While some will tell you that it’s better to begin a meditation practice with an open and welcoming mind free from any thoughts on where the sitting will go, others will suggest setting an intention or even a goal prior to meditating to help point a person’s unconscious in a direction where one desires clarity and awareness.
In reality either option is valid. That said, if you are working on something particular in your life, consider the latter option. Important, however, is to set the intention or goal and let the unconscious do the work.
In this recent post from Jill Magso, meditation goals and intentions are explored not as a way to control the outcome, but rather as the means to keep your attention focused so that you can truly appreciate the spontaneity that occurs during meditation.
When working with intentions, the idea is to create a very specific feeling, picture, and description of what you intend to bring into being and to commit to giving attention for a short, specified period of time each day, being mindful of how various activities support or detract from the realization of that state of affairs. We can use “goal” to describe that feeling, picture, description, or state of affairs, and that’s okay. When setting intentions, though, it is important to cultivate a lightness and openness to seemingly spontaneous or accidental movement or growth in the direction of your desire, and to remain alive to the synergy of changing desires and random connection in supporting your personal growth.
Read more from Magso on setting meditation goals and intentions here.