How to Make an Effective Resolution
by Michael Mamas

This is a time when many of us resolve to make changes. May we do so wisely. Yet, what does it mean to make wise resolutions?

Our lives are comprised of our habits. How we function is the result of habitual patterns, deeply ingrained into our very physiologies, the manifestation of conditioning arising from the sum total of our life experiences. For any resolution to be truly effective, it is not enough to try to change our behavior. The tonal quality of our body tissues must shift. As a result of those shifts, our behavior changes in a complete and genuine manner.

But how does one achieve that? Forcing yourself is usually successful for a short period of time, if at all. Public gyms and spas capitalize on that fact, selling vast numbers of memberships every New Year, knowing full well the great majority of members will quit after just a few months. So, the question becomes, how do we genuinely shift our habitual patterns? The typical approach is to instill another conditioning, superimposing it over the old conditioning, attempting to bury the old conditioning under the rug. This endless cycle of allegiance to one conditioning and then the next, I call the Wheel of Karma. Round and round in circles we go.

There is a better way. Your true nature is unique to you. It is also divine. By living in accord with your true nature, all aspects of your life will prosper. However, your true nature is a mystery. It cannot be attained through conditioning and certainly not by replacing your old conditioning with a new one. So, this New Year, I invite you to make the resolution to delve into that mystery. Explore your life. Through such exploration, till the soil of your inner being. That tilling of the soil loosens, softens, and purifies conditioning. Additionally, resolve to more and more fully awaken to your true nature by meditating. By resolving to do these two things, the underlying intent of all resolutions is addressed directly—the intent to improve your life and your world.

Humanity is at the doorstep of realizing that success and fulfillment lie beyond the grasp of superimposed conditioning. True success and fulfillment are like swimming with the flow of the river. Your true nature carries you to the goal—a better, more fulfilling life. Humanity currently has the habit of swimming against the flow, attempting to conform to superimposed conditioning in the name of obtaining a better life. May we affirm our resolution to align with the divine flow of our true nature. That flow I sometimes refer to as “the cosmic stream.” It cannot be defined, for to define it is to compromise it. It can only be rested into through the emancipation of your divine inner being—the level of your being that lies beyond the grasp of definition and conditioning.

It is fascinating to note how challenging this can be. You would think it is simply a matter of taking the plunge and allowing the stream to carry you. But our conditioning comes in the form of our resistance to make that leap. We live of, by, and for our conditioning. It is our self-justifying, self-perpetuating, circular convictions, thoughts, and emotions cloaked in the facade of our safety, truths, beliefs, and longings.

This holiday season, my prayer for you is to make the resolution or the reaffirmation to free yourself. Take the plunge into the cosmic stream that will carry your life to what it is you truly long for.

Pragmatically speaking, this means number one: do the Surya Ram Meditation1. It is best to do so morning and evening, twice daily, at a specific time before activity begins. On the other hand, this may be too challenging for many. So, resolve to explore the matter. Find times that work for you. If such time is in the middle of the night, so be it. If the only way you can bring yourself to meditate is to do it occasionally for short periods of time when the inclination feels right, then begin with that. In time, the cosmic stream will carry you. Finding the time to meditate will cease to be an effort. It will become a passion. It is then you know you are attuning to the cosmic stream of your true nature. Nothing feels so sweet… nothing so awesome.

Number two: do your personal process2. Your inner exploration tills the soil and frees you from conditioning. To reemphasize, this process is elusive. You can justify anything with the intellect, and that is exactly what people do. Ultimately, it seems we are all remarkably stubborn. This is just another way of saying our conditioning dies hard. Be willing to consider where you resist. Be willing to have the courage to explore the conditioned nature of that resistance. Armed with the knowledge that your true nature too has convictions, distinguish between your true convictions and the convictions of your conditioning. If you are able to take in honest, reflective, and heartfelt feedback from sincere and dedicated loved ones, that feedback can go a long way to free you from the self-justifications of your conditioning. It requires that you listen wisely. It is a challenge to listen, but it is even a greater challenge to listen wisely. The art of listening, like everything else, is riddled with paradox. Are they speaking from their divine inner being or from their conditioning? And, from which level within you are you listening?

May we all proclaim 2007 to be the year of Resolution!!! The “R” is capitalized to emphasize the resolution to commit to your true self, your unfathomable self, your divine self, the self that dwells behind the veil of conditioning.

© Michael Mamas, 12/06

1The Surya Ram Meditation can be learned free of charge. Learn more about Surya Ram Meditation. The TM meditation can also be used.

2Please know that by personal process, we mean something unique and very specific. It is the sublime art of inner exploration done in a manner that frees one of conditioning. Sadly, personal process is frequently done in a manner that reinforces conditioning.