1) (Tha dad pa bsams pa, bsam pa, soms,, think [about]/ reflect/ apprehend/ intend/ examine and analyze; 2) contemplation; 3) intention, motivation, mentation, [conscious] apprehension, volition; 4) [act of] will; 5) motivator, activator; 6) attraction; 7) directing thought/ mind to, mental event; 8) conscious, attraction *[R] [IW]
sems pa, bsams pa, bsam pa, soms trans. v.; 1) to think, reflect, assume, apprehend, intend, direct one's mind, pay, attention, be conscious. 2) contemplation, one of the chos spyod bcu ten religious practices. 3) intention, motivation, mentation, thinking, directing thought, mentation, apprehension, reflection, volition. 4) will, act of will. 5) motivator, activator. 6) conscious apprehension. 7) Attraction, as one of the five ever-present mental states; one of kun 'gro lnga. Def. by Jamg?ongtr?sems yul la g.yo ba'i gnas skabs kyi yid kyi rnam 'byur]], connects primary mind to an object of perception or action. Syn las / 'du byed [RY]
directionality of mind, mibp 25, motivation, mental activity, psychic energy, motivating force, think over, ponder, imagine, think, fancy, imagine, remember, intention, concentration, someone who thinks that [JV]
(ordinary) mentation/ thinking (about); (to pay) attention; to think about [RB]
Volition is what makes the mind move towards its object.
In some translations, it is translated as "attraction" when used in reference to the mental factor, and "volition" in the context of karma (sems pa'i las). To do so, however, obscures the fact that it is this mental factor which motivates the karma. DKC