using the arrow buttons.
by clicking on the page.
the page around when zoomed in by dragging it.
the zoom using the slider when zoomed-in.
by clicking on the zoomed-in page.
by entering text in the search field, and select "This Issue" or "All Issues"
by clicking on thumbnails to select pages, and then press the print button.
displays sections with thumbnails and descriptions.
displays a slider of thumbnails. Click on a page to jump.
allows you to browse the full archive.
about your subscription?
Lions Roar : July 2015
I N THE TIBETAN TRADITION, we recognize compassion as both the highest spiritual ideal and the highest expression of our humanity. Even the Tibetan word for compassion, nyingje, which literally means the “king of heart,” captures the priority we accord compassion. In Compassion Cultivation Training, an eight-week program which I developed, we begin every session with a practice called setting your intention. This is a contemplative exercise adapted from traditional Tibetan meditation, a kind of checking-in where we connect with our deeper aspirations so that they may inform our intentions and motivations. In everyday English, we often use the two words, intention and motivation, interchangeably as if they mean the same thing, but there’s an important difference: deliberateness. Our motivation to do something is the reason or reasons behind that behavior, the source of our desire and the drive to do it. We may be more or less aware of our motivations. Intention, on the other hand, is always deliberate, an articulation of a conscious goal. We set and reaffirm our best intentions to keep us inclining in the directions we truly mean to go. But, we need motivations to keep us going over the long haul. If our intention is to run a marathon, there will be times when we’ll ask ourselves, quite reasonably, “Why am I doing this?” We need good, inspired answers to get us over such humps. Conscious or unconscious, motivation is the “why,” and the spark, behind intention. You could do this intention-setting exercise at home, first thing in the morning if that is convenient. You could also do it on a bus or a subway on your commute. If you work in an office, you could do it sitting at your desk before you get into the day. You only need two to five uninterrupted minutes. Our intention sets the “tone” of whatever we are about to do. Like music, inten- tion can influence our mood, thoughts, and feelings—setting an intention in the morning we set the tone for the day. Practice: Setting an Intention First, find a comfortable sitting posture. If you can, sit on a cushion on the floor or on a chair with the soles of your feet touching the ground, which gives you a feeling of being grounded. If you prefer, you could also lie down on your back, ideally on a surface that is not too soft. Once you have found your posture, relax your body as much as you can, if necessary with some stretches, especially your shoulders and your back. Then, with your eyes closed if it helps you to focus, take three to five deep, diaphragmatic or abdominal breaths, each time drawing the inhalation down into the belly and filling up the torso with the in-breath from the bottom to the top, like filling a jar with water. Then with a long, slow exhalation, expel all the air from the torso, all the way. If it helps, you can exhale from your mouth. Once you feel settled, contemplate the following questions: “What is it that I value deeply? What, in the depth of my heart, do I wish for myself, for my loved ones, and for the world?” Stay on these questions a little and see if any answers come up. If no specific answers surface, don’t worry; simply stay with the open questions. This may take some getting used to, since in the West, when we ask questions we usually expect to answer them. Trust that the questions themselves are working even—or especially—when we don’t have ready answers. If and when answers do come up, acknowledge them as they arise and stay THUPTEN JINPA, PhD, is a Buddhist scholar, author, and translator for the Dalai Lama. This is adapted from his new book, A Fearless Heart: How the Courage to Be Compassionate Can Transform Our Lives, with permission from Hudson Street Press. Set Your Intention & Rejoice in Your Day THUPTEN JINPA teaches us two great practices to start and end every day. SHAMBHALA SUN JULY 2015 44