STQI Downtown Toronto School
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Written by Master Dao on Thursday, December 31, 2020

Approaching the New Year with Peace in Our Hearts

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Many people will reflect upon 2020 and decide it was a turbulent year. And as we look forward to 2021, there appears to be much uncertainty.

For instance, we wonder if we will be able to conquer COVID-19. Will we be able to go back to our normal lives? 

With such a drastic change to our livelihoods and having such great uncertainty, how can we make resolutions for the New Year?

A Shaolin Chán-Dào Perspective

When we hold onto something and lose it, we cannot help but suffer. The greater the hold, the greater the suffering.

We can only speculate what will happen in 2021, but this is true for any year, any day, and any moment.

By holding onto ideas such as, "I want to go back to how things were before COVID-19", or "I want COVID-19 to be eliminated this year", we create a "ball and chain" for our heart which prevents us from moving forward.

And why does this happen? It's because without knowing it, we create a rule for ourselves. We create the rule that our happiness is tied to the resolution of COVID-19. If it doesn't happen, we feel pain and reminisce about the "good old days". As the days go by, there is more and more uncertainty, and we generate even greater fear of the unknown.

How Can We Find Peace in Our Hearts This Year?

To find greater peace for ourselves this year, we need to learn how to accept our reality. Take the time to discover the rules you have made for yourself.

The best time to do this is after practicing meditation. As you discover each rule, contemplate why you are so attached to it. Ask questions such as: "Where does it come from?", "How will it affect me emotionally if it doesn't come true?", "Is it acceptable for me to feel that way?", and "If I didn't have this rule, would it change me positively?".

By realizing your own rules and reflecting upon them, you will be able to figure out how to free your heart and enjoy what 2021 will bring.

If you're looking for a New Year's resolution, perhaps consider making it a priority for yourself to meditate and reflect regularly.

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