What are aspirations? are they just thoughts? and if so, what benefit could they possibly have? • we have lots of empty thoughts, dreaminess, and ideas; even in one session of sitting practice all sorts of aspirations may arise, none of which actually result in anything • which leads to the question: what are thoughts, what is their role, and how should we relate to them? • when we practice, we look at our thoughts from a different angle: we don’t get rid of them, and we don’t feed them • we just regard them as the environment, like the weather, and return to the technique • but as we go about our day we have thoughts, and those thoughts have a lot of power • so how do we work with thoughts in that context? that’s where the notion of aspiration comes in • rather than getting into a kind of battleground mentality with ourselves, we plant something positive in our mind • we just plant positive thoughts in our mind like little seeds, almost like providing a landing pad for positive actions to grow and flourish.