In many newspapers we could read or hear on the radio how people made fun of our tendency to make resolutions on January 1st. In an age of body optimisation, long life expectancy and the best “bargain”, I am surprised. What is wrong with good resolutions? My guess is that they are not wrong in themselves, but the one who makes them condemns him or herself. They were made in a state of honest stocktaking, the promises, and we have to admit to ourselves that we have forgotten them already in the 3rd week or in March. So we no longer want to deceive ourselves, no longer be disappointed in ourselves, but to look mercilessly into the eyes of “sin”. “I’d rather keep smoking.”

I think that’s wrong and timid. Buddha teaches us how to see ourselves lovingly and clearly. We are Bodhisattvas in training. We smoke, eat too much or too little, drink too much or the wrong thing, do not practice what we should, criticize and fiddle around, too lazy, too shy, just not perfect. Well, we notice this, a behaviour we want to change, and we are courageous enough to tackle it. There is nothing wrong with that. We have understood something and want to live this understanding.

Our society has little to offer here, how this should actually work, except primitive punishment and reward rituals, which make us feel even worse. Buddhism offers to pause regularly. To come to rest. Not in front of the television, but in a disciplined posture and in an environment with little stimulus. To perceive ourselves in our wholeness and brokenness. To perceive the others. The world. To be breathing, deeply feeling beings. To be withotherbeings. To experience deep astonishment about our interwithbeing.

Sometimes I taste the breath like fresh, cool, clear water and find nothing more delicious. Changes need time, loving patience. And firm resolutions. We can renew them daily, even several times a day. There are many kinds of resolutions in Buddhism, we experience and embody here, on our way, how we can become one with them. How we can become who we are.”