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The Power of Intention

The Power of Intention


Several years ago, I had to move. I had been looking for new apartments for a while but I didn’t find anything that made me feel comfortable enough to move. I soon found myself with 5 days left to find a place, sign a lease, and move and I had no real prospects. Needles to say, I began to get a little nervous.

Maybe its because I’m a slow learner but it suddenly dawned on me that maybe I wasn’t finding what I wanted because I didn’t even know what I wanted. So, I took literally 30 seconds and wrote down about 12 things that I really wanted in a place. I didn’t compromise, I didn’t hedge what I wanted. I just laid it out: how much money, how much space, where, architecture type and era. Everything. Why not?

The very next day, I looked at one more apartment. It would be inaccurate to say that I found an apartment close to what I was looking for because as I went down the list this apartment checked every single box of what I was looking for; every one, down to the neighborhood, price, and even charm factor. Oh, and it had to be clean.

I was certainly pleased but not terribly surprised. Things like this have happened to me before. One dear friend says that if I really wanted a taco (perfectly Random), all I have to do is intend it and watch as my cosmic taco appears from the sky. Now I’m not so naive as to think that I get whatever I want from life, I have my share of disappointments, but I do see the effect of regularly setting intention manifest itself over and over in life.

 

Meditation for Manifesting

Image source: Pixabay

Meditation is simply a concentrated form of setting intention and attracting what you want. It’s better to concentrate on what you want rather than worry about what you don’t want. Energy follows thought. So sitting down, closing your eyes and getting very clear with what you want is a great way to set that intention into being. It’s almost like the Universe is waiting on the other end of the cosmic drive through ready to take your order as soon as you make up your damn mind. Go ahead and place your order.

What We Feel We Deserve

In yoga we call this Sankalpa. It is the practice of setting an intention like planting a seed or finding a star by which to navigate your ship through this existence. This Sankalpa is one of the ways by which, I believe, we have commerce and conversation with the world that is bigger than ourselves. Often, we don’t feel we deserve to have what we want but in a Universe that is radiant, abundant, and complex, you don’t deserve NOT to thrive in every way.

Try it out. Plant your seed of intention. Choose your star. Then devote your yoga practice and your practice of everyday living to this intention and keep your faculties of attention acute.

And watch out for falling tacos!

Photo by Alex Adams

Scott Moore is a senior teacher of yoga and mindfulness in the US. He’s taught classes, trainings and workshops in New York, San Francisco, Salt Lake City, and L.A. as well as in Europe and Asia. Scott is the author of Practical Yoga Nidra: The 10-Step Method to Reduce Stress, Improve Sleep, and Restore Your Spirit. When he’s not teaching or conducting retreats, he loves to write for print and online publications such as Yogi Times, Conscious Life News, Elephant Journal, Mantra Magazine, Medium, and his own blog at scottmooreyoga.com. Scott also loves to run, play the saxophone, and travel with his wife and son. Check out his yoga retreats and trainings in places like Tuscany, France, and Hong Kong , his online Yoga Nidra Course and his Yoga Teacher Mentor Program. Scott is currently living in Salt Lake City, Utah after living in Southern France with his family.




The Seeds of Intention

Planting the Seed of Intention

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

I believe intentions are powerful. Salkalpa is the Sanskrit word for our intention and is likened to planting a seed. Setting intentions has everything to do with what we feel we are worthy of in this world, and then having the courage to ask for what we want. Yoga is one way of holding a conversation with that something that is larger than us. Yoga is a practice of becoming mindful, and conditioning body, mind, and spirit to do something about our intentions. It is preparing the soil for our intentions to grow.

We prepare the soil of our intentions by making the time (even just a few minutes daily) to clear the chatter in our minds. Clear your mind, and then tune in and plant the seed of what you want. The seed you plant, your Sankalpa, could be for greater health, mental or spiritual clarity, an improved relationship, a better work situation, financial abundance, world peace, a lifetime supply of chocolate, or anything else. As we start our yoga or meditation practice, we give ourselves a moment to reflect on why we are practicing, even if what we need or want seems like it has nothing to do with yoga postures. Then, as we practice, each step, each breath, each yoga posture, is a move forward, in that direction, a dedication to our Sankalpa.

Our internal conversation could go something like, “I may not know what to do to help make the world more peaceful, but that is my intention and at this moment silencing my distractions and practicing Warrior II is the step I’m taking toward that end.” Remember that yoga is a gift to help us understand a bigger picture of who we are. With that greater experience and knowledge, with that health and clarity, we have the tools to accomplish what we set out for. At other times, our attention and effort of yoga are a type of preparation, so that we eventually can see more clearly and act more purposefully. Some might even see yoga practice best as a prayer in body and breath. In any case, it is starting the conversation with the universe regarding what we’d like to see grow in our lives.

 

Thought Precedes Form

Geometry of the Soul series two. Interplay of human profile and abstract elements on the subject of spirituality, science, creativity and human mind

Whether consciously or not, or with clear wise purpose or not, we are intending things all the time. Where are you putting your mental, emotional, and physical energy? Like one of my teachers, Judith Lasater says, “What is worrying, but praying for what you don’t want.”

So, what do you want? Put it out there. Then work and watch and see how God or the Universe (or whatever you feel is that bigger “something”) responds. Be ready to learn from that response. Open your mind to possibility, but do not deceive yourself. We are not dictators in this large universe; we are not in complete control (thank goodness!), but we can confidently join our voices in the song, confidently twirl our bodies in the dance–creating with Life, in a partnership. In this cosmic game of chess, Sankalpa is making a move and watching to see what comes next. This is yoga, aligning ourselves with what’s bigger.

Be thinking about what you need or want in your life. Come to class with this intention and place it on the proverbial altar. We’ll plant the seed and watch how it grows.

The following is a very old mantra (taken from a hymn in the Rigveda) that you may want to learn as you are working with your Sankalpa.

 

Mantra

Gayatri Mantra

oṃ bhur bhuvaḥ svaḥa
tat savitur vareṇyaṃ
bhargo devasya dhimahi
dhiyo yo naḥ pracodayat

Everything on the earth and in the sky and in between
Is arising from one effulgent source.
If my thoughts, words, and deeds
Reflected a complete understanding of this unity,
I would be the peace I am seeking in this moment

Translation from Doha Farhi’s book, Bringing Yoga To Life

Scott Moore is a senior teacher of yoga and mindfulness in the US. He’s taught classes, trainings and workshops in New York, San Francisco, Salt Lake City, and L.A. as well as in Europe and Asia. Scott is the author of Practical Yoga Nidra: The 10-Step Method to Reduce Stress, Improve Sleep, and Restore Your Spirit. When he’s not teaching or conducting retreats, he loves to write for print and online publications such as Yogi Times, Conscious Life News, Elephant Journal, Mantra Magazine, Medium, and his own blog at scottmooreyoga.com. Scott also loves to run, play the saxophone, and travel with his wife and son. Check out his yoga retreats and trainings in places like Tuscany, France, and Hong Kong , his online Yoga Nidra Course and his Yoga Teacher Mentor Program. Scott is currently living in Salt Lake City after living in Southern France with his family.




The Power of Intentions

Power of Intentions

Intentions are powerful. Salkalpa is the Sanskrit word for our intention and could be compared to planting a seed. Just like a seed, we must be aware of what we are planting and nourish that seed to see that intention manifest in our world. 

Setting intentions has everything to do with what we feel we are worthy of in this world, and then having the courage to ask for what we want. Yoga is one way of holding a conversation with that something that is larger than us. Setting your Sankalpa is a way of asking to be known by the Universe. Through that seed of desire, you’ll come to understand yourself perhaps better than by any other way. Yoga is a practice of becoming mindful, and conditioning body, mind, and spirit to do something about our intentions. It is preparing the soil for our intentions to grow.

Preparing the Soil

We prepare the soil of our intentions by making the time (even just a few minutes daily) to clear the chatter in our minds. Clear your mind, and then tune in and plant the seed of what you want. The seed you plant, your Sankalpa, could be for greater health, mental or spiritual clarity, an improved relationship, a better work situation, financial abundance, world peace, a lifetime supply of chocolate, or anything else.

As we start our yoga or meditation practice, we give ourselves a moment to reflect on why we are practicing, even if what we need or want seems like it has nothing to do with yoga postures. Then, as we practice, each step, each breath, each yoga posture, is a move forward, in that direction, a dedication to our Sankalpa.

Our internal conversation could go something like, “I may not know what to do to help make the world more peaceful, but that is my intention and at this moment silencing my distractions and practicing Warrior II is the step I’m taking toward that end.” Remember that yoga is a gift to help us understand a bigger picture of who we are. With that greater experience and knowledge, with that health and clarity, we have the tools to accomplish what we set out for. At other times, our attention and effort of yoga are a type of preparation, so that we eventually can see more clearly and act more purposefully.

Some might even see yoga practice best as a prayer in body and breath. In any case, it is starting the conversation with the universe regarding what we’d like to see grow in our lives.

Beware of Unconscious Intentions

Whether consciously or not, or with clear wise purpose or not, we are intending things all the time. Where are you putting your mental, emotional, and physical energy? Like one of my teachers, Judith Lasater says, “What is worrying, but praying for what you don’t want.”

So, what do you want? Put it out there. Then work and watch and see how God or the Universe or the Divine part of yourself responds. Be open to possibility and ready to learn from that response. Through our Sankalpa we aligning ourselves with what’s bigger. Through Sankalpa, you’ll discover how the divine is manifesting as you.

As you consider what you need or want in your life, go to your yoga mat or meditation cushion with this intention and place it on the altar of your heart. Plant the seed through your practice and watch how it grows.

The following is a very old mantra (taken from a hymn in the Rigveda) that you may want to learn as you are working with your Sankalpa.

Gayatri Mantra

(translation by Dona Fari in her book Bringing Yoga to Life)


Everything on the earth and in the sky and in between
Is arising from one effulgent source.
If my thoughts, words, and deeds
Reflected a complete understanding of this unity,
I would be the peace I am seeking in this moment

o bhur bhuva svaa
tat savitur vare
ya
bhargo devasya dhimahi
dhiyo yo na
pracodayat

 

Photo by Alex Adams

Scott Moore is a senior teacher of yoga and mindfulness in the US (New York, Salt Lake City, LA) and abroad and currently lives in Southern France. When he’s not teaching or conducting retreats, he writes for Conscious Life News, Elephant Journal, Mantra Magazine, Medium, and his own blog at scottmooreyoga.com. Scott also loves to run, play the saxophone, and travel with his wife and son. Check out his yoga retreats to places like Tuscany and France , his online Yoga Nidra Course and his Yoga Teacher Mentor Program