What Is Your New Year's Resolution?

Happy New Year, everyone! Several people have recently asked me about making New Year’s resolutions. Usually, resolutions are about losing weight, quitting smoking, drinking less alcohol, or getting out of debt. The list goes on. There is nothing really wrong with these resolutions, but many times people can not keep them because they never get to the root of the problem.

There is an old Zen saying, “forget about the branches, get to the root.” Many times we just try to cover or mask the real problem. It is like taking medication to relieve a symptom, but never discovering why we have the disease or condition. Why are we smoking or drinking alcohol? Why are we in debt? If we investigate deeply into “why” we are doing things that are harmful to ourselves or others, we will most likely see something deeper inside us like fear, anger, or a sense of not feeling complete or satisfied. If we dig down even deeper inside, where does fear, anger, or dissatisfaction come from? Where?

This is why meditation is important. To investigate the source of our human condition and perceive our mind habits clearly. When we can look at these clearly, we can become free. It doesn’t mean that our problems will go away, but it is possible not to attach to them, not to get “hooked” by them. They don’t have to control us anymore. Then a true resolution can appear by itself. Clarity and compassion in this very moment.

What New Year’s resolution did you make?

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