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Lions Roar : January 2017
events of the day (including significant conversations, moods, and other mental activity) and touch back on the spirit of the morning intention setting. See how much alignment there is between the two. It’s important not to get caught up in the details of what you did and did not do. The idea is not to keep exhaustive scores, but to broadly survey to see the synergy between your intentions and your life that day. Whatever thoughts and feelings this reviewing might bring, just stay with it. There’s no need to push them away if they have a negative quality, or grasp at them if they seem positive. Simply stay with it for a while in silence. Finally, think of something from the day that you feel good about—a helping hand you gave your neighbor, an empathetic ear you lent a colleague in distress, not losing your cool in the drugstore when someone cut the line. Then take joy in the thought of this deed. If nothing else, take joy in the fact that you began your day by setting a conscious intention. Keep this exercise short; three to five minutes is a good length. If you normally do some reading before bed, you could set aside three to five minutes at the end for dedication time. If your habit is to watch TV, could you watch three to five minutes less? Or go somewhere quiet during commercials? Taking joy in the day, even in the simple fact of the effort we have made, is important. It gives us something positive to carry into the next day, and helps us harness motivation in the service of our intentions. Joy plays a crucial role in our motivation, especially in sustaining motivation over a prolonged period of time. ♦ THUPTEN JINPA LANGRI, PhD is a Buddhist scholar, author, and translator for the Dalai Lama. He is the author of A Fearless Heart: How the Courage to Be Compassionate Can Transform Our Lives, from which this teaching is adapted. TARA,INDIA:THENORTONSIMONFOUNDATION In setting your intentions for the day, you can bring the female buddha Tara to mind and aspire to follow her example of unbiased love and kindness. LION’S ROAR | JANUARY 2017 57