Our Values

Our Values

Investing time and energy to define or redefine your values and then aligning your actions with them is one of the pivotal opportunities of Falling Awake. Our Programs, Books, and Media offer many opportunities to experiment with a wide variety of strategies.

The following set of values summarize core wisdom from the world’s great traditions, both Eastern and Western, and reflect the values held by many in the Falling Awake Community.

Think of each value as a way to complete the sentence, “I value being . . .”  Listed under each value is a set of words or a few sentences that further define its meaning. You can use these ideas as a starting point in developing your own list of values.


  • Honest
  • Reliable
  • Trustworthy
  • Dependable
  • Responsible

Being accountable includes making and keeping agreements—operating with integrity.


  • Affectionate
  • Dedicated
  • Devoted
  • Equitable
  • Accepting

Being loving includes appreciating ourselves and others—being gentle, considerate, forgiving, respectful, friendly, and courteous. It also includes being nonantagonistic, nonresistant, inclusive, understanding, compassionate, fair, and ethical.


  • Self-responsible
  • The creator of our internal experiences—regardless of our external circumstances

Being self-generating includes not being a victim and not blaming others. Instead, we choose to interpret and respond to all stimuli in ways that highlight our own role in creating our own lives.


  • Nurturing
  • Contributing — charitable; thrifty; generous with time, money, and possessions
  • Frugal—achieving the best results with the fewest possible dollars
  • Helpful
  • Encouraging
  • Reasonable
  • Judicious
  • Cooperative—working as a member of a team or a community
  • Appreciative


  • Honest
  • Authentic
  • Genuine
  • Self-expressed
  • Frank
  • Outspoken
  • Spontaneous
  • Sincere
  • Free of deceit
  • Free of both false modesty and arrogance
  • Self-disclosing
  • Open about strengths and weaknesses


  • Impartial
  • Unbiased
  • Experimental
  • Satisfied
  • Patient (not resigned)
  • Open-minded
  • Without distress
  • Adaptable
  • Trusting
  • Tolerant
  • Surrendering
  • Joyful — fun-loving, humorous, lighthearted, and happy

Detachment includes being aware of and not identifying our true selves with our thoughts, emotions, body, health, accomplishments, relationships, desires, commitments, possessions, values, opinions, roles, and expectations.

The opposite of detachment is being addicted (physically or emotionally), dogmatic, bigoted, absolutely certain, prejudiced, anxious, grave, or somber.

Aware of the possible

  • Creative
  • Imaginative
  • Resourceful
  • Inventive
  • Foresighted
  • Holistic
  • Visionary
  • Inquisitive
  • Audacious
  • Exploring

Being aware of the possible means expecting great things of ourselves and others.


  • Committed
  • Participating
  • Focused—precise and attentive to detail
  • Enthusiastic — having intense or eager interest
  • Enduring — persistent, persevering
  • Courageous — vulnerable, willing to risk, trusting
  • Energetic — displaying the capacity for action or accomplishment; being vigorous, robust, hardy, rugged, and strong
  • Productive — putting yourself at risk, operating with something at stake, pursuing excellence, acting with a sense of urgency without panic, and allowing projects to matter