OpEd: New Year's Resolutions From a Tantric Perspective

Shri Yantra Tantra MeditationMost people know Tantra is the ancient art and science of bliss, but more deeply, Tantra is an approach to living every aspect of your life — not just choosing a sex position.

Tantra is comprised of two words which mean instrument and expansion, so Tantra is a tool by which you can expand your understanding of the universe, both macrocosmically and microcosmically.  On the macrocosmic level, you can endeavor to find the meaning of it all, how you fit in with the universe, why you are here, or why any of this physical experience exists.  On the microcosmic scale, Tantra can be your daily grounding in being the best person you can be, expanding your heart to show compassion for others, and being an example to others of how to live in harmony with Nature and honor the Feminine.

In practical terms, making New Year’s resolutions both align with and are in opposition to Tantra.  You might want to set out goals for the year, perhaps employing lessons you learned from the previous year.  Yet, a Tantrika knows the most important moment is this one.  Now.  Not last year.  Not later this year.  Now.  Be mindful of this moment.  With no attachment.  Goalless.  No competition.  No self-loathing.  No comparison to how you looked 20 years ago.  How you want to look in six months.  No guilt for how you failed on previous goals.  No iron-will determination set forth to finally accomplish a lapsed milestone.  No trying to change another person so they will love you as you wish they loved you.

Resolutions can be futile because few people can live their lives within the boundaries of absolutes.  Making resolutions ahead of time means trying to live your life in a resolute, determined manner.  You’re thinking in the future, trying to avoid your past.  This is hardly “being in the moment” or being open to experiences or needed lessons.  Instead of making individual resolutions, make an overall path to follow for the year by setting out to pursue an idea of learning, growing, experiencing, and allowing yourself the chance to make mistakes and learn from them.

Rather than making a resolution to lose weight or make more money, set forth a path of being a healthier person, being a better person, or just being happier.  I, for one, think most overweight people are overweight because of other issues, not food.  Food is the drug of choice to numb pain or feed stress, but it is still just the coping mechanism.  Beneath the layers of blubber are other issues to be addressed and resolved.  Be resolute in solving the mental, emotional, and psychological reasons for eating unhealthily first, then address the addiction of the habitual eating.

Dealing with the impetus of stress and unhappiness is always difficult, but even here, do not attach yourself to the problem or the stress itself.  Remove yourself from the immediacy of the issue, step back, and determine how you can make the situation different so you can be happy and healthy and prosperous.  If you can’t, perhaps it’s time to move on.  No crash diet or extreme workout regimen will offer long-term results.  Getting to the root of unhappiness will forge a path of moving on and starting anew.

You are not your mistakes.

Your best resolution is to be a good, compassionate human being.  All choices will expand outward from that perspective in the moment, each and every moment, perfectly.

Happy New Year and Merry Resolutionlessness,

trish