The Buddha says that if we want to get rid of the suffering that we experienced in 2019, then all we need to do is eliminate the cause of suffering. He said that the cause of suffering is craving or desiring. He was referring to the selfish cravings of the physical world that are triggered by our desire for security, pleasure and power or fame.
Fortunate for those seekers of spiritual truth and eternal happiness like yourself he also said that there is a way to overcome those deep-seated desires. He said, “Follow the Eightfold Path.” I often like to think of it as the spiritual “yellow brick road.” We just need to “Follow, follow, follow, follow, follow the Eightfold Path.”
That’s what New Year’s resolutions are to me: follow #2 and #6 on that path; namely, practicing “right resolve” and “right effort.” It means “resolving to do that which is the right thing for me.” We all know the right thing to do inside. My inner voice told me not to eat the second and third helping of food at our family gathering and then to take only one special Christmas cookie instead of five or six. My inner voice also said “Maybe you shouldn’t eat any supper. You’re not hungry anyway.” Well, I did eat supper and again more than I needed. I rationalized and said this is a holiday and I am celebrating with my family.
I was unwilling to make the effort to do what was right for my life and my body. So, later I suffered for it, because my immune system was now overburdened with all this rich and sweet food it couldn’t stop the flu virus from coming in with a vengeance. I ended up sick in bed for three days.
It was miserable. But I learned. Now even though I had thought of making a huge resolution to sit and meditate longer each day and practice more hatha in preparation for that meditation, I am resolving this New Year to practice “right resolve and right effort.” I am resolving to listen to my inner voice, my consciousness, my teacher and firmly to make the effort to do what that Guru tells me.
I have resolved to “follow, follow, follow, follow, follow my Guru’s Path.”