Today, I'm going to tell you about how to set an intention for your meditation practice.
An intention is so utterly important to a meditation practice that I'm calling it a "special power."
If you have a firm intention for your practice, you'll be able to meditate day in and day out, without any hesitation over putting your butt in the seat.
So often, the reason people fail to meditate on a regular basis is not that they don't understand how to meditate — the practice is quite simple, in fact — but that they lack a firm intention.
Reference to intention is common in the yoga studio. You arrive in the room, sit down on your mat, in walks the instructor, and often he or she will say, “I want you to start by setting an intention for this practice.” In this way, the instructor recognizes that you are going to have to push yourself to get through the series of exercises, but that if you have a reason for doing so it will be easier.
According to the dictionary, an intention is an aim or a plan.
You could easily think of an intention as a blueprint that an architect creates for the building of a house. Without a blueprint the builder would not know where to start. The builder would have no basis for the cementing of the bricks, the laying of the planks, the hammering of the nails, the arranging of the windows, and the stapling of the shingles.
For this reason, you always start from a direction of abstract to concrete.
First you get your blueprint. This is the abstract portion of your endeavor. Without a blueprint, you could hardly begin.
Then you lay your foundation of bricks. This is the concrete portion of your endeavor. Without a solid foundation of bricks, the walls and roof of the house would collapse.
So just as you want a firm intention for the building of a house, you want a firm intention for the building of a practice — in our case, meditation.
And just as you want a solid foundation for the building of a house, you want a solid foundation for the meditation practice. The foundation of bricks is like the fundamentals of your practice — posture, technique, and breath.
So today, I want to talk about the 3 elements that help establish a incredibly firm intention for you practice, that way you never miss a session...
The 3 Levels of Intention
Before understanding how to meditate, perhaps even more importantly we need to understand why we should meditate.
I want to propose that we should meditate because it’s beneficial for us on several different levels…
Three levels, to be specific. And those are…
Personal, professional, and spiritual.
On a personal level, meditation will help us resolve a variety of issues – anxiety, depression, and chronic pain, among others.
On a professional level, meditation will help us be more successful. We will become more productive and creative as a result of our practice.
And on a spiritual level, meditation will help us deepen our connection to whatever beliefs maintain about presence here in the Universe.
While not everyone will meditate to fulfill all three of these levels, assigning importance to any one of them will help establish a more consistent meditation practice.