As you practice, and when you’ve watched your mind long enough, you are aware of its movement. Not just how one thought turns into the next, seemingly with no thread of sanity or sense, but with time, you actually experience stillness and witness when movement arises out of the stillness and, how that movement what ever it is, then takes shape.
When the mind becomes clear and still like a lake, a thought or a feeling will enter into the lake, but not create a large momentum gathering wave. Imagine a fish swimming through, there’s nary a movement in the overall lake because the fish is small compared to the large body of water it’s in. This is similar to a still mind noticing a thought or emotion – the thought or feeling will arise and either form, or just begin to arise and cease without fully forming. Either way, there is some subtle movement, but not enough to muddy or create waves in the lake.
It’s from this clarity of mind, that is often referred to as luminous, that we know movement and, can witness the rise, shift and change and passing away of it. This is where intention comes in.
Intentions do indeed create movement, but of the skillful variety. When we create intention, we are leading ourselves forward in a way that can include being in harmony with our heart, our goals (read my friend Phillip Moffitt’s excellent article on goals vs. intentions) and our spiritual path. Intentions can be non harming and helpful, kind, inclusive and generally act as the beacon of a thoughtful path that we would like to follow.
Intentions are fluid as they are in alignment with what is going on presently and what has gone on in the past. We create alignment with our heart when we evaluate, consider, reflect and if needed start again – intentions hold all of these attributes in kindness.
So as the darkest day is behind us and the lighter days ahead, it’s a most wonderful time to consider what intentions we would like to guide us forward. When you reflect, you can listen to your hearts requests about what is important, from this very moment forward. This is never set in stone, but can create the volitional movement that leads the way to the full blossoming of realization.
Just like any practice, remembering is key, and just as in any practice starting over is allowed. Keep those two things in your heart as you set yours.
IMAGES from the Studio Drift exhibit in Amsterdam, 2018.