Tag Archives: heart

Western Resolution meets Eastern Resolve

Resolve, according to Mirriam Webster is an act of determination; synonym is courage.
Courage: from Anglo-French curage, from coer heart, from Latin cormore at Heart: mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty.
Heart: the emotional or moral as distinguished from the intellectual nature: as
a: Generous disposition: Compassion (a leader with heart)
b: Love, Affection (won her heart)
c: Courage, Ardor (never lost heart).

As I listen to friends and family making their New-Years Resolutions I’m encouraged to re-establish my own (and much in process) resolve. Like Calvin to Hobbes I’ve found help from wiser folks than myself. Ahhhh the web, how do I thank thee?

Resolve or Determination as a Western habit is most often emphasized during the season of the New Year . . . speaking from my own experience, my Western mind-set can barely manage even this much frequency. Ah but take heart,  is also one of the Ten Perfections listed in the Pali Canon, the scriptures of the Theravadin teachings. In the Pali language the perfection of resolve/determination is “Adhitthana Parami”.

Ajahn Sucitto and Ajahn Thanissaro both offer guidance when exploring or undertaking these virtues. They describe in detail how Adhitthana is nurtured and applied. Given that a study shows a pathetic 12% likelihood of success rate for new resolutions to last even one year, it seems most of us could use a bit of help from our friends . . . might as well listen to some wise ones.

Ajahn Sucitto’s mp3 Dhamma talk “Adhitthana Parami

Ajahn Thanisarro’s study guide on “The Ten Perfections

Cheers to keeping your New or Old resolutions! And just for fun, here’s a hint to my re-Newed Years resolution: (not a pretty picture but certainly familiar.


Click here to enlarge Comic Strip

One Fortunate Cringe


Mom phoned. I picked up her message around seven p.m. and tried to return her call to no avail. So I called the front desk of the assisted living facility where she has been residing for nearly eight years now and asked them to check on her. They said they would and that they would have her call me back. Mom didn’t phone back.

It’s interesting to watch my mind attempt to make up stories of why mom called. One thought actually made me cringe before I could drop it . . . “Go over and check on her . . . nah, the nurse is checking, she’ll call if anything’s off . . . maybe the staff forgot to check on her and she’s just lying on the floor, alone, in a pool of blood seeping through the floor, dripping on the head of the gentleman in the apartment just below her”. Well, at least that’ll alert them right?

What an outrageous thought and I actually cringed as if this scenario could be true! The good news? That cringe, though it felt nasty, not only alerted me to drop the story, it also flagged other potential stories as not worth giving rise to. It gave some space for me to pay attention to what is actually present and what is merely being dragged off by a fearful scent; mom didn’t answer her phone nor call me back. I made some tea and am drinking it right now and loving my mom. This feels good and that’s the end of the story.