Not sure if you noticed or not (eventually I did), I saw many people exercising especially on the first few days of the year (be it running, going to gym, cycling, swimming, and so on). Then I would be reminded that "exercising" must be one of the things listed in their New Year's resolutions. How long would it last? Only heaven knows. Some might be able to maintain it well, but some might only have temporary spirit to do it. Hahahaha.... :P
|Typical New Year's Resolutions (Pic source: Google.com)|
I used to set the New Year's resolutions just like the above picture. To try and learn new things, dream big, live colorful life, choose happy, do what I love, etc. I kept doing it until it had become part of my life's habits and way of life. For now, there was nothing new from the above resolutions.
Then when the New Year itself arrived, I still had no idea what resolutions should I have this year??? I thought, "Let nature takes its course. Maybe just leave it and live my life like usual," until I chatted with few different people recently.
From my conversation with them, I realized that I had always had that thought in mind, although I had not really been doing it. Eh, that thought in mind that I referred to was, I always imagined myself of joining nunnery one day, busy chanting or reading Tibetan text (as if I could understand Tibetan language :D), having solitary life (leaving family and friends behind and serving other beings), and so on. But of course, I never had a courage to really do so.
|All the Lives We Never Lived by Anuradha Roy|
Moreover, recently I read the book written by Anuradha Roy - All the Lives We Never Lived. In one part of the story, the protagonist's father left home embarking on a pilgrimage, following in the footsteps of Buddha to Patna, Nalanda, Lumbini, etc., living as Buddhist monks did, with no money, seeking food and shelter from the charitable, meditating and learning about Buddhism along the way, and with no time frame too.
Upon returning home, he found out that "The world thought it was an unbalanced thing to do, but anyone who is truly spiritual is both mad and selfish. So many great seekers have spurned family and children, left them bereft for years on end; was not the Buddha similarly guilty? And yet, would anyone say that it was a mistake for him to have left? How many millions over how many generations have been saved because he had the strength to sacrifice his family? My own misguided quest ended in failure of sorts; I learned at the feet of great masters, but my attention wandered. My back ached. My insect bites itched. In short I discovered I was human and pitiful and my physical needs were greater than my spiritual hunger. These are bitter things for me to confess but necessary: the first necessity in the quest for knowledge is truth."
If I was so extreme, I might end up like him. Go for it, try it for myself, and come back with such thinking. Is it really necessary for me to leave everything behind and join the nunnery for the quest of my spiritual hunger?
Many who are younger than me (in their twenties), told me that this type of life would never suitable for their age. They feel that age is the measurement of the proper actions in life. Like in twenties, they feel that it is time for them to indulge themselves to fill their desire to their hearts' content (go for party, karaoke, binge drinking, trying different girls, etc.). It is also good time for them to get marry, build career, earn more money, have children, etc., which is not wrong at all.
And only when they get older, it will only be the suitable time to slow down in life, meaning, by then, they will change their life style - more pray and circumambulate, more visits to temple, more time to meditate, etc.
So, the search for the peace and happiness, the quest of the truth, will only be applicable in the olden age. Well, if you are lucky - meaning if you can live that long - then only you will have such opportunity. But if you are not (anything can happen you know! Does not mean you are healthy and strong now, then you will stay healthy and strong forever. Accident may happen to us anytime of the day too!), it means, you will waste your chance and opportunity for having been born as human in this life, to invest yourself for a better next life.
I'm just thinking, the solution for this is to live the balance of both worlds. Do both things at the same time. Not too extreme on both sides, but find the middle or correct way of doing it. And you can start it from the younger age, not necessarily wait until you get old.
In Buddhism, it is believed that to be born as a human being is the goal of every reincarnation, because only when we are in the form of human, we are given brain that differentiate us from other beings and compassionate heart to help more sentient beings. Only when we are human being, we are given the opportunity to change our life, to lessen up bad karma and make more good karma. And it makes me thinking that my New Year's resolution would be this - "Be a better self than before."
Meaning, everything that I do, I hope that I can be more aware of it - the words that come out from my mouth, the thinking that appears on my mind, the action that I do. I know it very well that I am just a human being, with lots of mistakes and imperfections. I often said things I did not mean it; I often hurt people's feelings at spur of the moments; I often did things that I soon regretted it; I often did stupid things that hurt other people's feelings. I felt sorry but somehow I could not restrain it.
I just think that, well, maybe for some, I am considered in old age category (lol!), which suits me best to start having peace of mind, meditating more, doing more good deeds and so on. But still, I feel that it's best to set that resolution for more years to come and instill it into my everyday's life, just like the rest of the resolutions above that have been the parts or way of my life.
|2019 New Year's Resolution!!! Well, Life's Resolution!!! (Instagram: Rimareykawrites.com)|
I wish I can use the opportunity of being born as human being in this life well, not waste it unnecessarily, treasure it, and live it well, the best I could. I may not be able to cut my hair bald and change my everyday's clothes to red or orange robe. I may not be able to meditate inside the forest accompanied by mosquitoes and snakes around. I may not be able to help every beings surrounded me. I may not be able to resist temptations that comes in life fully. But I really hope I can be a better self than I was before, one day at a time, until the end of my life. This will be it. Not just a New Year's resolution, but my overall life's resolution. Wish me luck!!! :)