This is a very powerful one. The underlying idea is that we are frequently buffeted about by things that happen to us every week, every day, every hour. These things will affect our thoughts, and our thoughts affect our mood. We can be plummeted into the hell realms by a bad morning, then bumped up by a successful morning at work, followed by maybe a neutral time after lunch, only to be unhappy when our commute home is difficult. Things are thrown at us: a surprise bout of gastritis, a sick child or pet, a mild car accident, the news. Sometimes it seems that we are playing defense all the time and that means we are concerned just with getting through it. We aren’t looking at what other people are going through and we aren’t actively trying to bring any kind of peace to the situation because we are just trying to keep our heads above water.
But instead, everything that we do should be infused with a single intention: to maintain a quality of mindfulness and gentleness that seeks to benefit all parties. This intention should permeate all of our activities, be it asana, meditation, drinking coffee, walking to the supermarket, riding the bus, doing our jobs, spending time with loved ones.
This week I will work at being mindful of the link between my mood and underlying intention. When I perceive that I am aimless, with no intention, or with a feeling of playing defense, I will attempt to move towards an intention of peacefulness and compassion for all sentient beings.