Inner Peace – Six things to make it easier
not being afraid of change
kindness toward others
honesty with yourself
Yung Pueblo, Clarity and Connection
I offered this Inner Peace formula by writer and contemplative activist Yung Pueblo in the July news. One of our thoughtful students took “intentional actions” as a point of inquiry asking me and himself, what is intentional actions? You may simply want to consider the question without reading on. One of Yung Pueblo’s gifts is his economy of words. Here is my philosophical and hopefully practical response to the question:
In mindfulness training, and yoga as well- the idea of knowing how to work with the impulses of the mind/body moment to moment is the key to ending unnecessary suffering…
Intentional action implies working as skillfully as possible with the past/present momentum of doing, relating, managing, fixing, controlling, willing…
Intentional action asks us to consider deeply. What is really happening within me and around me? What is called for (if anything)?
Much of formal meditation practice teaches us to harness the mind/body energy and purify it (so to speak); so our presence and action can be use-full, help-full, care-full, beneficial, healing rather than reactive, aggressive, selfish, impulsive, harmful…
The Dali Lama has said “ My greatest protection (against fear and negative emotions towards the Chinese for instance) is my sincere intention.” This has always been an important quote for me personally. A reminder that if I can be clear and sincere, to the best of my current ability, I am protected.
This brings to mind another related quote, by Mother Teresa. She details many ways the world and people may judge and criticize your actions and motivations, making you doubt what you should do. Her advice is, “do it anyway.” The last line reminds the person of faith, “ You see in the final analysis, it is between you and God; It was never between you and them anyway.”
And from another perspective regarding intentional action, there is also Victor Frankl’s famous statement adopted by the mindfulness movement: “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”
Then again, it always comes back to daily life practice really. Consider what it means for yourself in the next few situations you are navigating; how do I be intentional here? It might be as simple as being present, being connected to what you are doing, nothing special yet fully experienced.
Or more challenging, what it means when you are upset in some discernable way, wanting “it” to be different than it is right now. How do I be intentional here? It might be as simple as not doing what you usually do. As the zen saying goes, “where there is awareness, there is wisdom.”
Natasha Korshak is a long-time teacher and trainer of yoga, meditation, mindfulness and MBSR, and has been working in the field of integrative health and wellness her entire professional career. She is a graduate of the Interfaith Theological Seminary and an ordained Interfaith Minister specializing in contemplative practice, grief processing, and spiritual direction. Her study and training of mind/body/spirit methods is extensive and she has learned from many of the pioneers in their discipline. As the founder and director of the Sol Center she is well regarded for her depth, warmth, authenticity, and the smile in her voice.