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My manifesto

My manifesto reflects those things that matter most to me, at this time of my life. These guiding principles are there to remind me of my priorities in this life.

I aim for a life of quality, not just quantity, and a death with care but no heroics (I choose to die by dehydration: no nutrition and no hydration—a peaceful and certain process). I'm a man of the third age and it's my duty and necessity to give attention to myself, and that reality informs and shapes my manifesto.

I was born into a Dutch, Roman Catholic family and I remember learning to walk, talk, read, think in Nederlands, and that I was educated in English in Australia: BA, GradDip(AppSocPsyc), BSW, Ph.D.

I'm curious about places and people, and the specifics that make me happy.

I enjoy life-long learning.

I live this mystery called life to grow, develop, evolve.

I know the value and joy of long distance repetitive walking, good books, joyful repartee with family and friends.

I live, eat, breathe, work-out, travel, write, blog, teach, garden, and meditate.

I know that a pilgrim requires a great deal of humour, some common sense and a spirit of recklessness that's lost to today's travellers in search of comfort.

I follow the recommended diet for my blood type: A+

I'm concerned with the demands of this era of cruel exploitation of people and nature by sophisticated propaganda practices to befuddle people to crystallise their opinions and consensus on issues, and control and enslave the masses. No matter how inadequate my responses to these demands are, and they are largely insignificant, of that I’m aware.

I try (I don't always succeed) to let go of judgements, expectations, wanting to be right, wanting to control, fear of discomfort, fear of uncertainty, fear of failure, fear of boredom, comparing myself to others, wanting distraction, being irritated, complaining.

I don't care about what others think of me. I live my life on my terms alone. I won't let others dictate how I live my life. Not caring about what others think is the ultimate freedom.

I aim to live my life in a noble manner: courageously; honestly; generously.

I aim to live minimalistically and within the scope of my financial capacity.

I aim to live a peaceful, happy, harmless life.

I aim to realise my plans, imaginings, dreams and won't let my fears hold me back.

I know myself and I'm not afraid to stand up and stand out.

The Noble Eightfold Path
The noble eightfold path is at the heart of my practice. I embrace my pain, focus on living nobly, shift my attention to the moment, and deal with things sensibly and realistically rather than in accordance with some theoretical considerations. I aim to live harmlessly. I'm of the view that the four noble truths are pragmatic rather than dogmatic. Thus, the path is a course of action to be followed rather than a set of dogmas to be believed. In other words they are prescriptions for behaviour rather than descriptions of reality.

I don't think of Buddhist practice in terms of gaining proficiencies in meditation and attaining spiritual attainment. I hold the view that living the noble eightfold path is to live in a way that allow aspects of my existence to flourish and thrive, and by doing so make some impact on this world of suffering. Thus there are areas of my life that call for specific ways of practicing the Dhamma, and meditation and mindfulness alone are insufficient. I'm engaged in what I am doing now. Mindfulness of the present moment is something I may never fully attain all the time, but it shouldn’t stop me from trying. That is why I practice (not perfect) meditation.

I find it necessary to relegate the demands of this life to the higher task of preparing myself for a post-mortem existence (or non-existence, whatever maybe the case). And, if in the end there does turn out to be a heaven or nirvana or whatever somewhere else, I can see no better way to prepare for it by living the noble eight fold path. Life is and will always be a mystery.

I keep physically and mentally active to ensure a quality retirement. And, avoid the medical-pharmaceutical alliance as best I can.

I will never vote again.

Daily practice
A) Physical
Exercise routine; Wake by 5:00am; Sleep by 8:30pm (sleep for 8 hours)

B) Emotional
Cut out toxic people; Always be honest

C) Mental
Write down ideas

D) Spiritual
Pray; Meditate; Express gratitude; Forgive; Study

My manifesto is work in progress and always will be: updated 29 October 2015
Copyright © 2013 Dr Alfred L. C. van Amelsvoort