Gamble Everything For Love

“Gamble everything for love,
if you’re a true human being.

If not, leave
this gathering

Half-heartedness doesn’t reach
into majesty. You set out
to find God, but then you keep
stopping for long periods
at mean-spirited roadhouses.”

~Rumi

At the beginning of class, when your yoga teacher suggests you set an intention, what do you think? Do you come up with a goal for the day? Do you wish he/she’d hurry up and start the asana practice? Do you think about why you are on the mat in the first place?

As we set out on the path of yoga, whether we are there for the physical exercise, the relaxation or the spiritual benefits, we are all on a journey of discovery – of how our bodies can move, how busy and still our minds can be, how our breath can change everything from our mood to our ability to balance. Our intention should be one that arises out of this awareness. Not something we create but something that is innate within us. Something alive with energy and potential.

How do we find this intention? We simply pay attention. We pay attention to how we feel as we move; we pay attention to physical sensations, to emotions, to thoughts and to words that rise up as we sweat and stretch. Presence allows us to discover our intention and, in turn, intention encourages deeper presence. A powerful, self-repeating circle. And yet…

How often do we forget our intentions? I, for example, spend a good bit of energy and soul-searching to pick “my word” (my intention) for the year. And here we are 7 months into this year and I’ve pretty much forgotten to pay attention to this intention for 6.99999 of these months. Oops.

So, yes, intention encourages presence but it doesn’t happen on its own without our energy & effort to remain present. To continue to practice and be aware of breath. We set out to find God, but then we keep stopping for long periods at mean-spirited roadhouses…

What mean-spirited roadhouses are distracting you from your intention?