With Sunday's new moon approaching, we will clean, clear, set intentions and plant seeds for that which we wish to create and grow. Since we cannot force seeds to grow, the way in which we nurture and care for them is key - proper elements, nutrients, attention, and space.
In setting intentions we often focus in the realm of effect - the outcomes, experiences, or conditions that we desire: clarity, wisdom, focus, health, presence, abundance, love, meaningful relationships, new X, Y, or Z in the physical plane.
Though we intend for outcomes, the way we support our intentions is by spending time and working in the realm of cause. Practices, that which we think, say, and act, comprise this world.
Let's use yoga as an example. Through the practice of specific restraints and habits, asana, the seats or foundations of postures, movement, and pranayama, breath control, our life force moves more freely through the subtle bodies and our senses strengthen - the ability to see, hear, feel, and know. As a result of practice, we gain power to focus, meditate, and experience bliss.
We do not practice focus, meditation, and bliss. Instead, we practice the habits, postures, and breathing techniques to prepare the body for these states. We may practice sitting for long periods of time, but this is not necessarily meditation. Meditation is the effect of practice over time. The ability to focus and create with mental focus is another effect that comes with practice.
Aspects that fall in the realm of cause include moving the body, sitting in stillness, breathing, focusing on a single object or point in space, conducting rituals, facilitating healing, engaging and connecting with people, clearly communicating, writing and reading affirmations aloud, pausing between the occurrence of an external event and the response, consciously leaving space by not filling openness with words or action.
Effects come after days, weeks, months, years, decades, or lifetimes of practice. Practicing in the realm of cause supports intentions and creations. Effects happen with practice.
Ultimately that which we practice in the realm of cause assists to clear and remove blockages from the subtle bodies - physical, mental, emotional, and energetic. In time our wills soften, we are left in greater stillness, peace, and openness - conditions where we hear, feel, see, know and more fully and deeply connect with God.
Once reached, states which first existed in the world of effect - peace, clarity, abundance, focus, health, joy, bliss - then become the new realm of cause. Effects from attainment of these states are for us to discover...and the evolution continues...