Act Clearly Knowing...
We could keep "Clearly Knowing" in our mind as a mantra to act mindfully. There is no other better mantra than this, because mindfulness is the only real power that we have — from where we can act and learn skillfully. Otherwise we act, react and speak habitually — in an auto-pilot mode. That is a slavery life. It is the root cause of our unskillful actions and sufferings. To act Clearly Knowing, it takes clarity and wisdom.
Something that is helpful — towards our or others well-being and happiness. The problem is that often we do not really know what brings happiness — we just mindlessly drift around and indulge in one gratification after other. Out of fear of simple discomforts such as boredom and aloneness, we develop so many unskillful addictive habits. Out of ignorance, we develop greed and hatred — as if it will bring happiness. For the most part, we blindly follow the crowd like a sheep.
Being genuine and authentic. The problem is that we are so skillful at deceiving and deluding ourselves. We rationalize almost anything. It takes lots of courage and clarity to see through our self-deception.
Love, compassion and respect towards ourselves and others. The problem is that often our love is result of our neediness — developing possessiveness that leads to controlling, demanding and forcing — and it follows frustration, anger, aggression, blaming, complaining and criticizing. Our compassion may be rooted in our ego-boosting or we make unsustainable self-sacrifice. Many people make self-condemnation, self-hatred and even cause self-inflicting pain.
Acting in a skillful way in an appropriate moment, place and situation. The problem is that often our mind is clouded and trapped in fear, greed, anger, delusion etc. Often we do not have patience to wait for the right time, or courage to do it at the right time, or enough clarity to see through the situation.
These questions can be used as guidelines to see if an act leads to wholesome outcome (peace, joy, love, harmony...) or unwholesome outcome (stress, misery, hatred, conflicts...). We can train ourselves to reflect this on all our three kinds of acts:
Bodily acts [Action]
Verbal acts [Speech]
Mental acts [Thinking]
And we can reflect this on three stages:
whenever we want to perform any act,
while performing it,
and after performed it.
Through repeated practice and reflection, we can skillfully strengthen wholesome acts and abandon unwholesome acts in our being.
Mindfulness is such a skillful and compassionate awareness. When we love life with clarity, our actions naturally align towards our well-being and happiness.
Ambalatthika-rahulovada Sutta (MN 61)
This is not just another dogmatic rule to follow. This is a general guideline to help us to reflect our actions and act clearly knowing. This is about compassion towards oneself and others.