Commitment

Commitment
by Art Ticknor

                     
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braided ring I wanted to ask you about this commitment thing. I get a strong sense of what you say being very true and necessary. Do you have any suggestions how to cultivate this?

I am starting a regular meditation practice tomorrow, the plan is to meditate an hour before school begins. Is this the kind of a thing you talked about? Does it really matter if the commitments have anything to do with the search or not (if there even is a difference)?

What ways would you suggest to integrate this?

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My view is that commitment is looking carefully to see what we want to accomplish and then affirming to ourselves that we're dedicated to that goal. The crux of it is learning to be increasingly honest with ourselves.

If we judge ourselves on our intentions, we're all saintly and heroic and saviors. But our actions seldom line up consistently with our intentions. Commitment is more closely allied with actions.

To know whether we're being honest with ourselves, the actions have to be specific and measurable. And we have to track results. The intention to meditate for an hour every morning is laudable. It tells our inner self that there's something very important we want to make a priority in our life. But how serious are you about it? Are you going to act on that intention "come rain or come shine"? Every day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year, for the rest of your life if necessary?

If our goal is Truth (or anything absolute, designated by capitalization), we have to become it. What are we honestly willing to commit to? How important is the action of meditation to you, and what sacrifices are you willing to make to eliminate the internal game-playing? Is it important enough to commit to doing for 15 minutes every day for the next 7 days "come hell or high water"? 20 minutes every day for the next 6 days? 30 minutes every school day for the next week? By trial and error we see what we're actually capable of doing now, and then we work to expand our capability if necessary to meet our intention.

Commitment moving forward is an intention of how we may want to live our lives. It's scary and risky because it will show us our internal dishonesties. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God": If we want to become or recognize what we truly are, we may have to become a man or woman of our word. If we tell someone we're going to meet them at 2 o'clock, that becomes a commitment we strive mightily to have been faithful to. If we tell ourselves we're going to meditate for an hour every day, that becomes a commitment we strive mightily to have been faithful to. We have to be careful about what we tell others or ourselves if we want to become all that we may be.


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