Sunday, March 26, 2006

Intention and Action

I'm worn out, so this may not make much sense, but it's fresh in my (tired) mind so here goes. The first two links are informational; the rest are silly pics to illustrate my points and break the monotony.

I've been learning more about Buddhism lately. Reading people like Pema Chodron and also talking with my wonderful Hakomi therapist, who is also a Buddhist . There's a lot in Buddhism about intention. What's important is your intention. If you have benign and loving intentions, you are walking a path of truth, and that's a Good Thing. If someone interprets your action as malignant or hateful, when in fact your intentions were nothing of the kind, well, basically, that's their problem. You might have stuck your foot out simply to tie your shoe, and they happened to trip on it. They might think you were out to hurt them. But you weren't, so your spiritual slate is clean. Something like that. As I said, I'm learning.

I also continue to learn more about soccer. I started playing at age 40, after watching the kids play for several years and finally deciding it looked like fun. Now I play on a women's team in Fall, Spring and Summer, and a co-ed team in the Summer too. I also got the first level of Referee Certification (Grade 9) and have been "running line" as I mentioned in another post.

I had a game today (a 2:1 win - go Sting!) and AR'd (assistant refereed) two games yesterday, which is why I'm about ready to hit the sack now.

In soccer, the referees judge the play on what they see. What's important is the action. If someone kicks another player instead of the ball, the ref will call a foul. It doesn't matter if the kicker was aiming for the ball or if their intention was to kick the ball. They missed. They kicked another person instead, and that's a foul. Often you'll hear them argue with the ref. "I was trying for the ball!" Tough tooties. We don't care. [My ref husband will argue this and there is, in fact, some interpretation allowed, but I'm making it simple for the sake of discussion.}

I don't have anything profound to say about all this. It just struck me as an interesting juxtaposition. What matters, intention or action? If I bake someone a cake with hatred in my heart, will it make them sick? What happens when Buddhists play soccer?

Maybe someone with more clarity and energy can continue this discussion in a comment.

In this moment, my intention is to take this action!


Heather said...

Maybe I need to get my sister some Buddhist literature. Her biggest argument lately has been, "Perception is reality". So, although you didn't intend for me to take it that way, that is how I perceived it and therefore that is my reality.

I'm stuck somewhere in the middle where I see both sides of the argument.

Peg Spencer said...

Heather. I agree with your sister. Her perception is her reality. You can't do anything about her reality. The only person you can change is yourself, and you are not responsible for someone else's "reality". Her reality reflects her stuff, her issues, her problems. You can't help it if she interprets something in a way you didn't mean it. All you can do is try to clarify it for her, and the rest is up to her.

That's MY reality.



Woka said...

When Buddhists play football, they don't care who wins 'cos it's the journey that counts. Winning is an impermanent state.

Some ya win and some ya lose!

pegadoc said...

Woka - I laughed at the image of buddhist monks playing soccer - excuse me - "football" until I realized what a perfect meditative activity it is. When you're truly "in the game" you can't be distracted by wayward thoughts.

So --wish me luck in this weekend's "meditation!"

(Thanks for visiting!)

Daniel Bair said...

Hey Peggy,

I'm working for this temp agency doing a really boring secretary job, which is great because I get to read all day!

I like your "Intention and action" thing. I think intention only matters if it is followed by action. Read the book of James, it rocks.

"If any knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, he sins."

Ephesians is also good, I think chapter 2.


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