Friday, February 10, 2006


I've been practicing the Buddhist way for more than 20 years now. The more I manage to penetrate the recondite teaching of the Buddha, the more I'm beginning to realize that there is only one thing, only one factor it all resolves to.

Yes, despite the claims of many practitioners that it cannot be resolved, there is the magic word, there is the holy grail of the Buddhist practice. It all boils down to this -- intention.

Intention is what changes everything. Anything that is happening right now is the result of our previous intentions. And the things that are going to happen to us sometime in the future will be the direct outcome of our present intentions.

Once you realize this, you know that you need to work with intentions. Like, when you get up in the morning, you need to ask yourself about your intentions. What do I intend to do today? But don't limit yourself to the surface stuff, like I intend to have a shower, eat breakfast, go to work, etc. Dig a bit deeper. Ask yourself: do I intend to feel good? Do I intend to feel inspired?

And, if your answer is 'yes' (as I'm pretty sure will be the case most of the time), ask yourself additionally how do you intend to accomplish that.

This how is the vital question. It points back to your practice. If you want to make yourself feel good, you will soon realize that you cannot do it if you make others miserable. So, your clear course of action is to make those around you feel good about themselves. This is where the true Zen practice starts.

The deepest, truest intention of Buddhist practitioners is to experience Buddhahood. And the only way to do that is to work with one's intentions. If your intentions are selfish, you will not be able to get anywhere near Buddhahood, that's for sure.

So I believe that the most important thing for us is to make an effort to focus on our intentions. When I approach a situation, what are my deepest, truest intentions? If it turns out that my intentions are to exploit the situation in order to aggrandize my own puny little imaginary ego, then I cannot expect to get anywhere near to experiencing even the tiniest glimpse of Buddhahood.