Written by Nora Lawrence
Edited by Dhamma A.
For some, 2017 was great, others not so much. But no matter how much you loved or hated the year, one thing everybody would agree on is that they would want the next to be better. 2018 is a brand new year, here are some ways to make the year brighter.
1. Chant the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta
A great way to kick off the new year would be to chant the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta. Everything has to start from somewhere, and that includes Buddhism, which began when the Buddha taught the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta, his first and most foundational sermon. Experience the beginning of the new year by reciting the very words that set in motion the teachings of Buddhism.
2. Join a One Day Meditation Retreat
Everybody has one of those stressful days, so it’s always a good idea to have some relaxation days to offset them. Put the turmoil you experienced in 2017 behind you and join a one day meditation retreatone day meditation retreat. Kick start the new year right with a day of relaxation and inner peace.
3. Join a 3 or 7 Day Meditation Retreat
4. Release Fish
The new year isn’t just a chance for you to get a new start, it is a chance for everybody to get one. Give the gift of life to those who would otherwise not have it by partaking in the Buddhist tradition of releasing fish. Come give animals a fresh chance at life for the new year by freeing them to the wild.
5. Set a Meditation Goal
One of the most iconic things people do for the new year is set a new years resolution. Why not start the new year by making the resolution to meditate at least one hour each day? Even 30 minutes would do. The hardest part is just getting started and it’s probably one of the best new year’s resolutions you can set for yourself and your mind.
6. Resolve to Take the Precepts
At the cornerstone of every New Year’s resolutions is self-discipline. For the new year, challenge yourself to take on the Buddhist acts of self-discipline, the Five Precepts. The five precepts are to refrain from killing, stealing, sexual misconduct, lying, and taking intoxicants. Keeping the precepts will free yourself from guilt and give you peace of mind, making the new year ever so brighter.
7. Join a Self-Development Program
For those who want more than just a better year, you should consider joining a self-development program. For men there is ordination, and for women Upasika Kaew. If you feel like you’re stuck in a rut or can’t change yourself for the better on your own, try taking on a temporary period of training to improve yourself. It only takes a few weeks of dedication and once you go through the training it’ll be easier to carry those habits into your regular life to improve yourself for good.