The new solar year begins. Many folks make aspirations to accomplish beneficial changes in their lives. Beginning with lofty goals, many resolutions soon fall away—swallowed by old habit patterns. This happens because the underlying causes of negative habits do not get addressed.

Meditation practice is all about noticing underlying causes and letting them go. In Vajrayana we have skillful means to “sever” the roots of causation through tantrayana visualization. The highest yoga tantra, ati yoga or dzogchen, allows for the natural resolution of issues. If we have the capacity to sincerely practice, any method we choose will yield results. But the overall intention is of utmost importance.

If our intention is to simply overcome a bad habit for our own personal benefit, the resulting practice will be of limited value. If we mingle our intention with bodhicitta (the heart/mind of compassion for all beings) we have the possibility of breaking-through deeply held conditions. In other words, bodhicitta is the solution to experiencing the unconditional skillful movement of mind and heart.

So, really, we make aspiration to strengthen bodhicitta and we become stronger in our resolve for all beneficial activity. Rather than making bandaid resolutions, we recognize the pre-existing solution—a re-solution. If we understand the true nature of the compassionate mind, we access a kind of inner strength that cannot be derailed by our inner “whining”.

So, happy new year. My prayer is for everyone to experience self-refreshing awareness and work for the benefit of all beings. Of course, since I am a being, that prayer is also for me (I need all the prayers I can get as I muddle through life!).

May all beings have happiness and the cause of happiness. May they be free from suffering and the cause of suffering.

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