New Year, (Re)new-ed commitments

I celebrate a couple different new “years” every year. It’s the fun of being a global citizen.

New years are auspicious. They mark new beginnings, new chapters, and if you’re on that path, a good time to renew commitments to yourself. From different teachings I’ve learned: you can never become a new person overnight. But you can focus on your best aspects and grow them into new heights.

It takes patience and focus. Discipline. As humans, we waver on our chosen paths - it is, after all, the most human thing for us to do. But part of the journey to finding enlightenment is finding your way back to your chosen path.

Across the silk trade route and throughout sub-continental India, travellers have marked new years and new commitments to themselves for centuries. Traveling across trade routes and looking for philosophical wisdom, they learned the secrets of enlightenment (eternal bliss) and salvation (transcending human suffering) from the sages and created visual art to help themselves stay on their chosen spiritual paths.

Out of those practices came the arts of Buddhism, Jainism, Hindusim, and many more.

Many practitioners believed (and continue to believe) that to cultivate the daily practice and the mind of one who achieves nirvana, one must have sacred symbols and tools to focus on that could guide them on their spiritual journeys. To mark these objects with auspicious ceremony, many sculptures and religious tools were made with valuable metals and jewels as they contain essences of deities and universal Light that in turn, strengthen Holy objects. However, devotees were warned, regardless of how precious these objects were, one must never attach much importance to material objects as that sentiment would shroud the appearance of Holy visual objects and could become a hindrance in understanding the ultimate truth.

It is in these superficial contradictions and renewed commitments that devotees attained Balance. And in the wisdom of centuries, dear reader, that is what I wish for you in 2018: Balance.

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What’s new and exciting? I’m selling my Jasmine 2018 calendar until mid-February so put in your request before they run out!

Where will I be? I’m kicking of 2018 by spending my January as follows: Baltimore (BWI) on January 12, Tyson’s Corner on January 19th and 22nd, Harrisburg on January 26th, and Pittsburgh on January 31st. Hurry up and book your date!

 

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