Set your mind to it.

Following is a line from the 1981 Hindi movie Umrao Jaan, from the song Dil Cheez Kya Hai. It’s one of my favorite quotes.

मुश्किल नहीं है कुछ भी अगर ठान लीजिये।

Pronounced: Mushkil nahi hai kuchh bhi agar thaan lijiye.

Translation: Nothing is hard if you commit to it. 

I often tell myself and complain to others that sitting is hard. Sitting twice a day, for one-hour each, is very hard; impossible at times even. Walking on the path of dhamma as a regular ole lay person while needing to interact with the world — most of which not only is not on this path but is also a major distraction from the path — is more than hard, it’s excruciating, often causing a push and pull inside.

Yet, there have also been many times in my life when walking on the path has not been hard. When maintaining daily morning and evening practice, and staying in alignment with the precepts, have come easily. When the distractions of the world have had little to no power over me.

The only difference between the first and the second experience has been the lack of or presence of commitment. When I’m committed, I don’t think twice about sitting for an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening, nor do I have an internal debate with myself negotiating the precepts. In times of commitment, I’m just committed, no ifs, ands, or buts.

Happy sitting!

-Geetali Sharma

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