The processes in our mind are often so subtle that we’re unaware of them originating, proceeding, being translated into words coming out of our mouths, or moving our body in some way, or even just moving our hearts. Causes and conditions are happening all the time that we can tune into and connect with.
When we meditate or practice mindfulness, we are watching the processes of our own minds. In the beginning it’s a lot of loud chatter, rapid and sometimes random memories, feelings, fantasies etc., just happening to us, or so it can seem.
Over time though, as we begin to recognize how the mind works, we can witness and either participate or not — with a particular thought, the proceedings of a thought or feeling, whether we like or dislike the thought or feeling, and we can have a choice about how it goes on to live from this initial recognition. We have the choice of whether to let go, hold on to it, repeat it (seemingly endlessly), give space to it, and/or cut it at the root so it’s not coming up as often or much at all.
What I’ve found particularly interesting as I continue to sit on my internal perch of inner awareness, is how a seed of an idea can be formed from an intention, say to help others, then turn into a bit of a fantasy – how could this manifest? I can roll it around in my mind, dream about it for a while, then begin to make it a reality in the ‘outer’ world in which we all share. It’s a very artistic process really and we can all be artists in this way – have an idea, see it manifest with other human beings, various materials, and in a multitude of ways.
Ideas start in the mind and might manifest in someone’s garage (there are famous examples of this) for instance, and then have the opportunity to change many people’s lives.
The intention behind the idea can be very important. Not only does intention set seeds that turn onto action, both in the mind and in outer reality, they can inform the process and be the fertilizer for realization. Intentions are the volition for action. Intentions fueled by compassion are definitely action, because if you care you need to act – action takes care and can works towards relieving the pain and stress of others, it’s not passive.
It’s out of caring and compassion and sometimes more time just being on the planet, along with personal and collective experiences that can propel our intentions and subsequent actions. We can move about in world, taking care of what we are personally called towards, when we see the need. We can help each other and take care of each other.
I was originally writing this to announce the School for Compassionate Action’s re-launch, from originally being born and raised in New York City, to having a second life in the East Bay in California. It is with lightness of heart that I can share this wonderful news with you.
It is also with heavy and broken heart as I learned of my friend Michael Stone leaving his body. He was a shining, brilliant man, who helped so many people through how he lived and what he shared. I was fortunate to know him.
I dedicate this announcement to Michael and Carina, and may I/we bring the intention to carry forward in any ways what we can, the lineages that Michael and I, and so many of you share – of body, mind and heart practices, so that they might continue to inspire, reveal, penetrate, empower, wake us up and heal.