I spent the last weekend of 2014 considering the spiritual buzz phrases of the year, “mindfulness,” and, especially, “intention-setting,” which I’ve never really sat down and done before today, and which I can now say, after having done so, is an entirely different kettle of prayer fish than wishing, dreaming, or new year’s resolutions; rather, it’s an active and conscious gathering of your spirit and setting into motion the forces of your universe.
“An intention is a directed impulse of consciousness that contains the seed form of that which you aim to create. Like real seeds, intentions can’t grow if you hold on to them. Only when you release your intentions into the fertile depths of your consciousness can they grow and flourish. Intentions compressed into words enfold magical power.” — Deepak Chopra, “The Law of Intention and Desire”
On a very basic level of living, scientists and spiritualists alike preach that the simple emboldened act of putting words to intentions is half the battle, and the act of saying out loud our deepest desires, specifically named or unnamed, manifest themselves into flesh and bones and actuality.
“All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think we become.” — Buddha
That’s why I’m writing down my intentions for all to see, and for me to remember, to take seriously, and to take with me on my mission in 2015. So, as much as possible in a world that brings so many hourly macro and micro struggles, delights, and distractions, this year I intend to …
“You are what your deep driving desire is. As your desire is, so is your intention. As your intention is, so is your will. As your will is, so is your deed. As your deed is, so is your destiny.” — from the classic Hindu/Buddhist text the Upanishads
I intend to be more musical and more musically expansive with absolutely everything in my life, especially with my creativity.
“When we are creating something, we must hold our creativity sacred. If we don’t hold our creativity sacred in the creative process we will be giving away some of our creative power that we need to create.” — K. Ferlic, “To Set An Intention: Releasing Your Unlimited Creativity.”
I intend to bring good energy and as much positivity as I can possibly muster to all given situations. I intend to work hard, with laser focus and fresh perspective. I intend to respect the laws of the universe (let love rule) and question the laws of man like never before. I intend to be more awestruck, more present, and more reverent than ever. I intend to serve.
“Such a simple concept, yet so true: that which we manifest is before us; we are the creators of our own destiny. Be it through intention or ignorance, our successes and our failures have been brought on by none other than ourselves.” — Garth Stein, The Art of Racing in the Rain
I intend to make more time for meditation and prayer. I intend to make an unabashed return to innocence, away from the dark and jaded world. I intend to talk less and listen more — to myself, to new and old music, to truly thoughtful people.
“In the universe there is an immeasurable, indescribable force which shamans call intent, and absolutely everything that exists in the entire cosmos is attached to intent by a connected link.” — Carlos Castaneda
I intend to write and publish a couple books I’ve been working on. I intend to record a new CD of my new songs. I intend to stay wide open to the influence and inspiration of new people and projects. I intend to be pleasantly surprised. I intend to never forget what Kay Larson wrote in her introduction to “Where the Heart Beats: John Cage, Zen Buddhism, and the Inner Life of the Artist,” my favorite book of the moment: “The seed grows in darkness and silence.”
“Intention is the core of all conscious life. It is our intentions that create karma, our intentions that help others, our intentions that lead us away from the delusions of individuality toward the immutable verities of enlightened awareness. Conscious intention colors and moves everything.” — Master Hsing Yun
I intend to be more openhearted and more loving of/with the people in my life. I intend to weather the losses that life brings with super powered wisdom, grace, humor, and tears. I intend to go see friends’ new babies, not just like photos of them on Facebook.
“It is more important to be of pure intention than of perfect action. —chef/philosopher Ilyas Kassam
I intend to harmonize more and socialize less. I intend to create a life away from the madness and violence of the military state culture we live with every day. I intend to free myself of judgment and jealousy, and focus on love and light.
“All that spirits desire, spirits attain.” — Kahil Gibran
I intend to explore more life — more mystery, humanity, and soul — with myself and within my writing. I intend to teach myself a few things, and to stay open to the lessons of every person-guru I meet.
“The world has all that you need/You have the power to attract what you wish/Wish for health/Wish for joy/Remember, you are loved.” — Yoko Ono, “Revelations.”
Jim Walsh lives and grew up in East Harriet. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org