Blalancing Energy

The eighth perfection is Determination, the capacity to set a direction in our life and pursue it with courage and patience despite obstacles to its attainment. It is the unshakeable spirit in us that calls us to stick to our course; the kind of determination the Buddha had on the night of his enlightenment, when he vowed not to arise from his seat until he came to see the cause of suffering in his own heart and in the world, and come to freedom from it.

In sitting, when you feel sad, restless or in great pain in your life, make the determination to sit and open to it with compassion; for however long is possible, with underlying determination. When you marshal that spirit, you discover that you can create or nourish that capacity.

And it is a particularly helpful quality when there is difficulty in our lives. Having the determination to stay the course, like the Buddha, we trust in the freedom that is the fruit of practice and develop true strength. To meditate, to practice, at such times is like pouring soothing balm onto the ache of the heart. The great forces of greed, hatred, fear and ignorance in us can be met by the equally great courage of our heart.

Determination is transformative–in meditation, in our relationships, our creative endeavors, in all of life. It is always here. It is no place else and at no other time. It is always now.