The Difference Between Awareness and Intention

The Difference Between Awareness and Intention

During training as we build awareness internally we will also be building awareness externally. We become more “observant” in our daily activities.  As the mind stills, our capacity to absorb becomes greater.

When we do a standing exercise of stillness and just develop our awareness of external cues, we will notice the different sounds, colors, light, texture, shapes, aromas etc. This is just Awareness, there is no intent to deliver your body mass in any direction.

We can develop this ability of Awareness to the point that you become totally absorbed and entertained by your environment.

The same can be said for the Awareness of the body.

So what is Intention? 

Intention is a state that occurs after awareness and just prior to physical movement. I can become aware of a cup of water, the next step for the mind is to have intention to pick it up, then movement occurs. 

What we want to do is develop this very fickle idea of intention into a broad based foundation that we can move from.

First we need to become aware of Intention, to be able to observe that it is even there.

We can do this simply by standing still and then just think about a movement, then observe if any of the body actually moved. Keep practicing that until no movement occurs, just the thought of moving. This is intention. A simple directional form of intention, but still intention.

Next we could pick multiple targets and have intention toward those targets. Observing the lines and directions that the mind draws and slowly fading those ideas until the only thing left is intention. Like putting a footprint in the sand. We just need to create a very light idea of awareness and intention of the targets.

Then once this is developed we can just fill up the space around us with the same level of intention. 360 degree’s all around.  This gives us a feeling of expansion, of no direction AND direction at the same time. A feeling of presence and malleability, a feeling of invincibility as though fear itself has been switched off.

From this state whether in movement or not, one can receive external forces from any direction and the body will deliver mass in its own efficient manner.

This is the state we want, a state that is just prior to movement, with no direction except expansion while being aware. This is the state of intention. 

- Keven Tate, Grade 5 Senior Student, Mindful Wing Chun - Hong Kong

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