June 26, 2016
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In Vipassana meditation there is a term called Adhiṭṭhāna. It means “strong determination” or “resolve“. When you sit with strong determination you don’t move at all. You keep your eyes closed, you leave your hands and feet where they are. You do not get up. Usually for the period of one hour. What is more important than the circumstances though is what is happening on the inside. After some sitting you get an itch here. Then a small pain starts there. Agitation arises. Irritation. Then comes a bigger itch and a bigger pain. The mind starts racing like a race car: “Just move a little bit, it does not count if you move just a little bit.” Yes it does. This is where it gets crucial. If you really are sitting with strong determination then you are clear about one thing. You are not going to move. You are finishing this hour. Sure, if the building breaks down you may not. If you really have to sneeze you cannot stop it. But regarding everything within your own power you will sit and do nothing but sitting with your whole body. This might sound extreme, but saying: “I’d rather die than break my sitting”, is the degree of determination I am talking about.
Once you have decided it does not really become easier. Yet it becomes a lot clearer as to what the right decision is and what is not. It becomes a lot simpler. An inner relaxation takes place because the mind has a clear direction. Clarity gives orientation. Something to hold onto. What a beautiful thing this strong determination can be if used peacefully and responsibly. What a beautiful thing to use it with wisdom and with love.
Go ahead and experiment with the different levels of determination you can have in your own life. Make a promise to yourself today and keep it. Say to yourself: “I am going to do this today, come what may. I am 100% committed. Not 80%, not 99% but 100%. This is not an option, this is a must.” Make yourself a promise today and keep it. There is nothing like that feeling. Have an amazing day!