“Everything hangs on intention.”
-Nyshul Khen Rinpoche
How often are you aware of the way you are living? Have you ever had a moment when you felt clued into the fact that the way you have been living, possibly in a struggle or on autopilot, chasing one pleasure after the next or resisting any discomfort or displeasure, hasn’t been working very well? I certainly have had many such moments.
Perhaps in such a moment we can begin to see how our mind has more to do with our suffering than we had realized. Such a moment of insight can be guidepost on a path of wise effort, where we can work to live into our values and connect with our deeper sensibilities.
Wise effort is the sixth step on the Buddha’s Noble Eightfold Path and falls under the category of concentration. It develops from a place of wise understanding and knowing on a deeper level. It often aligns with our deepest beliefs and values.
The instructions for wise effort call for us to continually evaluate our thoughts and actions and choose those that lead to less suffering and away from those that lead to more suffering. This can be determined by checking if our actions are being fueled by wholesome or unwholesome intentions or if our thoughts are being distorted through negative patterns of thinking or harmful beliefs. It calls for us to become aware of our general mental states and adjust the lens through which we view the world in a manner that aligns with wise effort.
The moment we think we create a world around us. Through wise effort we can act to engage in the creation of a world that promotes positive mind states and compassionate actions. When we work to apply this wisdom to the lens of our experience and develop the intention to live according to this wise effort, we can begin to change our world one moment at a time.
Dr. Thomas Lindquist, Psy.D.
Visit us at lindquistpsych.com
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