From the BlogMeet Ron


Dear Friends,
In talk given recently by the Buddhist meditation teacher Gil Fronsdal on the topic of intention, he noted that “we are the custodians of our own happiness, caretakers of our inner life.”
Mindfulness helps us be present for our life in real time. With practice we can clearly notice an expanded range of choices we face.

As Victor Frankl boldy wrote:
“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”

While mindfulness lays bare our inner life, the ethical teachings in Buddhism–the parent of today’s secular mindfulness movement–encourages us to use mindfulness to make wise choices. As Victor Frankl notes, mindfulness opens up a space that allows us to make choices that nurture our “growth and freedom.”
According to the traditional teachings, what we call the present moment is part of the stream of impermance – of change and flow, with individual moments affecting the following ones. Buddhism views the present moment as a result, essentially, of the choices we make, moment by moment.
If a person has the habit, conditioned by a long stream of similar moments, to take to Twitter every time he feels put down or unappreciated, and post false counter attacks, he will simply continue to do so (risking World War III). He probably does not even see a space for choice, therefore for him, there is no choice. 
Buddhism calls this delusion; we are so blind we cannot really see what’s going on, to say nothing of having any choices. As mindfulness grows we clearly see a greater range of choices of how to respond and lead our lives.
In considering this wider range of choices available through the space of mindfulness, the Buddha was very clear that we should look at the intentions behind these choices.
Intentions, in the Buddhist view, are considered seeds. If our intentions are “unwholesome” they produce more detrimental ones, leading to difficulties and distress. Similarly, if our intentions are “wholesome” they engender peace and happiness.
This is why Gil Fronsdal remarked that we are the “custodians of our own happiness.” Once we really get this, we can create our own happiness independent of the conditions of the world. We can never again consider ourselves victims. The Buddha was very clear on this – our happiness and our inner peace is largely due to our intentions.
Mindfulness and some discipline allow us to see the motivations behind our choices. Mindful of our intentions, we then choose to act on the ones which bring happiness and let go of the ones which bring further entanglements. 
The Buddha elaborated on which intentions are wholesome and which are not: if we water the seeds of kindness, compassion, and love we create the conditions for a happy life. 
Mindfulness allows us to become clearer about our intentions, and live with greater ease and joy.
Tom, Katina, and the kids

Speak Your Mind