Soul Matters at Tree of Life: Being a Community of Intention

In worship and chalice circles we are exploring the value of holding “intention” – for our community and for us as individuals.   Through the Soul Matters curriculum, we are invited to consider how “intentions” are different from “goals”.  We are offered ideas for considering how intention is a form of alignment.

In Phillip Moffitt’s The Heart’s Intention, we find these words of reflection:

Goal making is a valuable skill; it involves envisioning a future outcome in the world or in your behavior, then planning, applying discipline, and working hard to achieve it.  You organize your time and energy based on your goals; they help provide direction for your life.

Setting intention is not oriented toward a future outcome. Instead, it is a path or practice that is focused on how you are “being” in the present moment.  Your attention is on the ever-present “now” in the constantly changing flow of life.  You set your intentions based on understanding what matters most to you and make a commitment to align your worldly actions with your inner values.

Goals help you make your place in the world and be an effective person. But being grounded in intention is what provides integrity and unity in your life. Through the skillful cultivation of intention, you learn to make wise goals and then to work hard toward achieving them without getting caught in attachment to outcome.  Continually returning to your intentions can be helpful in working on goals.  And this remembering of intention can be a blessing, because it provides a sense of meaning in your life that is independent of whether you achieve certain goals or not.

This month our Soul Matters packets offer materials for us to  come together as a community in exploring the meaning of “intention” – as we think about ways to experience it our lives and as we work to incorporate it in our community.   The Soul Matters resource packet can be accessed here.   If you need a printed copy, please feel free to take a copy from those available in the fellowship room or ask for a copy, if they have all been taken.   You might also like to consider joining a chalice circle to share your insights and hear what others are saying.

Wishing you joy in community,

M.E. Tanabe

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