January 1 The Practice of Right Intention


This Monday, Anne will facilitate.  She shares:


"I have always been enchanted with New Year's resolutions. I like the potentiality of new beginnings, and adore setting intentions for myself (that unfortunately I usually don't follow through on).


This year I find myself thinking of the Noble Eightfold Path while thinking about what I want for 2018, specifically the practice of Right Intention (also known as Right Resolve, Right Thought, or Right Aspiration). In his commentary on the Noble Eightfold Path, Bhikku Bodhi outlines the purpose of Right Intention:


"The Buddha explains right intention as threefold: the intention of renunciation, the intention of good will, and the intention of harmlessness....[These] counteract the three wrong intentions of desire, ill will, and harmfulness....[O]ne who denies the moral efficacy of action and measures achievement in terms of gain and status will aspire to nothing but gain and status, using whatever means he can to acquire them. When such pursuits become widespread, the result is suffering, the tremendous suffering of individuals, social groups, and nations out to gain wealth, position, and power without regard for consequences. The cause for the endless competition, conflict, injustice, and oppression does not lie outside the mind. These are all just manifestations of intentions, outcroppings of thoughts driven by greed, by hatred, by delusion." 


As we set our intentions for the year, we must examine how they fit into this path.  Are our goals selfish or self-centered?  To what extent are we resolving to help others instead of ourselves?  How are we pledging to decrease suffering in the world this year rather than increasing our own pleasure at the expense of other?


Please note that this is a newcomers week.  If you are new to our community one of our facilitators will be there to answer any questions.