Friday, December 31, 2010

Things I'd like to do more of in the New Year

I suck at New Year's resolutions.  I never make them, and have no intention of keeping them.  I wish I could find an appropriate Humphrey Bogart quote any rate, I don't have one.  Furthermore,  I think New Year's resolutions are made to be broken. I think the idea that one snaps one's fingers and whoosh! - an entire new persona develops is absolute nonsense.  Nobody stops being who they are because the earth passes through a designated point in the universe.  Nobody ever got anywhere because of volition or lack of it, except insofar as what can be achieved  in the present, in this very moment now, whenever that is, which is of course fleetingly small.

With all of that said, though there are things that I'd like to do more of in the future. Among them:

  • I'd like to be more gracious and humble in what I do, as I noted the profound effect I saw what this did to myself and those in the audience when we attended the Leonard Cohen concert.

  • I'd also like to be able to share the uniqueness of the present moment better with those around me.  I don't think I explain this well enough to people.

  • I'd like to show more appreciation to my family members; to truly create a better sense of harmony in our lives.  That's not always easy.

  • I would like to do more extended periods of zazen.    It's very important.   I might have a chance to do this in the summer.  Hopefully I can arrange to attend a sesshin.  

  •  I'd like to work more on translating Buddhist work from (at least) Japanese to English, and help my wife with the translation of Laiguo's Seven Gates of Zen, if she has the time.

  • I'd like to do more 書道.   It's very important to do this.  It's important for me for several reasons, among them, it's good mindfulness practice, and it helps me to train portions of my brain that I hadn't trained before.  It's important to keep learning stuff as we get older.    It's also useful to develop crafts and practices not entirely in the domain of one's training.

  •  I'd like to get to reading all the material I've saved and printed out for myself.   There's great research I could have my team be doing, real forefront stuff,  I could even get it funded I believe.  But I need the time and space  to do it, and making the time and space - a theme running through this post, actually - is what I need to do.

  •  I'd like to learn how to really swim.  I'll probably take a few lessons on this. 

  • Finally, I hope to accompany my family in a performance at the Chinese New Year festival.  I've got to practice for this!

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