Skip to content

Nine Commitments

tying a vow string
Episode No. 51

Shambhavi talks about the personal commitments that guide and organize her teaching and relationships to students. A lively discussion about the nature of commitment in the context of spiritual practice follows.


FIRST WORDS FROM THE PODCAST

Most of you have heard me say that you really can’t make a commitment that you haven’t already made because every change in our way of doing things, or every way that we bind ourselves to a certain way of doing something, that time has to be right for us to have the capacity to do that. We may have a desire to do something, but it’s not the right time. Then it means that we don’t have what’s called the bhumikhara. We don’t have the actual, practical ability to put something into action because of the times, because our desire isn’t strong enough, or the circumstances and our desire are not quite right.

Some people quit smoking so many times because they know smoking is bad for them and they don’t want to get sick, but yet somehow, the desire to smoke is stronger than the desire to quit until that day when all of a sudden, it’s over. I’m sure a lot of you have had that experience with something or other, where you try to change something a lot of times and it never worked, and then one day, it was just easier and you just did it. Right? You can look at these things in terms of astrology, too, and see, you know, when it might be easier or less easy to change some particular pattern. That’s one of the useful pieces of information that you can get out of astrology. Commitments are really made before you make them. And at the same time, they’re regularly imperfect. When we make a commitment, especially a commitment that has to do with our spiritual development, in a sense, we’re making a commitment to be enlightened, or to behave in an enlightened way; but we’re not enlightened. We’re only partially enlightened. And we’re partially ignorant.