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To Values, Intentions, and Destiny
Often we declare a desire to change with great gusto and conviction, but may find that within a few days or weeks that enthusiasm (root: God within) to change has almost completely dissipated. Why is this so? How can we make change permanent?
The core of the issue is that, although our intentions are good, the way in which we direct them is subject to both individual and collective conditioning; hence, even the purest ideas become corrupted and lead us pretty much back to where we started. An intention is the anticipated outcome envisioned in the mind. Our values help us select and then guide our intentions. The dilemma is that our values and the way we use them are the domain of ego, and because of this, lasting transformation is difficult, if not impossible.
The most humble of wishes would be to end all unnecessary suffering, also known as freedom. We will look at how this potential exists within your free will and how, when you are clear about your values, you can create a direct link between your intentions and your destiny. In this way your intentions become manifest in your future.
To stabilize the conditions for your wonderful resolutions to “stick” you must reclaim consciousness that will otherwise be consumed in a continuous struggle with ego-based outcomes. Liberation from the effects of hand-me-down values, upon which you base your decision-making, is the outcome when those values are rearranged into one conscious group, where the primary value supports and guides your intention to be free from suffering.
The primary value that you select for this single hierarchy always represents that your interest in awakening is marginally greater than all others. Making decisions based on such a conscious primary principle will produce an enlightened effect. This new arrangement also supports all other necessary aspects of living, since subsequent values can include money, security, family, love, creativity, and learning.
An awakened person’s life is centered on a clear, single hierarchy of values, and when asked, she could instantly identify her primary value. She may, however, have some difficulty determining what her second and third values are, as these will vary from choice to choice. Her primary value, however, will be consistent with freedom from conditioning, and significant choices made in her day-to-day life will give consistent and tangible proof of this arrangement.
example: To sustain the conditions for transformation, consider placing
a primary value such as completion, freedom, or fulfillment over and above
all other values on a single hierarchy that is to represent your life
from that moment forward. Making a major life decision according to a
primary value of completion delivers an outcome of completion regardless
of the circumstances surrounding that choice. Freedom is not dependent
on the circumstances, options or outcomes, but on how consistently your
pure intentions are directed by a related value that supports such an
Because most of us are not aware of the multiple groups of values, we experience great anguish and confusion in times of making important choices. “Not knowing what to do” is a clear manifestation that the ego is entrenched in values. An awakened person can make major life decisions in a matter of seconds with no worries, regrets or fears that options may need to be “revised”.
Stressing over choices is a reflection of conditioning as it drains consciousness with compelling and conflicting narcissistic alternatives. The ego controls your decision-making process by selecting the most important values from these multiple and conflicting groups and then it lets you “duke” it out! In this way the ego can easily orchestrate your actions—and your fate—as you “weigh up the options,” “consider all the scenarios,” or look to the past for patterns. Whatever the original intention was, it is now lost, the outcome is conditioned, and lasting changes never seem to “stick.”
The ego also uses the battle for attention between all these values to drain your consciousness—in the present moment with deliberation—and in the future because of the conditioned outcomes you have to “overcome”. The continued existence of these multiple groups of values precludes you from being able to discover and express your full potential by setting and following through on noble resolutions.
As you awaken, it will become apparent how the first big decision you ever made—independently of your parents—was based on the existence of multiple groups of values, the result of conditioned intention and a product of the ego. You may also realize that you have been doing this pretty much ever since.
Margaret was the quintessential grandmother. She was sweet, kind, and caring. Margaret was also quite independent and lively. Now in her early seventies, she loved to go to spiritual retreats as she awakened in her wisdom years. She always paid attention, asked great questions, and expressed a genuine interest in awakening to her full potential. In the morning session of the last day of such a retreat. Margaret stated categorically that her number one value was family, and from her grandmotherly stories, her classmates had no reason to doubt her. The teacher then asked her, “Is family your number one value, or are you the number one value of your family?” As Margaret fell silent, she looked perplexed and anxious, and for the very first time in the retreat she did not respond. At the beginning of the afternoon session, Margaret was not in her usual place. When the teacher enquired as to her whereabouts he was told, “She had to leave on a personal matter.”
to Values, Intentions, and Destiny” was adapted from the soon-to-be-published
book Power and Grace - An Adventure in Awakened Living by Irish author
Mick Quinn. A native of Ireland, Mick has lectured to thousands nationwide
and has received press attention from The New York Times and The Wall
Street Journal. He studied Buddhism, Christianity and the evolution of
consciousness since 1991. Please visit www.mickquinn.com for his teaching
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