Intention part Deux

Definition – TRANSFORMATIVE PRACTICE – is any set of activities (internal or external) you engage in  with the intention of fostering long lasting shifts in the way you experience and relate to yourself, others and the rest of the world.

Essential #1 for Effective Practice – INTENTION


Many spiritual directors point out that practice is primarily something you do for it’s own sake.  But aren’t you practicing in order to get some where?  Like happier or healthier?  That of course is how many of us start into a practice, a prayer pattern, a devotional reading pattern.

This is one of the great paradox that many of world’s greatest practitioners site.

•    While you may begin a transformative practice with a goal in a seemingly contradictory way most spiritual directors will tell us that we have to stop striving to get some where or accomplish something for the practice to actually do something

Listen to what one spiritual director says…

•    We practice to practice.   A good deal of our practice is seeing that this is it. This is my life, just like this.  Once we actually realize that, then we begin to take care of this life more carefully.  We being to appreciate this life as it is and not look outside for something else, but actually give some attention to this life as it is.

So this is what we mean when we say we need to bring a strong pure intention to practice.  To mediation, centering prayer.  To letting go practice to focus practice.

We have to have the intention that practice is for practice and the benefits are right there in that phrase.

Do you see how this is very different than how we have often conceived of prayer in the many of our Christian traditions? 

•    Prayer isn’t a posture toward all of life…. Pray without ceasing give thanks in all things… That is not the crazy mantra it is a posture of the heart.  It is an outlook.


Australian Psychiatrist W. Beran Wolfe who lived only to the age of 35 wrote a book that went on to become a national bestseller in 1932…

•    if you observe a really happy man you will find him building a boat, writin a symphony, education his son, growing double dahlias in his garden.  He will not be searching for happiness as if it were a gold button that has tolled under the cupboard.  He will have become aware that he is happy in the course of living 24 crowded hours of the day. (P.32)

So intention the first key to practice…


One Response to “Intention part Deux”

  1. […] long take a look at a couple of these to clarify in your mind what these three are. Intention also here and attention here and […]

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