Be Decisive!

These days, we all have access to lots of teachings and spiritual guidance. We can quickly find Buddhist as well as other spiritual teachings with a quick internet search. We can access websites and find many different teachings easily. The problem with all this information is that we don’t become confident about the correct path. People don’t know what to trust.

Phakchok Rinpoche observes that many Dharma students these days are not decisive. Why aren’t we more decisive?  Because we lack confidence.  We need to develop a sense of dignity and force inside ourselves. We may have many excellent qualities–we are nice people.  Many of us are kind, calm, and compassionate. On the other hand, we lack decisiveness.  This can be an issue in many aspects of our life. But Rinpoche stresses that in spiritual practice, being decisive is one of the most important elements.

Decisive in an Undecisive Age

And unfortunately, in this 21st century, we seem to be living in an “undecisive age”. Why is this? Because these days we have so many choices to confront. We’ve become overwhelmed and spoiled by the choices we have in our modern lives.  Everything is arranged to make life simple and easy for us. Some of that is good, of course.  We can choose our careers, and where we live. We have many opportunities that generations before us could not even imagine.

Acting Spoiled on the Spiritual Path

But, the downside of so many choices is that we may act like spoiled children. When something doesn’t make us happy immediately, we lose interest. Or we complain about any small difficulty. And this is very unfortunate when we take this attitude into our spiritual life. We may try some spiritual activities, or follow a teacher for a while. But, whenever things don’t go our way–or when we get bored, then we give up. And we wander from one path to another without making any commitment. Or we switch practices because we need something new or more exciting. We’re bombarded with information, but we aren’t decisive about our choices.

What kind of progress are we really making?

Reflection exercise

Take some time over the next week or so to carefully consider Rinpoche’s comments here. Can you say that you are decisive about your spiritual path? In the past month, for example, have you spent time in regular meditation sessions? And during the day, have you taken a few moments to contemplate the four mind changings, or to cultivate bodhicitta? This is a wonderful opportunity to do a self check-up!  

And, if you have been a little less committed, think about what it takes to become a decisive, mature practitioner!  You can do it!

What motivates you to be more decisive in your practice? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below. What you say may help and inspire your Dharma brothers and sisters.