'Text-days' are for delving into the words and theory of Advaita Vedanta.
On Wings and Wheels is the publication we are delving into currently. It takes the form of a series of Q&As from devotees to HH Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda. There are many sections and subsections to this book - not all will be given, but it is hoped that the general thought-flow will not be broken for those omissions. To obtain the full picture and essence of the discussions, do consider attempting to purchase the text from the link above; it is currently only available from India.
Continuing the summary of Gurudev's points on various values…
Contentment; Greed is due to the erosion of one's mental strength and inner peace when desires are more and more satiated. Satisfying a desire leaves a thirst for it to be repeated and thus the endless appetite ruins our mental strength. Greed is a sense of dissatisfaction, a constant pursuit of 'more'. If our desires are not met, disappointment brings danger, sorrow and all other such wretchedness.
Contentment with whatever has come to one as one's just share is the motto of all serious seekers. The policy of contentment is the only intelligent attitude to be taken up in order to achieve the true purpose of life. Self-integration is the reward of the contented.
Equipoise; this is a state of mental equilibrium that comes when one has unshakeable intellectual foundations and the mental capacity to soar to the highest pinnacles of greater visions. When a person raises themselves to the high spiritual vision, the mind will no longer entertain any agitations at the ordinary level of likes and dislikes.
Detachment; this should not be understood as running away from situations of life. This we can never do; an escapist is never a champion of the spiritual path. Ignorant of this, many who have misunderstood have run to the hills and the forests only to find that their lives remain wrecked on the rocks of desire, anger, worry and so forth. Detachment is a mental attitude, intelligently maintained toward the outward world and can be practiced even in the thronging crowds of the biggest cities. In fact, vairaagya is only truly a worthy quality when it is practiced in daily life among the throngs. How else to measure our progress of leaving the world to itself and still getting on with life? It is that case of being in the world but not of it.
Meditation; to be able to meditate, first of all you must expose yourself to 'alone-ness' - solitude. It is when we are alone that we start to truly think about the matters of life, death, soul, God and so on; that is, if we are not cluttering our mind with all the worldly nonsense. Man must strive to seek the absolute good, which is a state of being, apprehended within oneself. The absolute good is not perceived by the senses, but this does not mean that it does not exist. The earth is round and moves - we do not need to see this or even know it in our daily life, but the truth of it is fact, a true thing. Conversely, that which we see, for example the 'blue sky' or the 'golden sunset' are actually false - they are illusions. Explainable, but illusions none the less and we are enamoured of them. The world of things, we see but is not true, the globe (Truth) we do not see, but this makes it no less true. We can come to know the truth if we draw ourselves away from the object and see it from afar, as it were. We know the truth of the globe because of the pictures from space and the wonder of scientific research.
Meditation is for the seekers of the absolute good to draw back and take the long view. It is the highest spiritual discipline and enables the practitioner to see what is important and what is not, what is nonsense and illusory and what holds value and is worthy… focused concentration can be likened to the concentration of the suns rays through a lens. When one is adept, has the angle correct, the fire which can emerge is beyond words. We have unlimited powers which we have not learned to tap and utilise. It is a question of rediscovering ourselves.
Be regular in meditation. Be sincere. Be pure. Meditation can never fail - 'failures' in meditation bring greater gains than success in life. Meditate, meditate, meditate…and meditate! Sincerity and regularity are the secrets to its success.
Divine ordinance is a valid source of knowledge of Reality because such a knowledge is experiential and outside the capability of the intellect. Ethics, however, comes within the purview of rational reflection and therefore morality has to be constructed individually depending on various factors and values. If one's dedication is to a higher ideal, one will demonstrate positive and right values in life. Individual development takes place by cultivating the higher values according to one's capacity.