Engage with Sincerity

“All I can do is engage with complete sincerity. Then whatever happens, there is no regret.”
The Dalai Lama

“Engage with complete sincerity.” It sounds simple. Do what you intend. Be your word. Act in congruence with your thoughts and feelings. So often though, sincerity is hijacked by our fears and desires. When we are afraid, we may confuse ourselves about our intentions. It all gets mixed up in our heads. We may want to do the right thing, but it just doesn’t seem like a good idea. Our fears supply the reasons for betraying our good intentions.

Desire does the same thing, but facing in the opposite direction. Instead of avoiding something, we are drawn toward something. Desires or cravings take us out of clear intention because their satisfaction is so compelling. Part of us wants what we want, regardless of whether it is wise to pursue it.

When we don’t know what our fears and desires are, we are not able to respond with clear intention. If our intention is unclear, we cannot engage with complete sincerity.

Practice identifying your fears and desires instead of unconsciously letting them rule you. When you feel an urge, ask yourself what you are feeling. When you notice anger or frustration, ask yourself if fear is behind it. When you feel the urge to seek, acquire, or consume something, notice the desire and ask yourself if this is an unwholesome craving or attachment.

When you have identified the feeling and understood its nature, you are in a position to make wise choices. You can identify your clear intention and knowing it can engage with complete sincerity.

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© 2003 Tom Barrett