Wisdom Arises Through Understanding

Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Power of Intention

I had just finished a fasting of 7 days yesterday. When I first started the fasting a week ago, there was a clear intention that I am committed to the fast and will stop eating and drinking from 5.30am - 7.30pm. With this intention, dutifully I woke up at 4am plus to prepare and have my meals,went back to sleep and carried on my usual chores as best as I can. Strangely, through out the whole 1 week, there was very little hunger pangs but there was thirst pangs. With the hunger pangs, I asked the question, "Is the mind hungry ?" or "Is the body hungry?". Just with this differentiation, it was easier to observe the bodily sensation and not associate it with the mind. In fact, I realised that the mind seemed to be able to project more hunger than the body can :).

As for the thirst, the questions did not work so well but because of the intention set, the mind could keep seeing the protest and also the stories about being dehydrated etc. The interesting things is that the mind was quite willing to settle down.

In the 7 days, I observed an underlying feeling of fear which I guess is about fear of failing to complete the 7 days fast successfully and having to do it again. I notice because of the intention, the mind was again pretty stable to watch the feelings and thoughts that surround that gently.

Today is the first day of non fasting and because the intention of fasting is no longer there, I notice that hunger pangs was experienced several times during the day and also the mind seem to be a bit more busy looking for food to eat. Strangely though, I kept forgetting to drink water. What a strange turn of events.

What I know from this experience is that there is really a difference in the state of mind with clear intention and a mind that is without clear intention. So, I guess it proofed to me that how I experience an event or situation is based on what intention I've set in the beginning.  I came to an interim conclusion that for the times that I do not consciously set an intention, then default intention (which comes from past conditioning)will be leading the experience.


  1. It is true that when we are not mindful of intentions, the egoic system runs by default. Even if we are mindful and yet unwise, the pattern continue to persist on! Thus it is correct to state that the mind majors in ego than wisdom! Recognizing this is wisdom at work ;).

    Hence the the need to inquire - to observe what's going on in the mind, as much as we can.

  2. Thank you for sharing your experience and insights, I enjoyed reading this post.