Attention is like a bow. Intention is the arrow, and anticipation is the skill of targeting. There is a discipline that works with this archery metaphor. I find it a simple guideline to help me reality check my internal behaviour against my experienced outcomes.
In Zen archery, they teach both the skill of archery and a center other than hitting the target. In Zen archery, you focus on archery as a process, and as you practice, it reflects your state of mind. They continue to practice not because they want to get better at hitting the target, but because they want to continue to see their own mind in outward experience. We can use any activity in the same way, but we have to check our egos at the door. You can’t be hung up on what you supposedly should be able to accomplish, or some idea of who you are based on what you can supposedly do.
You always win just by playing the game? Basically, yes. So finding people who will tell you your thinking is wrong, well… That’s easy and their opinions are cheap. They will often give you all kinds of interesting theories about how you might anticipate things better.
Anticipation and understanding are the same thing. This is why reality models are so popular, but in the end it comes down to experience. Now I am not saying the wisdom traditions are wrong, or every school of mysticism of spirituality or magick is foolish, but how many of you have tried to implement some of that advice only to have it not only not work, but actually make things worse?
I love it when people say, “If I were you I would do …”, and you say, “Well, if you were me then you’d do it my way.” It’s true. If they were you, they would have to be you entirely with the same feelings and experiences. But just as we can teach other skills that are later on adapted by the person to serve their personal interests, there are spiritual skills that do work in just the same practical manner.
The wisdom traditions are best used as guides for our experience? Exactly. In my classes, I have offered a great many such models, and if they click in your experience and arm you to deal with things then that is great. If not, then it’s not because they are wrong, but they don’t speak specifically to you.
There is no static reality that can be matched by any model of human thinking, but we can engage the anticipation activity consciously, deliberately, and improve our relationship to it. Though your focus won’t be on anything material, in time your material experiences will improve anyway.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.