Author Topic: Meditating with goals VS. Meditating with intention.  (Read 2798 times)

DK

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Meditating with goals VS. Meditating with intention.
« on: October 09, 2013, 06:16:46 PM »
I've heard it said "True meditation has no direction", and having a goal when meditating keeps us trapped with a wanting and dissatisfied mind.

I've also heard it said that one should "practice like your hair is on fire", which is to say focused and driven.  But even when your hair is on fire you have an intention (putting it out in most cases), and even if you are successful or not you do not care - because you are far too busy working towards what's most important right now.

This subtle difference is something I've been reflecting on for some time, and I thought it would be worth a discussion.

Example: I very much enjoy exercise - I'm very into physical culture.  Whenever I had a goal such as lifting a certain weight or lowering my own bodyweight, it gave me drive yes, but there was the time before the goal where I was dissatisfied with not achieving it, and the time after the goal where I didn't know what to do from there.  Then, after thinking about my mindset, and setting more of an intention - to live a healthy lifestyle - there is the time now which is satisfying because I'm doing what I believe is best, and the time when I deviate from my intention and feel dissatisfied, quickly realigning me on the original path.

Now, when meditating, if you have the goal of becoming a Buddha, calming your mind, helping people, cultivating wisdom, and so on, there will be the time before when you have not gotten what you want, and the time after where a new goal will need to be made: the cycle continues.

When meditating with an intention, you know that there is no end, you are aware that it is a path to walk and not a destination to reach. Letting go of goals, you know that you may or may not succeed, but are aware that you can always walk towards what you believe is best.  It allows you to enjoy the journey rather than focusing on some horizon (that may or may not come).

Finally, this is obviously my own opinion and experience.  When I say "you", I don't mean this IS the way things are: like I am trying to preach.  It's more of a narrative tool to explain my own mindset and thinking regarding this topic.

Question to the community: Have you had any issues when you consider the "goal" of meditation?  Have you ever wondered why you do it?  Is there some point you want to reach in the future? Do you feel it is just steady growth for you?  Comments?  Opinions?
In my experience, peace is not enjoyment or happiness, nor will peace keep you from getting hurt or depressed.  Peace is only the quality of not being disturbed.

Dharmic Tui

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Re: Meditating with goals VS. Meditating with intention.
« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2013, 06:56:55 PM »
Finding true peace is like a donkey chasing a carrot on a string, you'll only get the carrot when you stop chasing it and let the carrot swing back to you.

Mikeler

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Re: Meditating with goals VS. Meditating with intention.
« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2013, 11:11:02 PM »
Most of the Zen teachers that I have listened to (Benjamin Smythe and Adyashanti particularly) have emphasized that becoming "awakened" or enlightened or whatever you wanna call it cannot be made a goal because the moment it is made a goal it is just another thought you're chasing and grasping after that your mind has produced.

However, I do think for people who do not have a spiritual background or past who find this difficult (don't we all?) maybe setting a goal or purpose might get them started.

As they deepen the pratice they might start to "see" things as they are.

I dunno. Just my 2 cents.

Quardamon

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Re: Meditating with goals VS. Meditating with intention.
« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2013, 11:09:04 PM »
The goal I have changes, over the years. Also what I see as the value and the effect of meditation changes over the years.

A goal that I have and had for many years, is to be able to sense into the ecosystem that we as a (modern, industrialised) culture are destroying. I hope that that helps to stop the destrucion. It is partly inspired by Joanna Macy, like in her book "World as Lover, World as Self". In fact I do not expect to reach that goal. But it is meaningful for me, so it keeps me going.   :angel:

I see little difference between goal and intention. A recurring theme for me is what I call "being intimate with reality". I can, at times, feel meditation as dropping my defences against what is. Allowing reality to be, and to be part of it. At other times, I can be very cynical about sitting on a cushion as a way to know ultimate reality - while others clothe and feed you. From a social perspective, it can seem a very silly activity. But well, falling in love can also seem a very silly activity. And very much can be seen as silly. But seeing things as silly is not a very beautiful activity.  :-*

       :-[   :P   ::)    Sorry - I just needed to do something with smilies.    :(    ;)    ;D

Matthew

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Re: Meditating with goals VS. Meditating with intention.
« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2013, 10:26:55 AM »
Meditation refers to states if mind not the practices. The right goal of meditation is ... Meditation.
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

redalert

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Re: Meditating with goals VS. Meditating with intention.
« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2013, 09:32:36 PM »
Have you had any issues when you consider the "goal" of meditation?

For me the "goal" is purification of the mind.  To be aware and accept this present moment as it is without blind reaction towards it.

  Have you ever wondered why you do it?
No, I had a sudden awakening years ago. Before this I was completely blind and suffered immensely, this suffering imploded upon itself and my eyes were opened very quickly. Again not claiming full awakening, but like a shock that wakes you up suddenly and then you slowly drift back to sleep. You cannot unsee what you saw when your eyes were opened, but it's constant practice to remain awake. I can no longer blame others for my suffering.


 Is there some point you want to reach in the future?

Not a point as in a place, and not a need as in more an inevitability, death is coming, when is not for certain, but it will come for certain. I simply prepare for death to observe it without blind reaction and ensure a good rebirth.



Do you feel it is just steady growth for you? 

Yes, it is like a steady growth of the real "me". The seed of awareness planted in fertile soil, protected from harm, is allowed to grow with constant care and supervision, as time passes it's growing in strength and no longer needs as much support, it is becoming self sufficient.

Billymac629

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Re: Meditating with goals VS. Meditating with intention.
« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2013, 09:33:27 PM »
Question to the community: Have you had any issues when you consider the "goal" of meditation?  Have you ever wondered why you do it?  Is there some point you want to reach in the future? Do you feel it is just steady growth for you?  Comments?  Opinions?

My goal in meditating is to end as much of my own suffering as i can and, inso doing, lessen the suffering i may cause others.  :)

maha metta
Nothing in this world is to be clung to as I, me, or mine...

ramat

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Re: Meditating with goals VS. Meditating with intention.
« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2013, 01:09:10 AM »
Goal and Intention:
According to me:
Goal is the end point or state you can reach. Goals in physical world can be described but not in meditation. This can only be defined by one already reached. May be your guide. or You can believe something as goal as you learned it from somewhere. But don't assume anything about it as you did not reach it or it is unknown right now in your experience. If you assume it may be wrong. Reality has to be revealed but not to be projected or created by mind.
Intention: means doing something with a purpose or objective. Meditation has definitely a purpose. That may be something you defined like..Meditation helps to become more peaceful..so i will do it.. or
someone you respect told that meditation helps so you do it.
Intention will make you practice or make you act.  Goal is something you reach which is unknown at the moment. Once goal is reached, you don't need any practice.
Right intention is needed to reach the goal or you may stop before reaching it.
So both are needed.

DK

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Re: Meditating with goals VS. Meditating with intention.
« Reply #8 on: October 17, 2013, 05:44:35 PM »
Goal and Intention:
According to me:
Goal is the end point or state you can reach. Goals in physical world can be described but not in meditation. This can only be defined by one already reached. May be your guide. or You can believe something as goal as you learned it from somewhere. But don't assume anything about it as you did not reach it or it is unknown right now in your experience. If you assume it may be wrong. Reality has to be revealed but not to be projected or created by mind.
Intention: means doing something with a purpose or objective. Meditation has definitely a purpose. That may be something you defined like..Meditation helps to become more peaceful..so i will do it.. or
someone you respect told that meditation helps so you do it.
Intention will make you practice or make you act.  Goal is something you reach which is unknown at the moment. Once goal is reached, you don't need any practice.
Right intention is needed to reach the goal or you may stop before reaching it.
So both are needed.

I really like that.  Don't assume just any goal because it may not even be possible.  Even if it's big and powerful and holy, that doesn't mean it's able to be achieved, and that same goal could be another way for your mind to trap itself.  This doesn't mean goals are only bad or only good, it means they are just as easy to attach to as all other mental phenomena.  You have to use your own experience to see what is possible and what is not.  That's what insight is all about; seeing things as they are.

I haven't thought about that before, thank you for your response!
In my experience, peace is not enjoyment or happiness, nor will peace keep you from getting hurt or depressed.  Peace is only the quality of not being disturbed.

ramat

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Re: Meditating with goals VS. Meditating with intention.
« Reply #9 on: October 18, 2013, 07:09:13 PM »
To reach Ultimate Reality cause of all our existence which is within everyone is the goal of all. Call it GOD or any name. But when you have a guide or guru who reached that state and can guide us will greatly help. Practicing on our own has limitations as we can be stuck.

 

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