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Mindful : June 2015
They remind you moment to moment of why you are practicing...I used to think meditation practice was so powerful...that as long as you did it at all, you would see growth and change. But time has taught me that some kind of personal vision is also necessa r y.” Our intention creates the context and motivation that fuels our desire to practice meditation. It sup- ports us in facing the ma ny difficulties of meditation practice, including the anxieties, confusions, and doubts that often accompany meditation. We remind ourselves why we are practicing and this gives us the courage, desire, and energy to continue practicing. For example, when I was training for a half-marathon to support breast cancer research, often I would reflect on the goodness of the cause, or my connection to my grandmother, who had breast cancer, or to the many women I had worked with at the cancer center, and these reminders helped motivate me to continue. Intention Serves Motivation Intention is not a static fixed quality, but a con- tinually evolving exploration. The insights gained during practice inform and evolve our intentions, and these new intentions bring new motivation and cla rity to our practice. As a clinical psychologist who uses meditation in my practice, when I begin work with my clients, I always ask, “Why are you here? Why do you want to learn to meditate?” And this is not a one-time question for the first session only. Rather, it’s a question we return to again and again, because the clients’ intentions are dynamic and ever-shifting, evolving as a result of what they discover through therapy. For example, one of my patients, a divorced father with a young son, began meditating to decrease his anxiety and panic attacks. His intention was clear: “I hope this practice will reduce my anxiety.” Before sitting, he reminded himself: This is why I am practicing, to become less anxious. He renewed his purpose and affirmed the value of dedicating his time to meditation. As he continued to practice for some months, he noticed his relationship to anxiety beginning to shift. He still felt the sensations in his body of fear, tension, and worry. He still noticed the anxiety about the future, and yet he was able to see → Intention supports us in facing many of the challenges of meditation, such as anxiety, confusion, and doubt. insight 74 mindful June 2015 practices BREATHE. BE PRESENT. REPEAT. Explore more at eOmega.org or call 800.944.1001 Located on 250+ acres in New York’s Hudson Valley, Omega ofers more than 300 diverse and innovative workshops that awaken the best in the human spirit. OMEGA Rhinebeck, NY June 5–12 Saki F. Santorelli and others lead a 7-day training in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction June 28–July 3 Florence Meleo-Meyer and Robert Smith help you integrate mindfulness into daily life July 10–12 Dinty W. Moore teaches writers to bring mindfulness practices to their craft July 31–August 2 Dan Siegel and other experts share powerful tools at the Mindfulness & Education Conference