Free Your Pen

Buddhist Writing Prompt: Remember Your Intention

Remember Your Intention follows from the previous slogan and asks you to remember to be present and to let go of your ego.

The original lojong slogan is: Correct all wrongs with one intention – the ‘wrongs’ being when you fail to live up to your intention to wake up or when you feel stuck in your meditation practice.

Being present is difficult and it’s easy to get sidetracked. No matter how good your intentions, there will be times when you just can’t manage to stay present. Life doesn’t always go to plan and there are many ways you can fall off the path and sink back into self-absorption and distraction.

This slogan says that no matter what the problem, you can fix it with one simple intention – the intention to wake up and be present. So even when you’re struggling and you feel like you’ve lost your way, you haven’t. The difficulties are part of the path and everything can be used to wake you up.

Mind training means having the discipline to work with whatever comes up in every moment. Every moment is a fresh opportunity to remember who you are and to live for the benefit of others.

Time to wake up.

Apply this slogan to your writing practice by remembering your intention to write every day. No matter what’s going on in your life, if you want to commit to your writing, you must make space for it.

There are times when remembering to write is the last thing on your mind. Life is full of so many other problems and distractions, that your desire to write can end up slipping to the bottom of a very long list of other things you need to do. Unless you prioritise your writing and move it to the top of the list, you may never get round to it.

Eventually you might even convince yourself that you’re not really a writer. Or when you do manage to sit down to write something, nothing happens. You stare at the blank page and feel stupid, inadequate, ridiculous.

When you feel stuck and don’t know what to write, this slogan encourages you to use whatever is present in your life, right at this moment, to get you writing again.

Don’t use not knowing what to write as an excuse to not write. Investigate why you’re avoiding your writing – and write about it. You either want to write or you don’t. There really is no excuse!

Your writing prompt this weekend: Prioritise your writing. Take a realistic look at your daily schedule and find a way to move writing closer to the top of your to do list.

More in the book: Free Your Pen: Mind Training for Writers

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