In the beginning of the path, our capacity to keep commitments is impaired. We may pledge to never choose that same kind of relationship again, but then find ourselves in it. We may pledge to never be angry or mean toward our loved ones again, but then find ourselves yelling and insulting again. We may resolve to stop being so hard on ourselves, but then there we are beating ourselves up again. At the beginning of the path, we have less capacity to keep commitments because we have less capacity to rule over our own mind and choose the direction of our inner life. We also have less understanding of what the difference is between passing feelings and deep, abiding certainty. Because of this, commitment feels like a struggle and out of the confusion and helplessness that comes from that struggle, we may begin to believe that commitment is not possible.
Without commitment, it is impossible to go deep in our personal relationships and in the path. Commitment is a container that allows us to overcome obstacles, to victoriously remain in our original vision. Without commitment, we flee whenever things are difficult, and this makes us weak and inexperienced in overcoming difficulties.
It is possible to rule over our mind and masterfully direct our inner lives. It is possible to be a reliable person, to be a person of honor and to keep our word. As we go deeper into the path, we find ourselves more and more equipped to keep commitments because we are increasingly equipped to deal with the obstacles and challenges that come up. We know our own minds and can live a life based on principles that are deeper than passing feelings.
– Excepted from public teachings by Pema Khandro