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What is 'Yi' or Intent?

Updated: Nov 4, 2022

In this course we are going to use intent to develop conscious control over our frame.

Intent is the part of our mind that wants an outcome. When my intent is to turn my car left a whole bunch of things happen to get the car turning left yet most of them I never think about. Action occurs on a subconscious level that is called into being by conscious intent.

Yi Chuan tells us to use this phenomenon in our practice. We want to get our subconscious to show us how to connect the internal framework of our body, show us how it feels.

To do this we often use strong visualizations, something I prefer to call as feelizations, to get our body to respond ‘as if’ the action visualized is really occurring. For example, if I imagine that I am truly holding up something heavy my body will begin acting like I am holding up something heavy. I’ve ‘tricked’ my subconscious into activating my structure through the use of my intent.

In this way we can systematically study and test the qualities that emerge from activating our frame. Eventually we can recreate those changes in frame state simply by recalling the feeling. I can physically recreate the feeling of holding something by recalling the feeling of that state. Feeling states can be combined and modified to draw out other qualities. For example, what if I combine the feeling of holding something heavy with the feeling of being light and floating like a helium balloon?

This way of training can be quite profound as it gets us out of the intellectual trap where knowing becomes the barrier to doing. Instead of trying to make a bunch of stuff happen with the conscious mind we intend and observe, allowing our conceptualization to be subservient to our direct physical experience of the changes that occur when applying Yi. We get the dog to wag the tail instead of the other way around.

This 'trick' of using Intent is really quite brilliant. It seems to me that there is a vast amount of intelligence we are not conscious of. Often times its our conscious mind interfering with our subconscious flow that mucks things up. By using Yi we bypass the need to conceptually understand before we can do. We tap the vast intelligence of our sub, no, super-conscious mind to just give us the answer.

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