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Submitted by edoardoballerini on Thu, 12/29/2011, 12:00pm
There’s an inherent danger in celebrating the new year. So often we believe that with the simple stroke of midnight and a flipping of the calendar, we are washed clean. In the new year, all will be changed. It has to be. It’s a new year.
Well, it is, and it isn’t. Nothing of this nature is automatically different because the clock says so. Maybe you’ll get lucky, and things will happen to time themselves nicely, but I wouldn’t bank on it.
I have been guilty of wishing and hoping the outside world would change my well-being many times. We all have. New year, new job, new city, new lover, new gadget, hell, even a new haircut should do the trick. Right? Instant “new person.”
If only it were the case.
So... what does make the ground fertile for change?
Intention is not referring to what we intend to get out of an action, but rather from what state of mind (or heart) our action is coming. Intention is not the goal to achieve, nor the end-game to which we aspire. It is not related to outcome. Rather, it sits at the very origin at which we are moved to do something or say something.
The “wisdom” portion of the Eightfold Path, Right View and Right Intention, may be the least sexy parts of the Eightfold Path, but overlooking it in favor of the “conduct” planks of Right Speech, Right Action, or Right Livelihood (these always get a conversation going), is to undermine speech, action and livelihood itself. Without an understanding of what’s behind it all, disappointment is sure to follow.
I would suggest that this year, as we make lists, actual or imagined, of all the things we want to be different in 2012, that we pause and consider the volitional side of our practice, the energy behind the actions themselves. Besides being a good practice generally, it may even save us some money on that expensive haircut...
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