More on Intention
It seems everywhere I turn I’m learning something about intention! The importance of intention first came to me during a meditation and now I’d like to share more about that experience.
Although our sense of self, our individuality, is the product of our thinking mind on a certain level, we are also a lot more than that. During meditation our intention is to get beyond our thinking self by connecting to what can be called a Higher Wisdom, the One, God, or other name depending on your culture and beliefs. How do we keep our focused intention going? We steady and clear our thinking mind. Our thoughts limit us, as do our emotions, and close us off to any experience greater than the sum of those thoughts.
Many people have the experience while doing artwork where they create something unintentionally, (sometimes called mistakes, but not always) and the marks, or new combinations, open up a completely different way of seeing. Many artists strive for these moments because they have discovered that these are the times when creativity is at its highest. They feel truly connected to something greater than themselves and the artwork that comes out of that feels more authentic and universal. So by having a focused intention and getting beyond the thinking self, an artist will ‘unintentionally’ make artwork that opens up a whole new artistic expression. An expression that is a product of who they are, their thinking mind self, combined with a higher wisdom.
It is the same in meditation and during Reiki practice. These moments are not orchestrated by our thoughts, they come from outside and it is a feeling of being raised up. In Reiki philosophy we say that our own life force energy has been touched by Rei, or Spirit, and Ki, Universal Life Force Energy. We will do well to set ourselves up for having these moments and that comes with practice through meditation and daily mindfulness.
The more we are able to focus on our pure intention unhindered by our ego, the more we will feel the connection to Universal Energy. This is the true power of Reiki. We can achieve this with meditation by learning breathing techniques that keep our mind just busy enough so that our thoughts are quieted. During a Reiki session we don’t use breathing techniques, but the ability to focus and be intentional is a result of meditation and makes it possible for us to connect with Reiki.
During a Reiki session our intention is to be open and focused in order to let the energy guide our hands. This intention comes from the heart, not the mind. Although we may have a body of knowledge about chakras and meridian lines, if we rely solely on that knowledge, it will ultimately limit us as practitioners. The moments when the greatest healing is done is when it is the intelligence of the Reiki energy working through us. Namasté
Let's say we give a friend a compliment and they take it the wrong way. Or someone pulls into a parking space ahead of you when you were waiting there first. The intention behind the action is what we base our reaction on whether we are aware of it or not. In the former example, you know your intention was good and with a little explaining on your part, your friend will come around. In the latter, we may think the other person's intention was simply to beat you to the space, but maybe not. We don't always know what another's intention is behind their actions, although we often react as if we did. In everyday life, intention is an unwritten language we use constantly in our interactions with others. We are able to respond and react almost instantaneously to people in the course of everyday life because we interpret the intention of what they say and do. Misinterpreted intention has been the stuff of drama and comedy from Homer to Harry Potter.
Intention takes on additional roles in Reiki and is paramount to successful results in your practice and in meditation. In meditation, we often use the breath to clear the mind. It is our intention that the mind should be uncluttered and we use a concrete and focused method of breathing to make it so. Lately, I have been getting better at making time for meditation and will share some of my insights in a future blog. Actually, the importance of intention came to me during a recent meditation and inspired this blog post!
In everyday life we say we are being ‘intentional’ about the way we plan our time or set a goal. To be intentional we use concrete and measurable ways to keep ourselves focused. In setting a goal, let’s say we want to get more exercise, we make sure to stay specific. “I will walk for 20 minutes before lunch everyday” rather than “I will take a walk as often as possible”. It’s also very important to stay positive in the way we use self-talk. Focusing on the negative, “I need to lose weight” will make it harder for us to feel good about the process. Rather our internal dialogue should be focused on the positive. “I am feeling healthier and happier because I am taking my walks”.
In Reiki practice, we use intention with many techniques. For example, during an absent treatment we use intention in the placement of hands. We hold them over a designated area and the energy goes to that spot. It takes a degree of self-confidence and practice to know that what you intend to have happen is what happens. And for the skeptics: One of the blessings of Reiki is that you cannot cause harm to anyone, a calming thought for the beginning practitioner that safeguards the client, too.
Thank you for reading! Namasté