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“One day, one Maxim – 28 days straight”: new 100% action lab on OstadElahi inPractice

OstadElahi inPractice - One day one maxim lab

In reference to his approach to the path of spiritual perfection, Ostad Elahi once said “This is not a path of words, but of deeds; only through action can progress be achieved”[1]. This idea lead to the creation over a year ago of the website OstadElahi inPractice. It has now inspired the design of a “100% action express lab” entitled “One day, one Maxim – 28 days straight”. This new lab, based on a volume entitled 100 Maxims of Guidance first published in 1995 on the occasion of Ostad Elahi’s centennial, will be launched in the next few days on OstadElahi inPractice. This lab distinguishes itself from the previous ones—Toward an in vivo practice, Connecting with the Divine and Breaking free from backbiting—with its unique and dynamic structure: users, upon signing up, will be able to learn more about its functionalities in a detailed tutorial. Here is the lab’s short description.

“One day, one Maxim – 28 days straight”

For those wishing to travel on the road to self-knowledge, it may at times seem more like a maze than a road. How is one to keep moving in the right direction and avoid getting lost? Meditating on principles of wisdom can help us find our way, but there can be no progress unless we put them into practice. How can we then go about combining action and meditation? This is the focus of the One day, one Maxim – 28 days straight lab, designed in a new and very original micro-format consisting of one single 28-day phase. With no preparatory stages, this 100% action express lab gives the opportunity to confront a variety of divine and ethical principles to reality by putting into practice, every day, one of the 100 maxims published in 100 Maxims of Guidance (Ostad Elahi, Robert Laffont, 2000 – Revised Edition).

Other labs on OstadElahi inPractice

Toward an in vivo practice Toward an in vivo practice

What would be the best approach to begin an ethical and spiritual practice? Focusing on one’s thoughts? On concepts? On actions? What method would be most effective? How can one avoid falling into an imaginary practice with only the illusion of progress? In this first open curriculum lab, it will be up to you to progressively define the content of your work by exploring the foundations of an ethical and spiritual practice that is truly adapted to the soul—that is, an in vivo practice.

Connecting with the Divine Connecting with the Divine

What is prayer? What purpose does it serve? What is its role in the process of spiritual perfection? Under what conditions can one best benefit from prayer? This lab aims at helping you better understand the goal, the effects, and the conditions of prayer, and make the practice of prayer a part of your daily life.

Breaking free from backbiting
Breaking free from backbiting

“Are you prone to backbiting?” Our immediate response to this question would certainly leave room for no doubt: “Of course not!” Backbiting seems so obviously unethical that no one would think of themselves as a “backbiter”. Yet, there is no single path to backbiting. No matter how obvious or subtle they may be, experience has shown that we go down such paths much more often than we would like to admit. (…)

1.^Ostad Elahi, Words of Truth, unpublished translation, Saying 6.

Illustration: André Marzuk, Le Cœur (Polylobes, detail). © Adagp, Paris 2015

Creative Commons License This work is offered under a Creative Commons licence

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  1. Naghme Dec 01, 2015 10:32 pm 1

    Thank you for such an amazing road map toward self-knowledge, “One day, one Maxim – 28 days straight”, awesome.

    “The path of perfection can be summarized in two points: constant attention to the Source and fighting against the imperious self” (Ostad Elahi)

  2. fnm Dec 02, 2015 8:45 am 2

    thank you so much, I can’t wait to start this lab.

  3. Peter Dec 02, 2015 12:13 pm 3

    This is very good news. As I found previous labs very helpful, I am looking forward to see this one.

  4. linda Dec 02, 2015 5:01 pm 4

    Can’t wait to see it and start it! “100% action express lab” got me very excited… I am glad it doesn’t have preparation phases (sorry but I wasn’t doing well with those phases) so Thank You!

  5. Haleh Dec 03, 2015 1:18 am 5

    Can’t wait … Thank you!

  6. Nnf Dec 03, 2015 12:01 pm 6

    Thank you for this lab!!!

  7. linda Dec 06, 2015 11:48 pm 7

    It’s started! I just signed up… what an easy breezy sweet little lab! It only took me 2 minutes to sign up and read the tutorial and boom. I don’t want to spoil it but it’s kind of magical!

    1. linda Dec 11, 2015 5:34 pm 7.1

      I am loving this lab… Thank you Thank you Thank you.

  8. Lucky Dec 17, 2015 3:31 am 8

    I have started the lab. I love it! Thank you. Its spontaneous and fast paced. I like that format. The daily change keeps me engaged. I just need some guidance on how to formulate in vivo exercises. I find myself able to easily create in vitro exercises but its very difficult for me to put together an in vivo exercise.
    For example: I finish reading the Maxim that comes up for that day, I try to find my weakness relative to that Maxim. I determine I have to improve/strengthen my connection with the One. I can formulate several exercises; to think of Him more frequently, or seek His help, or be thankful more often. These are mental exercises. How would I turn those into in vivo exercises?

    1. Saga Dec 20, 2015 5:56 pm 8.1

      @Lucky, I think that some of the maxims are more difficult than others to make into in vivo practices, but here are a few of my suggestions that might help:
      To strengthen connection with the One, work on preparing yourself before praying, set your alarm to ring at the same time everyday, put on some spiritual music before praying, set up a routine. Reflect on His kidness by smiling at everyone that day and work on your own kindness.
      To be thankful by writing down 3 things that you’re thankful for everyday. Be thankful for everything you have by donating away what you don’t need. Call those you’re thankful to have in your life and just say hi.

      1. lucky Dec 22, 2015 10:50 pm 8.1.1

        Thanks for taking the time to respond. Those are great exercises you have mentioned. I will certainly go for it.

      2. B Dec 23, 2015 1:58 am 8.1.2

        First of all, I would like to say thanks for this lab.

        With with this new formula, I think it can still be useful to refer to the Intention chapter in *Medicine of the Soul*. There are 4 phases in assimilating ethical principles: 1) Attention 2) Reflection 3) Memorization 4) Assimilation (See pages 52-54 in *Medicine of the Soul*).
        Now, as I understand it, the distinction between in vivo and in vitro practice mostly comes into play in the assimilation phase, and perhaps also in the memorization phase.

        I find it very difficult to find in vivo exercises for most of the Maxims. And I think the reason is that I have not completed the 3 preparatory phases. To practice a principle in an in vivo way, the occasion must arise.

        Just some thoughts that helped me out of my confusion and “not to know what to do or practice”, so I thought it might be useful to someone who has been struggling to practice this lab like I am.

  9. chat31 Dec 21, 2015 3:11 am 9

    Thank you for this lab, which is very challenging and really helps improve in vivo practice. This lab makes you see those Maxims under a new light – some of the Maxims which I originally saw as very broad and abstract have become a source of practice – and even though I can sometimes really struggle finding a practice, I tell myself that even if it is imperfect it is at least forcing me to not stay idle and in vitro.

    I lack discipline unfortunately, so I have often missed the midnight deadline (even sometimes by 20 min… I try to run back to the day before to put in my review but it’s too late) – so it’s a good exercice of commitment as well.

    Thanks again!

  10. pzlz Dec 29, 2015 6:56 pm 10

    This lab was just in time for Holidays! If it wasn’t for this lab, I would have been sunk in a fake Holiday spirit where either laziness would overcome or I don’t know what it is, is it greed or feeling left out and behind, a sense that I think mostly comes from peer pressure asking myself “what did you do for Holidays” “did you enjoy your Holidays” “how many movies did you watch” “how many restaurants did you go to” “did you go to Hawaii” “did you go to exotic places” “did you eat exotic food” and never asking myself what really did you do for your real “self”. Today I drew a maxim that said: “This world is but a fertile land that we must cultivate for our future life in the other; strive to sow good and you shall reap good in return.” I am not saying we should not enjoy our lives but honestly those thoughts would not come to any positive fruition unless I am aiming and knowingly doing it to release some pressure off my psyche and be ready to sow good, otherwise I am really giving in and sitting in the lab of my imperious self.

  11. BlueMage Jan 02, 2016 7:43 pm 11

    Thank you for this lab. As a suggestion, it would be great if the duration dedicated to each maxim could be extended to three days rather than a single day. Unfortunately, I can attest that some of these principles will be violated by me when the pressure from the imperious self is too high.

  12. Linda Jan 18, 2016 6:29 pm 12

    I restarted the lab and today’s maxim is #61 – “Search within and you shall realize that the Creator has empowered you with the gift to solve the insoluble.” I have not idea how to exercise this in vivo. I have a lot of insoluble problems and I don’t think I have or ever will have access to the gift to solve them.

    1. Saga Jan 27, 2016 2:41 am 12.1

      Dear Linda, I believe we need to focus on the process and not on the results. Also, you say you don’t think you have or ever will be able to solve these problems, but as a pragmatist you would act and then know if you are able or not. Hopefully this can help.

    2. Mathew Jan 30, 2016 1:33 am 12.2

      Maybe searching within is an educational process not a one time task.

  13. Georg Feb 01, 2016 10:14 pm 13

    A very effective way to practice spiritual concepts daily

  14. neuro Feb 04, 2016 5:50 pm 14

    “It is impossible for those with a pure and sincere faith not to enjoy respect in society and success in their affairs.”

    How would you put this maxim into practice in vivo?

  15. mahnazbahrami Jan 25, 2017 8:26 pm 15

    Thank you so much, I am looking forward.

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