I cover myself with a veil. If you look carefully you can see it but to most it’s hidden or maybe invisible. On January 1st at dawn’s first light I can be found at a ceremony reaffirming my pervasive intent. Reaffirming my basic nature, or at least the nature I aspire to… my Buddha Nature. This is the veil that covers me and all I hope to be. Sometimes I hold it close and sometimes it seems to blow in the wind. After all these years I have never let it go.
At the First Light Ceremony I will say the prayers and light a small candle. I will meditate and contemplate. Follow my breath and attempt to calm my mind. Most likely I will fail at the calming of the mind, but the intent will count.
Whether I awake in a monastery, or at home alone, or at a secluded mountain retreat, or in the arms of someone I love; each year on January 1st I perform the First Light Ceremony.
It’s a way to remind myself to “be kinder, do more, make this matter”. A touchstone to renew my Tibetan Buddhist practice.
For much of the western world the focus will be to lose weight, find a better job, quit smoking, fall in love or exercise more. All doable and admiral goals for 2014.
I will admit. I do write down a list of goals each year. But then again I write down a list of goals each New Moon. It’s a double whammy this year with January 1st also being a New Moon. So yes, there will be a list of goals from me.
But the aspiration I will make at the First Light Ceremony will be to be kind for the next 24 hours. No matter what happens, be kind. I’m going to give it my best shot.
And about that veil, I will make sure it is tied tightly around me knowing it is not a safety net, but a comforting embrace. With that thought, I will walk out into the world.