Posted in Essay, Meditation, meditative, Music, Spiritual Practice, Terri Stewart, Uncategorized

Desire and Intention

Today, I want to try a very simple meditation / body prayer. It involves movement of the arms, breathing, intention, and if you choose, your particular word for the divine or that which transcends.

Take a moment for contemplation. Turn your eyes inward and find two desires.

“You are what your deepest desire is.
As your desire is, so is your intention.
As your intention is, so is your will.
As your will is, so is your deed.
As your deed is, so is your destiny.”
~ Upanishads

First-your desire for yourself. This wish could be for love, for kindness, for healing. What you feel you need at this moment.

Second-your wish for the world.  This wish could be peace, love, kindness. What you feel is your unique gift of intention for the world. All that is present in the cosmos.

“He has told you, O mortal, what is good;
and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?”
~ Micah

These desires will be your intentions.

As always, do this as you are able.

Sit comfortably however you like. Be aware of the earth supporting you. Take a moment to feel the groundedness and the ground of all being.

The breathing / motion pattern is this:

Arms loosely at sides … Inhale … and move arms to overhead in a prayer position, (hands flattened together)

Hands Overhead, Prayer Position
Hands Overhead, Prayer Position

On exhale … Hands descend to chest / heart level while holding intention for self. Intentionally cross your eyes, your lips as you end at your heart.

Descending Towards the Heart
Descending Towards the Heart

Express, outloud or however you feel comfortable, the particular word that encompasses the divine for you. Divine being interconnectedness to all, that which transcends all, that which is lived within, or the languaging that you choose. This could be the Sanskrit “om” (pictured), the Aramaic “abwoon” which is father, or any of the myriad words that are symbols that stand in for the divine.

Hands at heart level … Inhale

On exhale … Hands push outward, forward and go slowly to the sides (right arm going right / left arm going left). Do this while holding your intention for the world.

Pushing Intention To the World
Pushing Intention To the World

Express, outloud or however you feel comfortable, the particular word that encompasses the divine for you.

Bring your arms gently down to your sides.

Repeat this simple meditation for as long as it feels comfortable to do so. If you desire, close the meditation with an Amen (“so be it.”)

Shalom & Amen,


© 2013, post and photos, Terri Stewart, All rights reserved

terriREV. TERRI STEWART is Into the Bardo’s  Sunday chaplain, senior content editor, and site co-administrator. She comes from an eclectic background and considers herself to be grounded in contemplation and justice. She is the Director and Founder of the Youth Chaplaincy Coalition that serves youth affected by the justice system. As a graduate of Seattle University’s School of Theology and Ministry, she earned her Master’s of Divinity and a Post-Master’s Certificate in Spiritual Direction. She is a contributing author to the Abingdon Worship Annual. (The 2014 issue just released!)

Her online presence is “Cloaked Monk.” This speaks to her grounding in contemplative arts and the need to live it out in the world. The cloak is the disguise of normalcy as she advocates for justice and peace. You can find her at,, and  To reach her for conversation, send a note to


As a chaplain to chaplains, I find myself in the deep listening work of attending to the dreams of hope-filled people whose true calling is to serve and uplift incarcerated youth.

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