Intention, Prayer and Future Time

In his orientation for this week, Jack offers us a range of places in which to explore Time’s aliveness: ‘the aliveness of intention’ is one of these.

I have long been interested in the energy of intention: when I was much younger I felt I couldn’t achieve anything. In my 30s that began to change and later I came to see that I was learning how to invoke that energy.

I notice that setting an intention, acting with intention and so on is akin to praying. As a good Roman Catholic schoolgirl I was taught that ‘prayer is the raising up of the mind and heart to God’ but that felt very vague to me. A teacher I knew pointed out that we are often praying (for instance when we have our heart set on a plate of prawns on the other side of the table) and that prayer works and always towards success (it’s just that we’re often unaware of the nature and direction our prayers). One day a gifted healer by the name of Ken Page encouraged a group of us to say ‘The Lord’s Prayer’ while focusing within our own being, with our eyes closed and to direct our prayer to that Being. I found this very healing and revelatory. But what’s all this got to do with TSK?

It’s interesting that the Tibetan word for ‘prayer’ translates as  ‘wish path’ – very closely linked to the idea of intending. I notice that, when I set an intention, I invoke the power of Time – that ‘place’ (to use one of our earlier analogies) at which the solid volcano turns to molten lava and it begins to flow. But that is almost too solid an image for how this feels.

Invoking Time (and particularly, it seems the future as unknown creative potential), is the means by which everything and everyone (past, present and future) who is any way connected to the nature of the Intention can connect their energy to that intention. It truly clears the way for miracles.

As long as I stay within what I currently know, think, feel is possible with regard to that intention, to that extent I am likely to limit my capacity to realize it. Time is such a huge energy; such a huge gift, offering itself to us moment to moment to enrich our deepest and best endeavors.

There is a very tangible feeling that accompanies this connection; as though something clicks, unexpected reserves of energy suddenly become available, and everything is harmoniously inter-related.


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5 Responses to Intention, Prayer and Future Time

  1. Loved your response Michael,
    In the photo, the Witness seemed like nature, or the whole of us, the vine coveting the sun, the web woven from a creature’s intent, the glow of observance perhaps? :-)

    I haven’t stopped thinking about class this morning and Jacks question: “There is a sense that someone has the experience, what is your sense of this Witness?” When I am not focused in this way, on this question, the witness is a sense of the warm fuzzy ‘me here’ location, intersecting at the ‘I am’ identity. And it is this intersection that I keep referring to as I engage the world, its objects, and my feelings about what arises, with all my associated memories that summarize and particularize me. The Witness is not the most basic of feelings however. If you recall in previous posts and comments there was talk about the zero-point, just prior to conducting.

    I think Jack clarified for me this morning by pointing to the readings where Rinpoche says in DTS p.113: “…it is the substantiality of the witness that gives way. ‘Witness’ becomes a summary term for a sequence of temporal events, conducted into being in such a way that a particular form of knowledge arises.”

    I think this means there is a more fundamental knowing, and I think it is the zero-point, just prior to conducting. And as you say, inquiry into the nature of Witness widens the focal lens to see self-process usurping or beginning the ‘conducting’ process. From a deeper point of knowing, where things know themselves, as pointed out in the exercise, ‘Transcendence of Pointings’, knowing can be more fundamental. I definitely get glimpses of this knowing the knowing capacity, that I mentioned in this post about painting watercolors:

  2. michaelg says:

    Hi Caroline, David, Peter,
    Thank you for your interesting dialogue, and for further evidence that not all Catholics are putting life on hold until the real show begins in Heaven. I think there may be a place for “intention” somewhere in a vision that there “is” something greater in the future. As the step between vision and the discovery of a path into the world, intention seems like the period before birth. It’s strange that intention can so easily become hardened into a fixed idea of a path that we then feel compelled to follow (as in David’s wanting and averson). Intention does not seem inherently to need a narrowly focused self. Can it not also provide the path away from narrowness? With this morning’s class still in my mind, I looked in vain for a spider in the web of the striking photo you included in your 2009 post, David. With no discerbible “witness” to the sunrise, I felt free to take in the whole vista. And here I am, weaving yet another web of words, and wondering whether I can persuade the witness to witness from a deeper place a realm and will thereby open to a wider perspectivc.–Michael

  3. I was thinking a little more about the action of intent, and heartfelt vs. desire and longing for the object of desire, and I remembered this post from four years ago, having worked with LOK Ex. 19:

    I was thinking ‘longing’ was like being lost in a dream, but ‘heartfelt’ is present, and that makes all the difference. Imagined future goal without the grounding of Being at the edge of the future.

  4. Peter says:

    My first reaction on the posts of Caroline and David: yes, for me prayer and blessing are very important. Thank you for this occasion to think about this. Concentration seems to me an important quality in this connection.

  5. Hi Caroline,
    I like the image and idea of praying to your Being. While I too was raised and educated Catholic, praying (beyond the earliest school grades) was always praying to some vast, unknown power within, and rarely to a grandfatherly image in the clouds or some power out in space. Looking within today I sometimes find that same power and vastness.

    I’ve found the practice of ‘intent’ can be quite powerful. At its most powerful it seems, it requires not only a wish or an image of the goal, but a ‘heartfelt’ desire. The uniting of heart and mind, gives the power of Being to endeavor. Action is not then only motivated by ideas, but includes the depth of the spark of life, the volcanic core.

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