“When you become quiet, you see everything with love.”
Sri Dharma Mittra has dedicated most of his life in service to humanity teaching yoga, the ancient knowledge of how to attain radiant health and develop spiritually. Since 1967,he has been teaching Classical Yoga: advanced postures, Yama and Niyama and how to lead a content, simple and happylife. Here are some of his perspectives on resolutions for the new year.
Adam Frei: You talk about the fact that you do what has to be done; that you do your practice no matter what. A lot of people come to the New Year and they make resolutions: “This New Year, I’m going to stop smoking.” “This New Year, I’m going to stop drinking coffee.” “This New Year, I’m going to exercise more.” They say that by the end of the first week of the New Year, most people have already broken their New Year’s resolutions. What do you recommend that people do to stick to their resolutions and do what has to be done?
Sri Dharma Mittra: Well, first of all, if you are planning to start something, don’t commit to too much all at once. Commit to very little, but you have to have the will to keep that promise. Let’s say you are resolving to practice meditation only one minute, twice a week. Do it and never skip it. That is better than doing something once for two or three hours one day, and then you forget about it and don’t do it again. Do the same little bit, but be steady and constant. You must make an agreement inside. Sign an agreement with yourself: “I’ll do it, no matter what,” and then you’ll be able to keep it.
Now, when you are doing this, making this promise, do not do it just for yourself. Before you make this commitment, you are standing behind all beings, not just taking this action for yourself alone. “May all beings enjoy the benefits of this promise, of this achievement.” Then mysteriously, you have this inner attitude and you’ll be able to keep up with what you have committed to. But, be careful and don’t commit to doing too much. Just a little. If you commit to just a little, the mind tends to want to do more so that it may embarrass and motivate you.
Fortitude is the ability to remain the same under any condition. If you succeed in keeping your promise, you remain the same. If you do not succeed, remain exactly the same. If you could not succeed, it is because there is a reason, a perfect reason, why you could not. So, remain the same and do your best.
AF: You often say: “Use angry determination.” Is angry determination part of how people keep to the things they say they want to achieve?
SDM: Well, angry determination is a positive attitude. This came from a Buddhist monk who once told me: “Get this angry determination.” It’s like when you go to martial arts, sometimes you have to scream: “YAH!” and do an exercise, but there is really no negative anger, it’s just how you are treating the mind at that moment. The mind is very stubborn – like a wild animal. Sometimes, you have to scream toward it. But, this angry determination takes place for one second, and then it disappears. It is not like the other anger that stays and stays, poisons your system and is no good. Angry determination from a wise man, it lasts only one fraction of a second, and then it disappears.
AF: How does one balance angry determination with surrender, because when you talk about surrender sometimes, I think what people think you mean based on the questions they ask is that you are implying: “Don’t make any effort.”
SDM: It is not like that. Surrender sometimes means: “Surrender the fruit of your action to the Lord no matter what kind of results you get.” The other part of surrender is to let the Higher Self with intelligence and knowledge. Let it make the decision, not your lower self. Listen within to this inner voice, this inner intuition. When you are calm and full of love and devotion, you always surrender. Let this inner “being” inside make the decision – listen to it. The other way is for the Lord. Everything is towards the Supreme Self and Self-realization for all beings everywhere.
We love you Dharma! Learn more about this living legend and his offerings in NYC at www.dharmayogacenter.com/