Developing a Daily Meditation Practice: Practice Tips
Practice Tip #4 – Setting an Intention
At the beginning of our sits, after we’ve taken a moment to settle down, we can bring our attention to our intention. Bringing to mind that we can be anywhere else, doing anything else, but we have chosen to be here, to practice. What brings us here? We ask this question to our bodies. It is not an intellectual question, that we think about; rather, we look at what arises for us in this moment as the question is being asked. Try this intention setting practice for a moment before beginning your regular practice this week.
I find when I set an intention at the beginning of a sit I feel a lot of joy, and energy arises from this joy, which fuels my sit. During the sit, when I get distracted I remind myself of this intention and energy arises yet again, helping me bring focus back to my practice. Every time I remind myself of my intention when I get distracted, I am aligning my actions with my intention. Here’s an example, in today’s sit, my intention is to deepen my practice so that I can bring it to the people around me and to help all beings. Every time I get distracted I remind myself of why I am sitting here and doing this 4 immeasurables practice (the practice of cultivating loving-kindness, compassion, joy, and spaciousness). Bringing my intention to mind, I am reminded that I am not only doing this for myself but for all beings. I feel joy from this intention and feel the energy that comes from this joy, I then use this energy to bring my focus back to my practice. The act choosing to bring my focus back to the practice is when I am aligning my action with my intention. How beautiful 🙂 I love this intention setting practice, because I can actually do this throughout the day for various tasks or projects that I’m working on. So I encourage you to try this practice every day this week and see what happens.
Dedicating this practice tip post to my dear teacher Paul Baranowski today. Wishing him the happiest of birthdays. I am grateful for all that he has taught me, and inspiring me to bring practice into everyday life. Happy Birthday Paul!