This holiday season, many of us will be going through the familiar process of adopting resolutions for the New Year, setting intentions, and clearing out the old ideas that no longer serve us.
Whether that is to start the day off with a practice of gratitude, meditate every day, start journaling, or even to make a habit of smiling everyday, such practices are meant to encourage us to embody to be the change we would like to see.
Unfortunately, two weeks into January and most of us will have already dropped the practice and gone back into our old habits and routines.
Many times when we endeavour to start a new beginning, what happens is that our intention (or thought) that arises and prompts us toward change, lies on top of a powerful sub-conscious mind –the accumulation of past thought patterns– that resists the promptings to begin something anew.
The old patterns of the mind have a powerful momentum built upon through continuous identification. An old habit is so engrained within the psyche that any effort toward change threatens the old way of thinking – creating enormous amounts of resistance and struggle.
Consequently, many efforts toward change end in failure or are given up due to the inherent conflict and its associated suffering that lays at the intersection between the old ways of doing things and the new.
This many not be a revelation, as all of us have all confronted the difficulties of change and the challenges of new beginnings.
However, if we are to truly embody the change we seek – instead of continually imposing new resolutions, forcefully struggling to enforce new ways of being, we must inquire into the nature of mind and thought, so that we might come to understand the nature of the resistance that arises and through that understanding be able to more fully see what it is that is arising within.
By inquiring into the nature of the Self we begin to understand all else that would stand in our way.
Lasting change really only comes through self-understanding, as it is the means by which we see what is real and what is unreal. It is only when we understand the nature of the unreal that we can change beyond the surface of things.
This process of transformation and renewal is the wisdom that lies behind Tantra – that path which seeks to understand all that stands between you and your true Self.