If you intend to reach enlightenment or connect to God through your meditation, you can only poorly meditate and it is impossible for you to find enlightenment or God. If you do not intend to reach anything in particular in your meditation, you may realize that enlightenment and God are already within you.
If you intend to write an excellent book, you can only poorly write and it is impossible that your book will be enjoyable to read. If you do not intend anything about the overall book but only spend your time writing with truth and passion, you may write an excellent book.
If you intend to get into shape, you can only make mediocre progress in your exercise and fitness. If you savor the flexing of muscles and beading of sweat, you may gain muscle. If you can be unattached to food, you may lose weight.
If you intend to make a successful business, you can only create meaningless plans and articulate pointless schedules. If you enjoy your work and provide the best service you can, you may have a successful business.
If you intend to improve yourself, you have dreams of imaginary people in your head. If you do everything that arises as needful or desirable with calmness and to the best of your ability, you do not need to dream.
The power of intention is beautiful and amazing. Through our intention, we can pick any spot on the horizon we like and, with effort, arrive there. Constant, applied intention yields movement in any sort of dream we can imagine. Constant, applied intention can ever be an essential compass needle in our journeys.
The power of intention is completely misunderstood. All spots on the horizon are the same location. All movement is the same as idleness. There is no progress and there is no idleness; there are no intended journeys. The power of intention is not the power of some gaining thought or imagination about yourself. The power does not exist unless you yourself are constant, applied intention. The power of intention is you every time you take the step that’s in front of you.
All improvements to the self and great accomplishments are idle dreams. Our pride in the past prevents happiness and progress. Each moment that you live, you are a completely new creation of God. There is no future version of yourself, no past version of yourself. There is only you right now, and the work you have before you. Should you do that work without thoughts of the future, without ideas about yourself, and to the best of your ability – then dreamers may talk about your great accomplishments. But it doesn’t matter, because they’re talking about something that doesn’t exist. Your joy and happiness are just here, right now, in the work you have before you.
It’s not about doing the work you think you have to do in some planned route to get to some destination. It’s about doing the work that truly is needful, that’s in front of you right now. There is no predetermined route. The presentations and trials of spirit that appear are parts of larger plans than we can imagine.
Your soul is constant and eternal, a part of God. Your soul is constantly changing in its embodiment as you work through your attachments and desires, as you become clean of the illusions you create for yourself. Your soul has never existed before this moment, and will disappear forever in the next moment. All these things are simultaneously true.
You already are enlightened, have written an excellent book, have lost weight, made a successful business, and improved vastly on the areas of yourself that you felt insufficient in. You have all these things before you, you haven’t done any of them. None of these things really exist, none of them can exist because they’re illusions based on ego. All these understandings are simultaneously true.
There is really no intention other than constant application. There is no outcome, nothing to be attained. When this is realized, everything may be attained. This is the truth and the practice.
For deeper reading, I highly recommend Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind by Shunryu Suzuki.
If you find some difficulty in your practice, that is the warning that you have some wrong idea, so you have to be careful. But do not give up your practice; continue it, knowing your weakness. Here there is no gaining idea. Here there is no fixed idea of attainment. You do not say, “This is enlightenment,” or “That is not right practice.” Even in wrong practice, when you realize it and continue, there is right practice. Our practice cannot be perfect, but without being discouraged by this, we should continue it. This is the secret of practice.
You may also enjoy:
- Surrender, Let Go & Let God – beliefnet.com
- A Lesson in Beginner’s Mind – mindfullymusing.com
- How to Be Prepared for Anything – zenhabits.net
- 10 Tactics for Peace of Mind – programminglife.net
- Allow Your Spiritual Eyes To Create Your Life – intentionsdaily.blogspot.com