You may have heard of the Buddhist Eight-fold Path, the core set of guiding principles in Buddhism. I first learned of the Eight-fold Path many years ago, and today I re-found my copy of the Faeries Nine-fold Path, as they gave it to me some time ago.

I have to admit that I've no recollection of when and where they delivered it. The usual thing is that I sit up in bed during the night or very early morning, bleary-eyed, tousle-headed, rumpled. I grab the laptop, and start typing frantically. And when I'm done, I go back to sleep. This is apparently one of those things — undated, titled Faery's List, and just bare bones.

So here is the Faeries' Nine-fold Path. It doesn't contradict the Buddha's Eight-fold Path, but it's not the same either — a different set of guidelines for a life that works. In fact, they work very well together.

  1. Maintain expectant gratitude — something 'good' is always about to happen. Something 'bad' may happen as well. Expectant gratitude helps us to notice and see the value in both (and there is value in both), and it maintains a harmonious internal environment.
  2. Pay attention; be aware — a great deal is always happening. It's easy to miss the important things (sometimes they appear to be quite small) if we don't pay close attention.
  3. Note the miracles — they happen often; don't miss them. Little ones matter as much as big ones.
  4. Act with integrity — it is essential to inner peace.
  5. See what is—observe with clarity and without judgment. Judging clouds the mind and curiously enough, it stops us from thinking or seeing.
  6. Be kind—compassion is important, of course, but simple kindness and courtesy goes a very long way in creating a world worth living in.
  7. Compare carefully — only measure yourself against yourself, never against others. What have you learned? How have you grown? How much have you loved? Are you still growing? What do you understand today that you didn't quite get yesterday?
  8. Love generously — risk the heart daily. It gives meaning, purpose, and joy to life. Love flows naturally through an open heart.
  9. Be open to adventure — it adds to the texture of life and stretches our definitions of ourselves.
  10. Add other things to this list as you learn them. (Yes, I know this is ten and there were supposed to be nine things on the list. It's a faery thing — something like "numbers should not define humans, humans should define numbers" — perhaps. I wouldn't think too much about it if I were you.)

There are other kinds of faery paths — I'll write about them later and make a link here when I do.

Copyright ©2016 by Jessica Macbeth. All rights reserved.

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