Friday, December 31, 2010
New Year's Eve
Hard to believe 2010 is nearly over. Even the weather seems a bit surprised by it as it's going to reach the low fifties today and tomorrow after days of very cold temperatures.
2010 was full of huge changes and events, and 2011 looms large with loads of possibilities and unanswered questions. As it says in the Dharma, "nothing is permanent, so roll with it." OK, I added that last part but I don't think the Buddha would hold it against me. And anyway I always find it easier to accept the first part of that sentence rather than the last.
I don't like New Year's resolutions, in fact I think they are very silly. Any moment is a chance to break a habit or begin something new, so what's the point of waiting for one day?
One of Gurdjieff's teaching methods was to have a student work on breaking a habit, typically something enjoyable and addictive and not one the person put much thought into. By doing this one comes up against oneself, one is more aware of their mechanical ways, and out of the struggle one creates a heightened sense of self.
One of my experiments with this was to stop eating candy at work. Candy is everywhere in the office and in the past couple of years I've developed a fierce sweet tooth. Going without brought a lot of awareness to myself and my habit. Imagine my surprise when I finally saw how much I ate in one day without really thinking about it.
After digging around in this for a while I could see the mechanics behind this addiction, primarily the stress and unhappiness I feel in that job. So then it's on to facing those issues, and then on to something else behind that. It takes a lot of mental effort to stay with it but is worth it in the end.
Happy New Year and best wishes for 2011.