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Fundamentals of the Dharma: Wise Intention

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Teacher: Rodney Smith
Date: 2012-05-29
Venue: Seattle Insight Meditation Center



Wise intention is the energy that moves all spiritual practices forward. We mistakenly think it is our willpower, but it is always and only our intention. There are two expressions of intention: the primary intention associated with the longing to be free and the secondary intention for gain and acquisition. The secondary is formed by the mind from the primary intention, and that is the reason we believe that satisfaction can come through desire. The mind tells us that. For the energy to be reinvested back into the primary we have to prove to ourselves that secondary gains will never be truly fulfilling. That is what is left for many of us to do.


Sense your spiritual intention of the heart’s pull to freedom. What distracts you from that spiritual intention throughout the day? If your energy is divided between your worldly and spiritual intentions, your practice will lack resolve and focus. It is possible for the spiritual intention to be brought into the competing distractions by questioning the value and limitations of what you are pursuing. In other words you must be willing to see the limitations of your worldly intentions. Are they completely satisfying and fulfilling? Do they allow you to feel more connected to life? Is the payoff what you expected?


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