Happy New Year

I’ve just got back from the temple. It’s not like Korea, where the temple would be full of people bowing and chanting and praying (how wonderful), in Japan people seem to do a whole lot less, and yet the feeling was great, very positive and very beautiful. It was just my local temple, rarely open except for at New Years, and we joined a short line to ring the temple bell. Afterwards there was a small fire and hot drinks and we said hello to our neighbours.

Earlier, walking in the park, I thought about what my New Year’s Resolution might be this year. Something, I thought, that I could stick to. Something to resolve all this time I spend worrying about the path. I mean, one day I think that just reading a single Sutra is the way forward, then I’ll think about some serious sitting, next thing you know I’m thinking that perhaps I need a retreat or a new altar! My resolution, I thought this morning, would be the answer, the one practice I need.

Silly me. Such nonsense. If I need a resolution, it is to spend less time thinking about practice, and more time actually practicing! The path, after all, is so simple. Let go. Entrust. Have faith that the foundation, under whatever name I might give it, is taking care of everything. Then it doesn’t matter what I do. So long as I’m living by the precepts, I can meditate if I want to, read if I want to, chant if I want to. I can follow any wholesome practice that feels right at any time. I can smile, and live in happiness.

Happy New Year!

8 thoughts on “Happy New Year”

  1. Hi Marcus!
    Happy New Year to you and Ikumi!
    I know what you mean about starting to look for something new. Whenever I find my self looking to buy a new book, or yoga video, I find it’s often a sign that I’m trying to compensate for, or replace, actually practicing. And yet what I need to do is here, in this very next moment.

  2. Hi Marcus,
    you’ve found wonderful words.
    Yesterday i hoped i would have time to sit for a while to end this year in some contemplativeness… Finally it has been another busy day from the morning to the evening. But – there were 15 minutes, after work in the bookshop and preparations for the evening, while i had a hot bath, trying for the first time my son’s christmas gift: a waterproof light sphere (great!), that cycles in blue, turquoise, purple, red, green and yellow. The room was dark, only this cycling light. And there, in the tub
    , i had my ‘sitting’ – the right feeling was immediately there. Lots of people came into my mind whom i’ve met during the year, corresponded with, got helped from; all these wonderful people who have allowed communication. and i thanked them for being in my life.
    i thank you, all of you here, for being in my life.
    Happy New Year to you and Ikumi, Marcus! May you be happy and safe in 2012!
    All the best and Happy New Year everyone!

  3. Goodness Evelyn, that is so beautiful. Thank you so much for writing that here, it’s really very very lovely. Thank you. And thank you too my good friends Nat and Chong Go Sunim! Have a happy and peaceful 2012 everyone.
    With palms together in gratitude,

  4. Barry, Renée, and Roy – thank you!
    Just putting your names together like that remind me of a typical Korean temple altar with three great beautiful figures.
    Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, each one of you.
    Thank you,

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