Friday, December 26, 2008

A Buddhist New Year's Resolution

Buddhas and sentient beings grow out of the One Mind and there are no differences between them. It is like space where there are no complexities, and is not subject to destruction. It is like the great sun which illumines the four worlds: when it rises, its light pervades all over the world, but space itself gains thereby no illumination. When the sun sets, darkness reigns everywhere, but space itself does not share this darkness. Light and darkness drive each other out and alternatively prevail, but space itself is vast emptiness and suffers no vicissitudes.
(Zen Master Huang Po)

All the thoughts, feelings, and events of the past year are gone; now they are fleeting memories in the present moment. Reflecting on exactly where they arise, in the clear void of the Buddha Mind, they resemble sunlight disappearing into the darkness. Look into this Mind, and see its shining clarity at the heart of one’s being. Remaining as this spacious awareness, know the ephemeral nature of all things, including those memories; let them disappear into the void. Now, turn to face the New Year with this facelessness. What better resolution could there be than to rest in this knowing?
The e- book quoted in this article is available for free download at the following location: ‘Manual of Zen Buddhism’ by D.T. Suzuki


Anonymous said...

I like peace in all nations,Love all eternally embracing to my heart and absolute Happiness all around the four corners.

My resolution is not to find faults in others,Love all,compassionate to all,taking complete responsibility,challenging my inner negativity and make them a spring board to move forward in life.

Thank you

Gifts to chennai|Gifts to Bangalore|Gifts to India

Barry said...

May we all rest together in not-knowing during 2009!

Thank you for your efforts!


release_in_extremity said...

the thing is that the past does leave wounds. if you pretend those wounds aren't there, you don't treat them, you don't work through them. i believe in not being focused on the past, but i don't think it can totally be ignored; after all, it is our memories are a part of present experience. so what do you think we should do about that?

Gregor said...

That's a resolution!! What a great intention to set -- here's to not carrying the past forward and facing reality as it unfolds.



Anonymous said...

Nice to read this post , comforting for those who had a heavy year and giving courage to those who are fighting for a better inner an outer life. Hope to read you a lot next year!
Wish you (all) all the best!

Unknown said...

Buddhas and sentient beings growing out of the One Mind is Brahmanism.

Who cares about Christian culture and new year resolutions. Chinese and Thai new years are yet to come, and Muharram is already past (not forgetting the many others).

Much ado about nothing (Master Shakespeare).

G said...

Thanks for the comments everyone - whether positive or negative! :)

May your resolutions for the New Year bear fruit.

May all beings be at peace!

Skin Tickler said...

I come late to this post during a search for something else. I find it intriguing that Buddhists are making resolutions for the Christian new year. Nothing wrong in that, just an observation of the way things intersect.

G said...

It's good to combine these traditions if they complement one another, Steve, isn't it? There have been many interesting & productive crossovers from eastern and western spiritual traditions, as well as between religions and science. The current dialogue between Buddhism and science is particularly fascinating and is revealing much common ground.

But what do you mean by a 'Christian new year?' New Year is primarily a secular festival, and was originally established on 1st January during the Roman Republic in 153BC, and this was continued by Julius Cesar when he introduced the Julian calendar in 45BC. Christians can't lay claim to everything in western culture (even Christmas was originally a pagan winter festival according to many scholars).

As to new year resolutions, the ancient Babylonians made them long before the Christian custom began, and the Romans (again) made resolutions to the god Janus (from which we get the name January for the first month of the year) at the beginning of the year. Anyhow, thanks for the comment, and may any resolutions you make be kept successfully!