Archive for the Right Intention Category
“God can move mountains, but please bring a shovel.”
“If you want happiness for an hour, take a nap.
If you want happiness for a day, go fishing.
If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune.
If you want happiness for a lifetime, help someone else.”
“Action may not always bring happiness; but there is no happiness without action.”
I have found in my recovery that I must continue to take personal inventory ON PAPER. Simply trying to do it in my head does not work, and I fall behind. Furthermore, when I am doing a written inventory, I must also take the action to make amends where they are due.
“A gift consists not in what is done or given, but in the intention of the giver or doer.”
-Lucius Annaeus Seneca
“However glorious an action in itself, it ought not to pass for great if it be not the effect of wisdom and intention.”
I am currently in the San Francisco Bay Area. Living in Santa Monica, I believe I am blessed with one of the strongest recovering communities in the world. West Los Angeles is full of people of all ages and nationalities, from parents to their children, from homeless heroin addicts to soccer moms. It is a beautiful thing, yet traveling to Northern California has changed my perspective.
When I took the fourth and fifth step with my sponsor, I felt relieved almost immediately. Compiling a list of my character defects, I felt completely willing to have them removed by my Higher Power. I prayed that they be removed, as to increase my effectiveness to others. After a year went by, I realized in meditation that I must work harder to truly be willing to let them go.
No power can remove my shortcomings if I am still acting upon them. Pride, ego, attachment, entitlement, jealousy, etc. were all present in my life. As my discontent with my defects grew, I became more and more willing to let them go. Today, I work these steps by filling a box with small pieces of paper that each contain a defect on it. In the morning, I grab one piece of paper and focus on that defect throughout the day. In addition, I use my tenth step to take inventory and see what defects are causing my discontent.
My Buddhist practices help me with my sixth and seventh step as well. I first practice Right Mindfulness, so that I can better be aware of where my defects are coming into play. I then practice Right Effort and Right Intention, really putting forth the effort needed to look at myself and try to correct my shortcomings. When I pray for their removal, I make sure to remember the intention of asking this is to increase my usefulness to others. It is my personal belief that my Higher Power did not get me sober so I could sit in a mansion on a hill with all the goodies I want. I was given this blessing so that I can turn around and help other people. It is a true opportunity for happiness, the most pure one I have received. When I remember that this is my primary purpose and the most rewarding thing I can do, I am able to better myself with the true Right Intention of helping others.