Resolve (Adhitthana )
“Resolve has the characteristic of being resolved on the requisites of Awakening (e.g. the perfections); its function is to overcome their opposites; its manifestation is being unshakeable in that task…Without firmly, vigorously and persistently undertaking the perfections and maintaining an unshakeable resolve when encountering their opposites, the perfections as requisites of Awakening do not arise…” From A Treatise on the Paramis by Dhammapala
Reflections on Resolve or Determination
1. What has been a strong determination or resolve that you have acted on?
What was required of you to act on this? How did you benefit from this resolve?
2. What hinders you from being resolved or committed? Consider if you have any beliefs, attitudes or feelings, which undermine your resolve or make you reluctant. How might you overcome this hindrance?
3. What motivation do you currently have in relationship to your spiritual practice?
What specific resolves would support this practice?
When you sit down to meditate, take the time to assume a strong, grounded and resolved posture. Then take time to clearly resolve to be as concentrated and present as possible; when the mind wanders come back first to your resolve, then to the breath or sensation, to stay present. Notice if this affects your meditation.
For one day, resolve to be relaxed. Figure out how to keep to this resolve throughout the day; look for opportunities to relax in any moment. At the end of the day, consider how you benefited from this resolve.
For further study:
May all beings be happy and secure! May all beings have happy minds!….Let no one deceive another, nor despise anyone anywhere. Neither from anger nor ill will should anyone wish harm to another. As a mother would risk her own life to protect her only child, even so towards all living beings one should cultivate a boundless heart.
“Discourse on Lovingkindness,” Sutta Nipata
Hatred has never yet dispelled hatred. Only love dispels hatred. This is the law, ancient and inexhaustible. Dhamapad
Reflecting on Lovingkindness
1. Please consider an occasion when you expressed lovingkindness. How did others respond? What feelings and sensations arose in your body? Does a “warm and fuzzy” feeling need to arise in order to express lovingkindness?
2. In our culture, “love” is usually understood to contain an element of sexual attraction or possessiveness, describing for example, one’s relationship with a spouse or family. In what ways does lovingkindness differ from the common understanding of love? What might lovingkindness mean in connection with family? Can we express both love as commonly understood and lovingkindness toward the same person?
3. Many people use a simile to describe mindfulness, saying it is like a bird with two wings, one being mindfulness and the other lovingkindness. What in your experience is the connection between the two? Are they both simply Buddhist practices or is there a deeper, inherent connection between them?
4. According to the poet Hafiz (The Gift, p. 125) your unhealed wounds exist because love has “yet to become real enough to allow you to forgive the dream.” What do you think this means?
For further study:
Sharon Salzberg, Lovingkindness; The Revolutionary Art of Happiness, Shambhala, 1997
http://dharmaseed.org, 2012-02-12 Mark Coleman, “The Heart Unbound”
Sylvia Boorstein, Pay Attention, For Goodness’ Sake, Random House, 2002
The Gift, Poems by Hafiz, trans. Daniel Ladinsky, Penguin/Arkana, 1999.
Source- Insight Meditation Community of Charlottesville