Three words: translation, transmutation, transformation. Use these for a year-end self reflection. Hold them through the days of the year ending and the new one beginning such that their truths and efficacy is part of your waking living awareness.
Translation: Translation doesn’t change something’s truth or existence, it simply uses different words to label it. Water is agua, agua is l’eau, l’eau is water. Water is not changed by the change of words. Equally so, we might call a habit, behavior, or set of thoughts something new or different but the thing has not really been changed at all. The habit still exists. Translation has been used to turn people into consumers, to change grief into an illness, to change spiritual awakening into an option.
Transmutation: When something mutates in Nature, that generally is an attempt of evolution. Transmutation for us is when we change aspects of a habit, belief, or set of thoughts or behaviors, but at essence the idea is the same. This is usually an excellent evolution. For example, we might expand from a belief in a particular god to an expanded belief or understanding of divinity. The idea is the same, divine Presence, but it is more functional. This is a key factor about transmutation: improvement from a functional point of view. Another example is that we might have started to walk daily or do more movement throughout the day. We are not yet doing daily yoga or going to the gym, nor does one have to. Yet a transmutation of how we use our time, energy, the value we give to our body, health, well-being, etc are included in this example of transmutation. Meditation would be a similar example.
Transformation: The form is substantially changed with this. Magic has happened and will continue to bring forward magical results. Meditation is an excellent example of this. It can transform our sense of self, of reality, and thus our participation in any (every) aspect of life. Meditation foundationally provides this. Only benefit results. When we commit to rhythmic meditation sittings, and to taking its teachings and manner into our life, then our awareness awakens to the range of potency that it IS. With this, the world becomes luminous reality before our eyes, and we become the person who, in perceiving this, lives the radiance of Being and inter-connectedness.
Every day, for the first week of January, hold the three words and their truths forefront in your mind. See for yourself what you translate (essentially keep unchanged), transmute (moving toward betterment and change), and transform (magically create or re-create). Awareness is alive; it must be nourished.
graphic: Zen Mystery – Enso by Kancano on DeviantART