Training the Will


We define the Will as the capacity to decide where to put and keep attention. Training the Will is central to spiritual development. It is the objective of practice. But are we training it really? It appears that it is a process of discovery of the Will. It is subtle as it is purely mental. Attention is focused through the lens of mind. Through practice, that is trying, we discover the Will. That is why Will is an aspect of consciousness. It is the imperative statement (the others are declarative, interrogative and exclamatory, with the latter not fundamental). We command the mind and at the same time we observe the mind so that it does not stray. Bringing strayed attention to a previously decided upon object is an act of Will. It is intending. We know how to do it as we know how to move our body. Exercising the body (esp. Tai Chi) is an ideal way of training intending or training the will.
Practice, trying, is when the mind is not fully under control so vigilance or mindfulness is not complete. It is forming the intention to remember to be vigilant. In a way creating the habit of vigilance. Practice therefore is creating good habits and dropping bad habits. It is also discovering vigilance through engaging in certain activities like sitting meditation, Tai Chi and so on.
Other notes on Will: Willpower.