|"Ignite Change" Collage by Lani|
1. What is your most important goal? This should be so true, so real that you might not want to say it out loud, something so true it might bring tears to your eyes to say it. So my most important goal would be to be awake and aware of positive choices that are available as much as possible, and to make those choices, of course.
2. What is your deepest motivation for realizing this goal? I have met people who have embodied kindness and generosity. There is something quite wonderful and simple about this. I think my deepest motivation for looking for the positive choices that are available would be to help create more kindness and generosity in the world and to learn to be more like the folks I most admire.
3. What specific action can I take to honor this motivation? I think that creating new little habits (see BJ Fogg and his "3 Tiny Habits" website and eCourse) that are expressions of kindness and generosity would be a great start. And if they were habits that I could build on and grow, all the better!
4. When, where, and how are you willing to take action? Right here, right now, with my whole heart, I'm happy to take action. Me and my elephant are ready!
5. What is the biggest obstacle to taking this action? There is no obstacle at the moment. But McGonigal reminds us that folks who are most successful with their goals are the ones who plan for set backs or obstacles and plan their way around them. So I would have to say that loosing momentum or energy might be an obstacle, or getting stressed or annoyed about something could be bad news. These could all get in the way of my best choices, or my best elephant/trainer cooperation.
6. What action will you take to prevent or overcome this action? One of the best actions that I am taking is my daily art and yoga practice. I know that some yogis dedicate their practice to someone or something. Perhaps that might be an awesome idea, dedicating my daily practice to the continuing creation of kindness and generosity. And if an obstacle emerges that needs to be overcome, I can look at my daily art making for the needed reminder of the direction in which the elephant and rider are heading.
PS - A very cool thing happened when I sent one of my elephant/rider collages to my sister. She sent back a short message, "Oh, it's the Pu Hsien Bodhisattva." So I looked Pu Hsien up, and indeed, she's wonderful. She is the personification of love, sacred activity, virtue, diligent training and patience. (How perfect is that? But it gets better!) She is usually found together with Kuan Yin (Compassion) and Wen-Shu (Wisdom) and these "Three Precious Bodhisattvas" represent the qualities that make up the Buddha's "Essence."
Pu Hsien Fusa is known for her limitless generosity as well as her Ten Great Vows, which are directed towards benefiting all sentient beings. They are:
1. To honor the Buddhas.
2. To praise the Tathagatas.
3. To make generous offerings.
4. To confess past sins (admitting when the elephant slips) and to reform (help the elephant come back to the path).
5. To rejoice in the virtues and happiness of others.
6. To request Buddha to teach the Dharma.
7. To request Buddha to stay in the world.
8. To study the Dharma in order to teach it.
9. To benefit all sentient beings.
10. To transfer all merit and virtue to all sentient beings.