watering the seeds of intention

"The feelings are not as important as that what you're doing is watering those seeds of intention. Often many of us focus on how we're feeling as being what's important, 'I've got the feeling, you know, Great!' The feeling is really secondary. So, you can let go of any concern about 'am I feeling nice or not.' And just keep matter-of-factly watering the seeds of that intention."

The above quote is from a Dhamma talk by Gil Fronsdal of the Insight Meditation Center in Redwood City, CA. The subject of the talk was about Metta (loving-kindness) and Metta meditation. I kind of edited out some of the words. It was an audio talk that I was listening to, so the sentences weren't always sentences. I did not change much about it, though.

I really like the use of this metaphor, "watering the seeds of intention." Fronsdal was answering a question about the Metta meditation. I think that the question asked was that sometimes, the questioner was feeling good things while reciting the Metta meditation in his mind, and other times it wasn't happening that way. What he is suggesting here is that it is more important to make sure that the intention is right.

I would like to expand this metaphor a little bit.

The important part is to water the seeds of intention. It is like a garden in that way. There is a lot of work that has to go on in order for the fruit to be born well. You have to work the soil, you have to plant the seeds, you have to water the seeds, you have to take care of the seedlings, etc. In the same way, we need to work a lot with intention before the experience of the fruits of out labour can be known. In other words, you cannot plant the taste of an apple to get an apple tree. One must plant the seeds and do a lot of work before the fruit can even begin to be thought about being tasted.

love always,

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