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Daily Connect: Setting Your New Year's Intention
Submitted by KimberlyBrown on Mon, 12/26/2011, 8:05am
At New Year's celebrations throughout the world, people recognize and say goodbye to the past, and welcome the renewal and promise of a new year. Each new year holds the possibility of a fresh beginning for everyone, and reminds us that we are not a fixed, permanent, solid, "me", but instead, a being in continuous change, flux, and transformation. Though many of us make resolutions or personal goals of self-improvement, it is perhaps better to consider setting an intention. The Sanskrit word , "samkalpa", means intention with volition, and suggests a much deeper and more profound desire than simply meeting a goal. Phillip Mofitt, the Insight Meditation teacher, explains the Buddhist way of setting an intention:
It is not oriented toward a future outcome. Instead, it is a path or practice that is focused on how you are "being" in the present moment. Your attention is on the ever-present "now" in the constantly changing flow of life. You set your intentions based on understanding what matters most to you and make a commitment to align your worldly actions with your inner values.
As you gain insight through meditation, wise reflection, and moral living, your ability to act from your intentions blossoms. It is called a practice because it is an ever-renewing process. You don't just set your intentions and then forget about them; you live them every day.
I'm attending a Samkalpa Intention-setting practice next week and have been a bit worried about it; how will I know what is my truest and best intention? I finally asked my teacher, Ethan Nichtern, who told me to rest with the question, and the answer will reveal itself to me. "You don't have to chase insight," he concluded.
HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE !
By the blazing glory of the precious qualities of the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha, by the blessings of the truth, may all wishes for joy and goodness be realized, and may we become endowed with long life, health and happiness.
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