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Balance

The keyword I would like to keep in my mind this year is freedom.

Why?

Because there are times I feel I am not.

I feel limited by preconceived expectations, e.g., I have to be always successful, liked, admired, loved, accepted, respected, etc. These are natural needs that have been formed during early childhood. I am grateful that those needs made me who I am today.


At the same time, I feel I don’t need those anymore, at least not as intensely as before.

What I need is balance, or a "middle-way."

Not being attached to any extreme fixed views.

Not having, not not having.

That, to me is, freedom.


One symbol that will help me remember freedom as my core value is,

「吾唯足知」(われ、ただ足るを知る)

I came across these words for the second time in Kyoto, Ryoan-ji (龍安寺), where there was a famous tsukubai (蹲踞) is a washbasin near the teahouse.


"I know I have enough."


It is possible to reflect further on what knowing means and what is enough.


A concept that supports this understanding is from Plum Village's Mindfulness Trainings:

We are aware that real happiness depends primarily on our mental attitude and not on external conditions, and that we can live happily in the present moment simply by remembering that we already have more than enough conditions to be happy. 

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