4264352234_db51e3f1b1_bWhile many Buddhists celebrate the New Year mid-January, I will celebrate the New Year, as always, on December 31st. Maybe that’s due to the world’s transition from 2014 to 2015 seems apropos.

New Year’s is a funny holiday for Buddhists. Theoretically, one should invite mindfulness into life and strive to practice it every moment. I often call it the Instant Oatmeal of immersion, “Oh come great mindfulness and engulf me.”

I reflect. For someone who should be dead, should I become more Trekkie and boldly go where no man has gone before? Should I stay ambitious and strive for impermanence. Should I stand before all and unequivocally claim I will persevere and conquer 2015?

Perhaps not … in reality, barely walking the stairs and lacing shoes causes significant shortfalls of breath.

Inherently, we all know most New Year resolutions fade shortly after being offered. Gumption wanes and we succumb to worldly resistance. Truth be told, we fold like favorite sports heroes and blame distant factoids for the could’a, should’a, would’a of life. And between now and midnight some writer, some guru, some super woman will prance upon television and claim every moment holds a potential for awakening …  Every moment.

That’s easy to say. But it’s bullshit.

Real life is a frustrating mix of the lyrical and absurd, emotionally true and sentimentally clichéd. Personally, I will never escape the shadow of the events of April 2010, where I lost so much of life. But I also refuse to be defined by them. That’s the one admirable thing all must learn, don’t let anyone’s opinion  become your reality.

As a Buddhist, rather than resolutions, reflect upon the dance of life. Your version may not inherently be better than another’s. Some are, some aren’t. Rather than a resolution, make promises.

Here’s mine:

  • Make a positive presence that will impact those you love;
  • Be as refreshing as a desert rain;
  • Rediscover love, make love;
  • Be kinder;
  • Never, ever give up, even when surreal things happen; and
  • Have fun along the way.

Look for life. Live it.