Intention is the driver of all our actions - every single movement of body, speech and mind is preceded by an intention.
Much of our mental patterning can be revealed by looking at intention. Our mind is so fast, but if we choose to look at intention, we get turned back onto our mind and mental activity. We can see when we act out of avoidance, escape, resistance, belief, defense, judgement, discomfort, or from thoughtfulness, patience, support, kindness, detachment, faith.
Intention is the "why" in our life. It is present in regards to the overarching directions and activities of our lives, like... Why are we practicing? Why are we in relationship? Why are we smoking, drinking, working out, shopping, etc? All the way down to the smaller, moment-to-moment actions, like... Why are we moving in any given moment? Why are we speaking? Why are we eating?
Intention is intimately related to inquiry and intuition. An example of their relationship is as follows:
We have an issue that we are wrestling with. Pure awareness is not really available. So we inquire... what is needed right now?
We allow intuition to answer. We listen from our heart and spaciousness, and wait for the spontaneous knowing.
From that answer, an intention arises to take action.
Looking at intention can lead to insights about ourselves and our conditioning. But, looking at intention can also lead to the deepest insights into the nature of all things. Paying attention to our mundane intentions like changing posture might feel dry or uninteresting, but it is one way in to understanding that nature. We come to understand that all things have a cause and that the basis of this cause and effect is impersonal. There is a deep shift in our orientation to the world when this is understood.
Give yourself a deep invitation to see your intentions clearly.
Every once in a while, be still and wait for the clear impulse/intention in the mind and/or body to move, and allow yourself to see the connection between intention and action.