Intention. . .

Making sure that your intentions align with your real values is one of the best ways to lead the life you want.

Wise intention is what keeps our lives heading in the right direction. Wise intention is the cornerstone of wise effort, of actions that are wholesome and positive. The instructions for wise effort call for us to continually evaluate our actions and choose those that lead to less suffering and eschew those that lead to more suffering. This is easily determined by checking if the action is being fueled by wholesome or unwholesome intentions.

So clarity about our intentions needs to be present to inform wise effort.

In a lesson the Buddha gave for his son, Rahula, he called for considering before, during, and after every action whether it was potentially abusive or exploitive or genuinely rooted in kind intent. This requires sufficient clarity of mind, through wise mindfulness and concentration, to discern negative intent, and sufficient wise effort to exercise self-restraint. Wise understanding deeply intuits the legacy of losses that we share with other livings beings, and wise intention expresses our ever-growing resolve to respond to all life with compassion.

In this way, all eight aspects of the path work together to help us lead a wholesome and awakened life, with wise intention the guide that points us in the right direction and brings us back on course when we lose our way.

Peace and Love, Jim

#intentions #thedailybuddha

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