THE CURANDERISMO SPIRITUAL tradition that was practiced before and is still practiced today is rich in rituals, ceremonies, healings, danzas, and other events that require strong spiritual energies. These energies connect us to ourselves, to others, to the earth, and to the universe. You can improve these spiritual energies with the singular practice of setting up a powerful intention.
Many times, I get questions like, “What am I doing wrong in my spiritual practice that's preventing my rituals from manifesting? Why do I sometimes feel the strong presence of my ancestors and sometimes not?” These situations are quite common and quite easy to “fix.”
The key is the quality of our intention. Let me explain a little bit about intention, and then I will teach you a technique to improve it. By the way, I am the kind of person who first needs to make sense of what I’m doing before I put it into practice, and I strongly suggest that you do the same. Question everything, and have an open heart; give it a try before you make any judgments. Everyone is different, so you may need to modify what I am going to teach you here in order for this technique to work better for you. I have been a curandera since the 1980s, and also I studied science, so with both approaches I would like to share what I know about intention and how I apply it into my daily practice.
Let’s say that you want to build a fire, and intention is your fire-starting fluid. If you don’t have it, your fire may start fast or may not. It is like tossing a coin. On the other hand, if you have starting fluid and you use it every time, your fire is going to always start strong.
Intention is what is going to give to your ceremony a strong start, and from there it is going to be easy for you to keep it going strong. It is important to take the time to set up intention and not rush into your spiritual practices.
When we pray, we are often asking for something—whether healing, strength, energy, or courage—and, sadly, many times we are just reciting words that have no energy because we are not even thinking about what we are saying. Sometimes what we say has no meaning to us because we have no idea what we are saying, or because these words are in a language that we do not speak. Also, we tend to rush through our prayers. All this mindlessness creates a prayer with no energy; there is a lack of power. The secret of a strong prayer is intention. It is what gives strength to our prayers, so they become alive and powerful. Therefore, the power of manifesting becomes stronger.
Energy and Emotion
Everything in the universe is energy. Just think about this. We have bodies made of organs, and these of cells, and these of particles—which are energy. So we can say that we, as well as the plants and animals around us, are materialized energy or energy beings. Our ancestors understood this. With this concept in mind, if an energy being (that is, a person) is vibrating with only a little energy, or even with the ugly energy that we create when we are sad or upset, and the person puts this weak or negative energy into a ceremony, what kind of ceremony will that person have? On the other hand, if this person is vibrating with a beautiful, powerful, and high energy—like the one that we produce when we are in love—what a beautiful ceremony this person is going to have! Which person do you want to be?
If we approach our spiritual practices with the idea that everything is energy, and that the goal is to add high-quality energy to our ceremony, then the tool we use is intention, starting with prayer.
The energies with the highest and strongest quality for creating a powerful intention are these:
I like to feel and move through them in this order because I have found it easier to “force myself” into feeling the energy if I approach it this way. This is what I do:
Love: I think about something super cute like a baby animal. The moment that I feel love and sense a little shift in my heart, I know I am generating the love that I need for my intention. I try to increase the intensity of this love until my whole body vibrates in love. When working in this way, it is important that we focus on something that we are not directly attached to, like our kids or our pets, because after we feel love for them, our minds may wander and start thinking about something like whether our kids have picked up their rooms or not. We want to make it easy for ourselves to stay focused.
Gratitude: I start thinking about and reciting all the things that I am grateful for until the same thing happens: I feel a shift in my heart, and I make an effort to increase this feeling until my eyes well with tears of gratitude. This energy is the strongest that we can create. It doesn’t always happen, but with practice, it will happen more often.
And then I follow the same process for happiness and peace.
With this practice of guiding yourself through the emotions that you want to feel, you are training your body into new ways of being. Try to keep these emotions of love, gratitude, happiness, and peace vibrating in your body as long and often as you can. The more you stay in these energies, not only will your spiritual practices improve but your overall life will improve because you will be spending more time vibrating in beautiful energies instead of being worried, anxious, or depressed. You need to be persistent, as you would when training your dog, for example, until it becomes second nature.
Reasons for Setting an Intention
There is something more that I would like to tell you before I share the specific technique of setting an intention. The practice of intention has three main purposes:
To clarify for ourselves what exactly we are seeking
We are not really good at knowing what we want. Usually, the prayers are “I need help…" Ask yourself: Where? In what department you need help? What kind of help? So if you give yourself time to think about what it is you're really seeking, you will clarify your mind and your intention is going to be straightforward. Instead of saying “I need help," try “I want clarity in this situation….”
To charge our prayer with high-quality, powerful energy
As I explained, we want to charge our ceremony with the emotions of love, gratitude, happiness, and peace. This makes our ceremony more powerful.
For the spirits to hear us
The practice of intention helps us call for the attention of our spirit helpers, ancestors, the great mystery—the source power that has many names. Intention is a tool to make our voice heard in the universe. To send our desire or petition out. To attract attention or awaken our spiritual helpers so they can come and participate in our spiritual practices with us.