Dharma Topic: Reflections and Intentions

Dharma Topic: Reflections and Intentions

Discussion date: Thu, Dec 29, 2005 at our weekly Thursday evening practice

Dear Still Water Friends,

As the year 2005 comes to an end, we have two special StillWater events this week.

This Thursday evening, December 29, after ourmeditation period, we will have an informal tea ceremony in which we canshare our reflections on the past year and our spiritual intentions for thecoming year. As Phillip Moffit explains in the excerpt following thisannouncement, our spiritual intentions are not the goals we wish to attain,rather the ways we wish to live the moments of our lives. In the context ofmindfulness practice, intentions have to do with processes, not with outcomes.

As usual, the best times to join us on Thursday evening are:

  • Just before the first sitting at 7 pm

  • At 7:25, at the beginning of walking meditation; or,

  • At 7:35, at the beginning of the second sitting.

I will be bringing hot ginger lemon tea for everyone. If youlike, you are welcome to bring to the tea ceremony fruit or other treats toshare with others.

This Sunday, January 1, the Still Water communitywill have the opportunity to be together again at our annual New Year’s DayBrunch. You are invited to attend with your friends and family. We willgather at Sandy Schmidt and Rita Kranidis’s home at 610 Thayer Avenue, in SilverSpring. beginning at 10 a.m. and ending at 2 or so. Please bring a vegetariandish to share.

Sandy and Rita’s house is just two blocks from Crossings:travel south on Fenton for two blocks (past Wayne and Bonifant), then left onThayer, go past the stop sign, and then look for a gold and maroon house on theright. If you need additional information or wish to consult with someone aboutwhat you might bring, call Sandy’s cell phone at (301) 775-0382.

Whether you can be with us this week or not,
whether you live in Washington or New York,
Poland or Zambia,
please know that our hearts are with you
as we live each day together.

Warm wishes for the New Year,

Mitchell Ratner
Senior Teacher

P.S. As many of you may know, I recently was in Tibet for amonth with my daughter Juliana. I invite you to view some of the photos at: http://www.snapfish.com/thumbnailshare/AlbumID=34012999/a=32229764/t_=32229764

If you have difficulty connecting, email me atMitchell@StillWaterMPC.org and I will send you an email invitation to view thephotos.


The Heart’s Intention
by Phillip Moffitt
(From Yoga Journal, September/October 2003)

Setting intention, at least according to Buddhist teachings,is quite different than goal making. 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 intentionsbased on understanding what matters most to you and make a commitment to alignyour worldly actions with your inner values. . . . Goals help you make yourplace in the world and be an effective person. But being grounded in intentionis what provides integrity and unity in your life. Through the skillfulcultivation of intention, you learn to make wise goals and then to work hardtoward achieving them without getting caught in attachment to outcome. . . .only by remembering your intentions can you reconnect with yourself during thoseemotional storms that cause you to lose touch with yourself. This remembering isa blessing, because it provides a sense of meaning in your life that isindependent of whether you achieve certain goals or not. . . . When I’m teachingright intention, like to refer to it as the heart’s intention. Life is soconfusing and emotionally confounding that the rational mind is unable toprovide an absolutely clear intention. What we have to rely on is our intuitiveknowing, or "felt wisdom." In the Buddha’s time, this was referred toas bodhichitta, "the awakened mind heart."

Discussion Date: Thu, Dec 29, 2005


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