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Being mindful when there's so much to do!

Hi all. I am finding it tricky to practise living in the present moment when my whole life seems to evolve around future events. Part-time working, mum of two, final year of my OU degree. All of these things = meticulous future planning and deadlines etc . What are your tips to help me with this please?

mmo

Comments

    • Drink less coffee
    • Slow down
    • Stop trying to live up to 'Wonder Woman' memes
    • Practice regular meditation https://insighttimer.com
    • Return to the moment, when you can
    • In essence get more dharma done ... now that is a future B)

    ... oh and welcome <3

    Vastminddhammachickmmo
  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran

    @BexM said:
    Hi all. I am finding it tricky to practise living in the present moment when my whole life seems to evolve around future events. Part-time working, mum of two, final year of my OU degree. All of these things = meticulous future planning and deadlines etc . What are your tips to help me with this please?

    If you are managing all that you are doing very well. I combined an OU degree with family and work like, so I understand how challenging it can be. Try and build in a little quality time for yourself each day, maybe adjust your daily routine? And when you finish your OU degree, do have a well-deserved break!

  • KeromeKerome Did I fall in the forest? Europe Veteran

    I've given myself five years off in the middle of a busy career for the sake of spiritual renewal. If I can do that, surely you can manage an hour a day.

  • silversilver In the beginning there was nothing, and then it exploded. USA, Left coast. Veteran

    @BexM said:
    Hi all. I am finding it tricky to practise living in the present moment when my whole life seems to evolve around future events. Part-time working, mum of two, final year of my OU degree. All of these things = meticulous future planning and deadlines etc . What are your tips to help me with this please?

    Hmm...Just don't think of them as 'future' events. Each and every one of 'em became the present. We are never not in the middle of 'now'. :star:

  • BexMBexM U.K. New

    Thank you all. Some kind words and thoughts. I have started to incorporate mantra chanting music into my daily routine (I'm partially drawn to Green Tara at the moment) so at least if I don't have time to sit then I have Buddhism floating through my day. And the kids love it, calms them down.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @BexM , Find some wonderful Buddhist chants you really enjoy listening to, put them onto your computer/laptop and play.
    Such as this one....

    And this is another of my favourites....

    The second is only about 15 minutes long, but it just brings me so much calm....

    Enjoy.

    BexMBunks
  • genkakugenkaku Northampton, Mass. U.S.A. Veteran

    Multitasking is way, way overrated in this world.

    "Multi-tasking" boils down to one thing: Management bullshit. No one can do more than one thing at a time. No one. So, as suggested above, do the one thing that presents itself and leave the greedy dreams to others. Buddhist practice or life itself will teach the same thing. Naturally, the difficulty lies in absorbing that teaching. :)

    Best wishes and welcome.

    BexMBunks
  • TravellerTraveller East Midlands UK Veteran

    I dunno @genkaku It may be a side effect of being a high functioning Schizophrenic but I can think about more than one thing at once. I talked my way off a six month psychiatric hospital section and got discharged in ten days despite being ill. I blagged the shrink that I was normal.

    silver
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    @BexM said:
    Hi all. I am finding it tricky to practise living in the present moment when my whole life seems to evolve around future events. Part-time working, mum of two, final year of my OU degree. All of these things = meticulous future planning and deadlines etc . What are your tips to help me with this please?

    @BexM

    Worry and anxiety are the illusions (things that haven't happened or things that no longer exist) that attempt to drag the mind away from the here & now...And as others have already mentioned everything happens in the present (including thought of past & future events)...
    When it comes to the future, the mind often becomes charmed by the stories the thoughts conjure up of the possible outcomes of events...

    It's okay to have short term plans but keep in mind
    The past shares the present and the present shapes the future which shapes the past

    So in a nutshell when thoughts start to charm the mind just "breath" a little reality back into them...It's as easy as that :)

    This simple technique will help stop one from becoming

    BexM
  • BexMBexM U.K. New

    Ok so think I get it now. So there's nothing wrong with planning and thinking a lot about the future when needed. But when I am doing it that's all I think about. And it's not bad that I'm thinking about future events. Just that when I'm not, then don't

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    You got it.... Focus on what it is necessary to focus on, at any specific moment. If you're planning and thinking a lot about the future - but you're in the middle of cooking a meatloaf with julienned carrots - it's better to focus on dinner. Don't let your mind wander. Accord each task the concentration and mindfulness it merits. Trust me, that in and of itself, is the challenge....

    Bunks
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    @Lonely_Traveller I think most of us can think about multiple things at a time. But can you FOCUS on more than one? Not usually. That is why we focus on breath during meditation, because when you are truly focused, that is all there is, just that one thing. Multiple studies have proven we cannot focus on more than one task at a time. We can do and think more than one thing at a time. But we cannot focus on more than one. i can drive my car and talk on the phone, but I cannot focus on both. Only one. Which is why it's so dangerous to do so. Have you ever been on the phone or lost in thought and driven past your exit or snapped out of it and realized the past 5 miles went by and you didn't notice? What about if you are sending an email and talking on the phone? Do you start to type into the email what you are talking about? Do you miss portions of the phone conversation because you are typing? Usually, yes, that is what happens. It's why when I am focused on something else that my kids know to ask permission to have a snack before dinner, because I'll answer without ever recalling them asking, lol. Whatever you are doing should be important enough to give your attention and focus to in that moment. You don't do yourself, the event/item or the other person any favors by pretending to split your attention because it's not truly possible.

  • Some well thought answers. Truly, we must always have that "me" time. Not thinking ourselves into a funk is very good also.

    Getting rid of the "self" means to deep six the selfish self, the angry self, the anxiety self, the closed self. In the true sense, we can never get rid of the self. We can rid ourselves of those aspects of self that block our path. The negative aspects of self.
    The self then is able to blend with or work in harmony with all the other selves we come in contact with as well as harmonizing one's own self. This is often equated with being selfless. As such, the self has not been eliminated, as is commonly thought, but the conflict of self has.

    To realize, with our lives, that we are both an individual and part of the whole, that everyone is both an individual and part of the whole, is the beginning of awakening.

    We always have time. @fedrica put forth a good plan. Always insure that you do not throw away your hour.

    Peace to all

    lobsterVastmind
  • Will_BakerWill_Baker Vermont Veteran

    @BexM said:
    Hi all. I am finding it tricky to practise living in the present moment when my whole life seems to evolve around future events. Part-time working, mum of two, final year of my OU degree. All of these things = meticulous future planning and deadlines etc . What are your tips to help me with this please?

    -As was said above, slow down. In addition, do one thing at a time, and get a good night's sleep...

  • TravellerTraveller East Midlands UK Veteran

    @karasti Thanks I thought it might be a feature of my illness as I saw someone over at Dhamma Wheel saying you can only think about one thing at once which I thought was a bit weird. I personally don't drive as I feel I would be too distracted by my weird mind but I do play video games which require a degree of focus.

  • Exactly as many have said, we do not multi task, we task switch.

    @BexM said:
    Thank you all. Some kind words and thoughts. I have started to incorporate mantra chanting music into my daily routine (I'm partially drawn to Green Tara at the moment) so at least if I don't have time to sit then I have Buddhism floating through my day. And the kids love it, calms them down.

    Nice.

    In the paradox solving mind breaking of koans or other unifying practices, we may employ impossible formulas ...
    We have to unthink our assumptions of 'mind', 'busy' and effective being ...

    As I always say to Bodhi Tara, 'Don't think of a lobster'. Does she ever ... :)

    BexM
  • ^^.
    Outstanding post from @Dakini

    The path enhances our being, it does not transcend our humanity (that is for X-men). The hyper involvement is a gradual awareness/attention/awakening to our environment.

    Dharma. Simple really.
    Dakini Power. Spice up your life.
    OM TARE TUTTARE TURE SOHA

  • BexMBexM U.K. New

    @Dakini, thank you.

  • BexMBexM U.K. New
    edited October 2016

    @lobster thx for the Green Tara link
    I found her when I needed her most.

  • ^^.
    Indeed. Tara like Kwan Yin (a relative) is one of the good guys - I would say 'good gals' but of course she is beyond conventional engendered being.

    Do you have a shrine or sacred space for Tara? Worth honouring her help ...
    I used to do a tweny one Tara practice, that includes her various forms.

    What a Gal!

  • BexMBexM U.K. New

    @lobster I don't have a shrine for her. I have my general buddhas (2) on display. Actually but my birthday present arrived early today. It's a bangle with the mantra on made in Nepal. And I love it. So my shrine is on my wrist at the moment ☺️ Of course I'm not attached to it though....

    lobster
  • Wearable shrine!

    Seems like a plan. :)

  • BexMBexM U.K. New

    Can you tell me more about the 21 Tara practice?

  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited October 2016

    The complete practice I learned takes over an hour and is done in Tibetan and Sanskrit.

    Here is a version in English

    Here in Tibetan
    http://fpmt.org/wp-content/uploads/prayers/21tarasltrrdr.pdf
    http://www.khandro.net/prayer_21taras.htm

    Tantrikas sometimes wear small Tara statues in a small bag around the neck. What you are doing is developing a relationship with your inner perfections, personified as Tara.

    You can use a phone or computer tablet as a shrine. Or print and colour an image.
    Here is a conversation with @SpinyNorman about Tara - sadly the link is defunct but Tara lives on the internet ...
    http://www.freesangha.com/forums/gelug/tara-empowerment/

    Here is how to use a computer or tablet as a shrine (heretics only) ;)

    You can draw or colour an outline image for a shrine
    http://newbuddhist.com/discussion/17171/green-tara-painting

    OM TARE TUTTARE TURE SOHA
    is considered the shortened version of all her attributes

    BexM
  • BexMBexM U.K. New

    Once again, thank you. I like the idea of drawing one! I learn so much here

  • @BexM said:
    I learn so much here

    You do? I spend all my time in the beginners corner wearing a dunce cap or I have to send myself to the naughty corner for bringing curious demons on picnics from the hell realm into the human realm ... (I iz that naughty) :3

    Tantra is an emotionally powerful skilful means. It is very clever BUT remember it is all a mind trick. In other words you are personifying your better self aka Buddha Nature and developing her higher idealisation. Tara is both emptiness (nothing of consequence) and very much a form (deserving deep reverence). She is enigmatic, paradoxical - a Tantric Koan.

    Tara is semi wrathful, that makes her capable of dealing with our little green demons ...

    Do a Google for 'Tara outline' or similar to get an image to colour ... B)

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    I was doing some journaling this morning and realized something about myself that might be of use to you. I use both free writing and a guided journal, and was doing "today I am" statements in the guided one. I realized I could not come up with a single positive word for "not busy." Eventually I did, but the ones that came to mind were: lazy, unmotivated, bored, unproductive. But why do we think that way? Why do we think being busy is so valuable but being quiet, quiescent, at east, rested etc is labeled as such negative things as lazy and unmotivated? I then talk myself into a bad mood the rest of the day because I've assigned negative labels to myself.

    Just remember, even the quiet things you do are important. don't feel like, in being mindful in one moment, you are neglecting other things. I get that way sometimes and have to pull myself back. Yes, the garage needs some cleaning before winter. But my taking a couple of hours to focus on meditation, yoga and writing is just as important. I don't learn about myself much when I clean the garage. Nor would I if I was thinking about cleaning the garage while I was meditating. That's just another reason it's so important to learn how to be mindfully focused on our task at hand. If we aren't, we miss out on the lessons we could learn. If we are doing one thing and focused in thought somewhere else, we are missing the lesson of that moment. Those quiet moments are the most important in developing ourselves (or losing our self, as the case may be) so don't do as I sometimes do and assign them as less important in some way. There is room for meditation and writing without thinking about cleaning the garage. And there is room for cleaning the garage without wishing I was doing something else instead.

    BexMlobster
  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran

    @BexM said:
    What are your tips to help me with this please?

    A daily sitting meditation practice of at least a half hour a day. And if one doesn't have time for that, you make time! =)

    lobster
  • Journaling is a good plan as @karasti mentions.

    If you can't do sitting meditation, do prostrations, walking meditations, Hatha Yoga or led meditations. Your journal will prove the benefits.

    Brush teeth. Scrub mind. Time is available ...

    Just do it
    Bodhi Nike

    https://insighttimer.com

  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran

    More handy time-management tips: Don't waste too much time on the internet, and stick your zombie-making "I"Phone in a bucket of water. :p

    lobster
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