as you do for yourself
- Avoiding fideistic, rigid, fundamentalist worldviews that declare all others to be wrong (i.e., Ending all belief that members of other religious faiths, the faithless, etc. are not as right as you are)
- Expressing gratitude and appreciation at all times; remaining grateful for everything and everyone you have in your life; also, being grateful for what others have in their lives
- Service-orientation: Our lives, including all business activity, should be focused on providing real service to others
- Not taking anything personally; this goes for any statement or action of another person (One of the classic Four Agreements by spiritual teacher Miguel Ruiz)
- Always doing one’s best (Another of the classic Four Agreements
- Doing what you say you’ll do
- Practicing what you preach (integrity)
- Giving anonymously, performing random acts of kindness anonymously
- Practicing silence, restraint
- Refraining from egotistical descriptions of one’s own spirituality; keeping your spiritual practices to yourself (that’s not to discourage teaching spirituality or spiritual practices to others; however, remaining mindful of one’s true motivation in such matters can help restrain the ego.)
For this blogger, faith might be described as the sincere belief that living by these basic, universal, common-sense spiritual principles necessarily leads to a vibrant life overflowing with compassion and gratitude, service and giving, & deep friendships; allowing one to excel in areas of passion & interest, and eventually delivering inner peace, equanimity, awareness, and perhaps enlightenment or salvation: that amazing "peace that passes all understanding", as it was described in the best-selling book of all time.
 Deflating the ego
Ego deflation is a central pillar of genuine, thorough spiritual practice.
Resources: Spiritual principles
- Principles of Spiritual Activism – a list of thirteen (13) spiritual principles – Satyana — These principles emerged from several years’ work with social change leaders in Satyana’s Leading with Spirit program; offered not as definitive truths, but rather as key learnings and guidelines that, taken together, comprise a useful framework for “spiritual activism”…
- Ten Spiritual Principles of Discipline: What I Learned from Adi Da Samraj – Frank Marrero
- Principles of Spiritual Evolution (Part I) – a list of nine (9) spiritual principles
Resources: Spiritual principles from a Twelve-Step recovery perspective
- List Of Spiritual Principles Of Recovery – Sober Recovery
- The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom – Amazon
- List of Spiritual Principles: 12 Steps, 12 Traditions – Overeaters Anonymous (PDF)
- Spiritual Principles in Action – Recovery Life – One of the more detailed posts on the subject
Please help spread the message any way you can:
- The way forward for all mankind is to embrace basic universal spiritual principles in all of our affairs.
- Individuals, groups, and nations should not expect others to adopt their own culture-specific or religion-specific traditions, practices, or beliefs; instead, mutual respect should reign.