OK, intention. Very, very important. Intention is the beginning of karma, at least, the individual karma. Your karma starts with intention. Based on intention, the karma can be big or small. So, the action can be the same, but if the intention changes, it makes a big difference in the karma. Right now, I don’t have many examples, so I’m just going to say the example I normally use. It’s like the friend who’s drunk, and he wants to drive the car. He is completely drunk, and he doesn’t want to let go of the keys. He is going to drive. So the only way is you have to maybe hit him, or wrestle with him, or something like that, or shout at him, or something, with the intention of saving his life and saving anybody who he will kill if he’s drunk. So, the result of that karma is going to be very, very different from, for example, somebody who is angry and just wants to hurt somebody. Maybe the action is the same, but the result is very different. The friend will say, “Thank you” tomorrow, and the other person will probably hate you. It will be a cycle. Maybe he will want to hit you back. The result is not a positive result. That is intention. That is an example.
Also, like intention, I think it is important to clarify, maybe, the intention with the guru, for example. It is very important. Because for many people, sometimes the guru becomes like the girlfriend, obsessed: “Oh the guru looked at me”, “the guru smiled at me”. “Today the guru didn’t talk to me. I am depressed. I did not see the guru; I need to see him more.” It becomes an obsession. The guru will save me. If he does not save me this life, he will save me in the next life, for sure. This is an egoist intention, attachment. I have seen that in many different cases – everyone wants a piece of the guru. Maybe someone is having conversation, but you still want to impose yourself because you want the guru to look at you, to talk to you. You do not care about anybody else, you just care about you, me. “My practice is important. I have a doubt I must clarify. I do not care about anybody else.”
So, then, what happens? Like with your girlfriend, if the guru makes a bad face at you, then you get depressed. “Oh, the guru is angry with me. What did I do wrong?” It is like the girlfriend, but the guru is not your girlfriend; He is your best friend, he is your Dharma friend. The guru is like a lighthouse. You know, if you are on a ship and you are lost; you have no orientation; so the lighthouse helps you to tell you: OK, be careful, warning. Here there are rocks; if you come nearby, you can crash and sink. Or he can tell you: Here- there is land. You are coming close to your destination. But you are not going to the lighthouse. If all the boats acted like the disciples of the gurus, all the lighthouses would be full of boats, crashed into them, abandoned boats. The lighthouses would be boat cemeteries. That is not the case, right? Because the captains of the boats know that the lighthouse is only for orientation; it shows you where you must go and where you must avoid.
You are the captain of your boat, so you must be able to differentiate what is your intention. Are you attached to the lighthouse or are you attached to your own evolution in order to be able to help sentient beings? That is intention, very important, subtle intention that you must be aware. Otherwise, it becomes like spiritual bypassing. Bypassing is like you jump over; for example, if there is a highway here, you jump over. Bypass, spiritual bypass. So, for example, you have maybe childhood trauma, you have psychological problems, maybe certain aspects, so you bypass that. You say, “Oh, I don’t need to work on myself.” You put all your faith on your spirituality, on the guru or on the Dharma, but then maybe after 30 years practicing Dharma, you are more neurotic than when you started. So, this is completely useless. I have seen this mistake many times. They try to spiritually bypass, just like His Holiness says, “Dharma does not make you non-Christian, non-Muslim or non-Hindu. Dharma helps you to become a better Christian, better Muslim, better Hindu.” The same with spirituality- it can help you to better overcome your trauma, overcome your psychosis, all your problems, your traumas, all these things, Dharma can help you. But do not bypass it and look for shelter with the guru and the Dharma, and that is it, and then you forget about all these other things you must work on. Otherwise, it becomes a waste of time, and very counterproductive. You get frustrated and then you get angry, and then you blame the guru, like we normally do. We always blame others for our own mistakes. It is the result of being too proud – also that is another aspect of intention. So always observe the intention, the very subtle form of intention. Everything starts with an intention. So, we can finish there.
I hope I was able to clarify and not create more doubts – well, doubts are good. I do not want to create confusion. Confusion, also, can be good because sometimes it is like that: if we have doubts, then, we question things and that helps us to understand better the path, because when you walk the path, you really know the path. If you get on a bus and you fall asleep and the bus takes you somewhere, you do not really know the path so well. So, through the confusion, it helps you to clarify. So always question, like Shakyamuni Buddha said in his teachings: everything he says, you must check like the alchemist checks the gold, the goldsmith, sorry. Before valuing something as gold, you pass the gold through the all process of making sure it is gold. You do not want to just take it all, “Oh, it’s the truth.” You have to walk your own truth; you have to understand your own path through the process of trial and error. OK.