03 Jun What Is Pure Intent – Part 2: Clarifying Your Intention & Impediments
What Is Pure Intent – Part 2: Clarifying Your Intention & Impediments
In Part 1 of “What Is Pure Intent, And How Important Is It To Awakening?” we clarified that, except for a Spontaneous Awakening, you may have to really want nothing more than the full Truth of Ultimate Reality, and do some on-purpose practice of rejecting all that is not True (“I’m not this, not that,”) and surrendering all – even your dearest-held beliefs, goals and experiences – to the One.
The “test” in that 1st post, that simply asked, if you got to feeling really good & high all the time, would you still pursue the Ultimate Truth, even with all it’s potential challenges & sacrifices, including the possibility of having to relinquish your ego’s personal “identity” and high feelings? If you answered an emphatic “Yes!” – you still want the full Truth, even it means surrendering your whole life (it does!) you’ve taken your First Step, as Jed McKenna calls it in his entertaining story, “Spiritual Enlightenment: The Damnedest Thing.”
So with that Pure Intent, you now begin resolutely pursuing Truth, putting all your focus on uncovering it, meditating on it, doing ongoing inquiry over it, letting go of all your concerns about “feeling good” – even the ultimate bliss you think will come with Awakening.)
Some will never waver or turn back from that point on. They see their old world as truly a dream, and the pursuance of Ultimate Truth all that matters, with no distractions till they reach full Awakening. For those aspirants, the path is clear and they may eventually reach their goal.
Others may start with that level of intense determination and Pure Intent, and make good “progress” for awhile, but then notice that, over time, they start to lose some of their drive, slip back into some of their old habits, and even become re-identified and “re-comfortable” with thinking they are that voice in their head. Perhaps they even get a bit lazy about keeping a regular schedule of meditation and inquiry on Truth, and just start to enjoy ordinary life again. This is particularly seductive if your ordinary life, before Truth-pursuing, was really comfortable – ample money, nice car, house and climate or location, good family & friends to spend time with, and a general “Life is good” experience.
A lot of Truth-Seekers experience this natural attrition and reach this point. So it can be useful to make a list of impediments to continuing that may be cropping up for you. Ask yourself the question, “What impediments are there to my ability to meditate deeper, become/stay more unidentified with my mind, and see a more steady progress towards Awakening?” and answer with total honesty:
– Relinquishing Your Regular Meditation, Centering or Stilling Practices : Even though you cannot “meditate yourself into Awakening,” there is available a strengthening of “other Awarenesses,” – something other than your usual mind-identified self-referrenting, ruminating & planning – where you are more ongoingly aware of pure Presence, of Silence & calm, of the dream-trance non-real nature of ordinary life, of the impermanence & foolishness of spending your days just flexing your mind & your desires, that comes with continuing some daily centering or meditation practice. For most, it’s harder to maintain that awareness of, and groundedness in, your non-mind state & Reality, when you don’t spend at least some minutes or hours every day going deeper than your worldly thoughts, plans and cares.
– Laziness & Habit: It may be easy for you to seem lazy about pursuing the Truth, because of the long-standing habit to wake up and go through your day, one plan or activity after another, just trying to satisfy your mind and it’s whims. Out of long-standing identification with your mind, you hear it say, “I’ll just think, ruminate, ramble, plan my days, write on my computer, work a little, think some more while walking or driving, eat something, go for some sense pleasure, worry about my health concerns, hang out with friends, think & write about Awakening as a poor substitute for actually moving experientially towards it, plan/take vacations where I can mentalize some more, and sleep.” And because you think that voice is you, you naturally just fill your time & days with those activities. After all, life’s good enough, just enjoying full days with those activities and sleeping, is enough…isn’t it?
– Life’s Good Enough: You think, “I have a pretty enjoyable life – enough money & work, great spouse, nice car & TV, beautiful location in a sunny climate, plenty to eat, good vacations, good friends, etc. Life is good!” Of course, your mind is great at forgetting all the miserable parts of your life – past (and future?) years where finances were oppressively tight, constant tension, struggling & competition, past health problems, all the increasing health/body issues to come as you grow old, and, oh yeah, Death, which is definitely on the horizon.
If you feel comfortable enough living out your days as described above, identified with your mind and appeasing it, and even thinking quietly slipping into the death state won’t be so bad, maybe even desirable, when the time comes, there’s little to motivate the concerted focus needed to uncover other non-mind awareness and shift your attention to committedly pursuing Awakening.
Are your days good enough? Is mind-identification good enough? Could you actually live out your days this way, certain that you are your mental “voice” and just trying to keep that mind satisfied? Do you actually want to go beyond my mind-identification, and if so, do you have what it takes, focus & discipline-wise?
These are the critical questions you must answer with unflinching honesty, remembering that there’s nothing wrong with choosing the illusory, mind-based life if that’s seems to satisfy you (certainly, your mind would be fine with that choice,) or if you currently just don’t have the stuff to radically shift your life & focus.