Friday, February 01, 2008

more Joan But isn't it helpful to have the intention to stop? It can be very useful, but like everything else, it is ultimately beyond your control. There is obviously tremendous power in the mind, and there's no reason not to use it, if you can! I saw the power of intention when I studied martial arts. We had to break boards by punching them. If you visualized your punch going through the board, it did. Amazing! And then, if you imagined hurting your hand, sure enough, the board didn't break and you hurt your hand. Intention can be helpful! But, here's the catch: despite my best efforts to visualize my hand going through the board, sometimes I visualized the opposite. It wasn't in my control! It seemed like it was when my intention matched what happened. But the truth is that intention, like everything else, comes out of nowhere. But that said, the only way to play the game is to play the game. In a sense, we have no choice except to pretend that we're making choices. And in that play of apparent choosing, intention is extremely useful. Susuki Roshi often cautioned being idealistic and having "gaining ideas." And yet at the same time he also said, "In some sense we should be idealists; at least we should be interested in making bread which tastes good and looks good!" Of course! We naturally want to produce good bread, metaphorically speaking. Doing your best, working to improve, training hard, visualizing success, utilizing intention, and taking care of business are in no way antithetical to deep realization. There seems to be a natural aspiration in us that wants to heal, clarify, repair, correct, and improve. That aspiration is part of the functioning of life. There's nothing wrong with it. When we know...

Deb Schanilec

Connected and Committed relationship transformation strategist.

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