It is good to think of intention as having multiple levels. At one level, what we might call an outer process, there is the practical stuff which needs to be done to support the intention. For example, if we intend to get fit, we might research what type of fitness program may best fit. We might take into account our budget. At this practical level we are telling ourselves and the universe, that yes this is really going to happen. The intention becomes a bit firmer.
At another level, what we may call an inner process, the intention is more like a prayer. But it is not like a prayer of “Please God, Give me A Million Dollars”. It is prayer which in part entails knowing what we have to offer the world. For example, we might envisage investing money in helping others, where we would look at our skill set and see what we can bring to make that happen. Be careful not to fall into the trap of bargaining. As I said it has to be a knowing of what you can offer. We then make that an offering to the universe (or god/deity, label does not really matter, just make it consistent with your beliefs). That is one part of what is meant by an inner process operating on intention. A good way to think about the prayer component of intention, is to think of it as partly giving, partly receiving, knowing you have something to give, and knowing your worthy of receiving.
Another part of inner process has to do with clarity or purity of intention. It is here more often than not we get caught up. Our tendency is to think that we need to be consciously clear – if we only word it right then it will manifest. Or we might think that there are no unconscious blockages without really understanding that it’s a conscious understanding and what lurks in the unconscious may be very different to what we think.
How then can we tell if we have a clear intention or not? It will be in the resistance. Once we think we have a clear intention, we put it to the test. We surrender it and then we begin to observe.
What we are looking for is resistances. Let us use the example of getting fit again to illustrate. We might find that after a few days’ time, we have thoughts like this is too hard or I am too lazy, I cannot be bothered etc… That is an unconscious resistance coming to the fore.
It can work the other way too, often external barriers will occur. For example, the gym down the road closes down. The thing to focus on then is our reaction. We might feel like the universe is working against us and that again is resistance coming to the fore. In practice we must be as close as possible to wanting something, but being really ok if it does not transpire or work out. In the above example, there is too much ego investment. In case that is not clear, we might feel disappointment and resentment. The gym closing down is only a signal to bring those emotions to the surface for processing.
The way we can clear our intentions is by noting all the resistances as they come up. This is exactly the point of the conscious mind. The conscious mind is like a beacon. It might not be able to fix problems very well, but it sure as hell if brilliant at noting where the difficulty may be. Well that is once we get to know how our minds work.
In case you’re wondering, the above is actually a sound scientific principle backed up by some pretty hard core research. We know the conscious mind has only two functions, one is a story telling function. The other is this beacon type of phenomena.
Just to emphasize, if our intentions lead us astray, all is not lost. We can pay attention to our resistances and clear out unconscious blockages. Intention is not the end all and be all of manifestation, but it certainly is a huge part of it.