Seeker: Can you help me make a firm new years resolution and stick to it?
Answer: At this junction in life [new years], most people run after resolutions or they sit and sulk about the past year’s resolutions that they did not keep up to. Haven’t you learnt a lesson from repeating the same cycle year after year? Let’s look at reality as it is! What does a resolution mean?
Seeker: It means, “I am going to change for the better NOW”.
Answer: Is New Years, the only time to change? Are you going to be doomed by changing at any other time of the year? No, right? So drop this false belief that you are going to change only at New Years, its sort of childish.
Seeker: But I can still keep a resolution right?
Answer: What does a resolution do to you, have you realized?It only makes you feverish about achieving and attaining a goal. You keep running in the mind to acquire that one thing that you did not acquire in the past. For e.g., I see many more people in the gym/swimming pool in the 1st week of January than during any other week of the year. Very few make it to the second week. And come February, it trickles back down to the regulars from December of last year 🙂 The story does not stop here yet. Guilt takes over. And guilt makes you eat more chocolates, and you are back to square ONE very soon. This running, not achieving, running again, achieving sometimes but then running after something else as the achievement did not give the expected joy. The chase continues! This is the feverishness in the mind that is galloping constantly and a resolution is just like adding fuel to the hungry engine of feverishness.
Seeker: So isn’t feverishness good? At least sometimes I achieve something.
Answer: Buddha says, “Desire is the root cause of suffering”. Resolutions = Expectations = Desires……Therefore drop resolutions!
Seeker: So I should not change? and just sit on the couch and do nothing?
Answer: Doing nothing is also another extreme of a desire. Both ‘doing’ and ‘not doing’ is a desire. Find the middle line. Only the courageous can walk the thin line in the middle. The weak keep swinging to either side of the pendulum. One day they say they ‘want’ and the next day they say they ‘don’t want’. Both ‘want’ and ‘not want’ are desires. And desires are like a merry-go-round that does not really go anywhere. You are only running at the same spot but not moving at all in any direction. Every success brings failure as a tax in the long run. Every joy brings some sadness in the long run. The same partner you craved for earlier becomes totally intolerable in some time. Every bit of money that you make only makes empty promises of joy and only increases your thirst for more. Recognize that if you hold onto one extreme, the other is bound to follow because of the law of opposites! It cannot work any other way.
Seeker: Oh yeah! That’s true! The law of opposites!
Answer: If you have woken up, take the middle path. Walk on the golden middle line. Do NOT tilt to ‘want’. Do NOT tilt to ‘not want’. Just BE!
Seeker: Please would you help explain ‘Just being’ a little more?
Answer: Just BE with whatever life/karma/niyati brings your way. Focus on the present moment. Don’t focus on the contents of the present moment. People, situations & things are contents of the present moment. Thoughts about people, situations & things are contents of the present moment. Emotions are contents of the present moment. Drop the contents. The present moment is vast and beautiful, experience the nothingness, the silence, the just BEING of the present moment. Then you master the skill of just BEING! Graduate from DOING to BEING! Graduate from WANTING, THINKING, CRAVING, to just BEING! Then whatever life brings to you [person/situation/thing] in the present moment, attend to it 100% with love and integrity with a focus on the present moment, that event/action will automatically become 100% productive/successful/devoid of feverishness.
Seeker: Last question, how to focus on the present moment when there is a situation at the office that has just become the contents of my present moment?
Answer: Intelligent question! Recognize the highest TRUTH about life that everything is changing. People keep changing moment to moment even though it may not be apparent to your eye. Situations keep changing moment to moment even though the poor mind holds on to the thoughts of a situation. Change is the only constant in life. No 2 moments are the same, it is only our mind that holds onto the past. Recognize that the situation that has arisen in office is also NOT permanent. It’s silly to hold onto that which is changing. That does not mean that you do not take the required action. No! No! You take the action that is required in the present moment. But once completed, drop the attachment to how you acted, what you did, what you did not, is it right or wrong, drop all attachment because this is feverishness.
Do the action & wash your hands off and be in the present moment. The present moment becomes the past in the blink of an eye. Again focus on the present! Again and again and again, JUST BE!
Wish you a very Happy NEW Perspective!