New Year – New You
2018 – If I add up all these numbers it comes to the number 11. This is supposed to be a ‘lucky’ number for me. A lot of important things have happened to me on this date.
My birth, the day I was initiated into meditation formally – Osho’s sannyas, a number of other important events, have all fallen synchronistically on this date.
But this year has been a year of loss for me. Starting in the New Year – January – with one of my dearest friends to another friend, Sophia, ending with the loss of my beloved father. A number of deaths this year. Deep down I know this Gregorian calendar that we all follow the world over is only for practical purposes. That as I type this a new now is being born out of the old ‘ now’ – or is it ‘then’? However I still get caught up in the whole ring-out-the-old-ring-in-the-new rigmarole.
We are all supposed to take stock at this time of the year, aren’t we? Look back on what has happened, make New year resolutions and strive for a better future – a better ‘Me’.
So as I look back on this supposedly lucky numbered year for me, I wonder what lessons I need to learn from it? Loss is interesting. It makes us more serious, more vulnerable, more humble – human. Everybody has lost some loved one or will lose a loved one.
The Mustard Seed
I love this anecdote from Gautama the Buddha’s life. A woman has just lost her young son and she is inconsolable. She cannot bear to be without him having also previously lost her husband many years ago. A friend suggests to her to go and visit the Buddha who happened to be in the village, giving sermons.
The woman begs Buddha to bring her son back to life. Serenely, Buddha looks at her and says, “Go and bring me some mustard seeds from any household in the village who has not had a death amongst them.”
She thinks that is easy. Every household has mustard seeds in their kitchen. She goes from house to house to house and each time she draws a blank as there had been a death in each and every house in that village. At sundown as she returns to meet the Buddha, there is a new look about her. She has been transformed. In that search for a few mustard seeds, Buddha created a new understanding within her about Death. Loss is everywhere. It happens to everyone and that she is not unique. The woman bows down at Buddha’s feet and asks him to initiate her.
She says, “I have understood. Everybody has to face Death sometime in their life. But before I face my own death, I want to grow in consciousness. So please accept me as your disciple and teach me meditation.”
This anecdote resonates with me as it has so many nuances.
Synchronistically, I am writing this at the end of the year. As I reflect back on what has happened in my life as this man-made Gregorian calendar comes to an end, and we are supposed to take stock of our lives and everything else society asks us to do, I, like the woman in the anecdote above, resolve to look at every new Now emerging from the old Now.
And that is the only resolution – or dissolution? – I can make. Dissolution, because I would like the old to dissolve giving birth to the new. To me, dissolution is more feminine, more accepting and a letting-go. Whereas resolution is just the opposite.
So let me take this opportunity to turn this ‘Sense of an Ending’, in more ways than one, to create a space inside me to dissolve the old and birth the new.
Happy New Now!
What are your dissolutions going to be? Feel free to comment as you take stock of the last twelve months.