Annual India Tours
These lectures were transcribed by T Vd Broek. Heartfelt
gratitude is offered for all the hours of work spent on this Dharma activity.
These talks are offered free of charge. They have been slightly edited.
December 26, 1989
Again we are at the time of the New Year. Physically we have passed the winter solstice and are getting ready for the more human event of the solstice in the sense of the New Year. to try to allow ourselves to be more in harmony with the general ebb and flow of the seasons. So often we live in a very alien environment because our whole society can create central heating, and we can negate mother nature and all of her activities, but it is good to try to get back in touch with them because they are still affecting us.
With the passing of the old year there is that all that has happened in that year is going to cease, to start off with a new year. And so as people as living and experiencing entities, it's good to try to incorporate some of that rebirthing into our coming year and try to feel inspired about the new year. And maybe appreciate it in a deeper sense. The possibilities and potentials that we have.
There are two facets. One is the passing of the old year and the other is the awakening or starting of the new year. In the passing of the old year, for our own minds, in everything that we are involved with, if you take any one action, let's say we are going to start some action we are going to involve ourselves in, the objects we interact with are immaterial, not the important point. Rather, it is our attitude and our interacting with those as how we sort of go into those actions. Whether it is picking up my mahla and doing a mantra, or buying a sterio system, speakers, whatever, the object, whatever you have done in this previous year, the objects you were involved with have come and gone. But what has happened, is that you as a event, an entity, have imprinted yourself in one way or another. And that is what you are carrying into the new year.
So you can say that all of the material goods you have had in this last year, and whatever you have done in an external fashion, those external events have passed away. They have ceased. But what you are taking with you into the new year is the imprint, the way you interacted with those. How you have established the relationship with whatever those entities were. And that will be with you.
You could reflect over the pervious year and think of the actions that you have performed. Sometimes you could be a little critical of the things you have done and then say, in doing this I did it hastily, or I did it nastily, or whatever. Or generally we should try to, one side, is to say these ones I could improve. And these others, I really rejoice in them. In giving a gift to someone, or in congratulating someone when something was well done, or in being with someone and sharing a moment that was very meaningful for that person, that I was transparent and able to allow them to experience their feelings and to share with their feelings, and not to be obtrusive, or whatever. In those ways you could rejoice in the good things that you might have done, and you can also be critical of yourself of things you didn't do as well.
The year that has passed is really ceasing. And all of what you did with that year has ceased except with how you did it, how your mind did the activity. How we should look to the New Year is to say well, in the past I did these actions and for the New year, in my being reborn into that New Year, in many ways we are, then I would like to do them well, better. Just to sort of set up a new face for ourselves.
I was thinking of an interesting analogy. Like at night time when we go to sleep. We literally go unconscious. And then in the between time, the time between lights out and waking up, maybe we have a dream or not, we have that period of an emptiness, a vacuity of conscious experience. Our mind sort of shuts down and disappears. And yet in the morning, our whole mind unfolds again and comes back and there we are a functioning entity, having the memories of what we did in the previous day and such. Although we have a period of where we could say literally we do not know what happened, on the outside world we do not know what happened, but our mind had a continuity and that continuity was there, completely absorbed down to a deep level of sleep, we were still an existing entity but only in a very deep subtle level. And then in the morning again we reanimate.
Same thing. We should reflect or think about it. We do literally go completely where I don't know, I have no consciousness of that. But in the morning I reanimate, and what reanimates is the hopes, the feelings, the thoughts of the previous day and week, month, year.
We do take a new rebirth. We take a new rebirth each morning. So try to think of it as we will take a new rebirth. We take a new rebirth each morning so to speak, we start the day fresh and new and that is why they say, get up and say a little prayer, inspire your morning with good positive thoughts so that the day has some opportunity for good and positive things,because you are inspiried.
In one day we can do it, and now we are going to mark the passing of a new year and so we should also do that too. To try to enter into the new year with some inspiration and positive thoughts and feelings. And relate to it along the line of the passing, the ceasing of the previous year, and the rebirth of the new year. And we rejoice at midnight for the physical passing of the previous year, but we still have the emotional experience for the next morning to wake up and say hey, it's January first, got a new life, and such!
For the meditation, I want us to be comfortable and relaxed and have a nice easy meditation, but do spend some time thinking of the actions that you have done, and rejoice at those ones which were happiness and goodness, caused joy in other people's lives and such, and maybe be a little critical of those ones that maybe you didn't do as well, but you would maybe like to do better, think about yourself and do take that in each moment you have an opportunity to change your being a little by having new sets of thoughts, a new attitude and openness to yourself and what is possible.
Copyright 1994 Daka's Buddhist Consulting
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