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Planning, an illusion

TiggerTigger Toronto, Canada Veteran
edited February 10 in Buddhism Basics

Currently I'm reading The Tibetan book on Living & Dying. I thought it would be sad and morbid, it's anything but. I came across a quote by Gyalse Rinpoche that I really liked and spoke to me.

Planning for the future is like going fishing in a dry gulch;
Nothing ever works out as you wanted, so give up your schemes & ambitions.
If you have got to think about something - make it the uncertainty of the hour of your death

I got goose bumps just typing it out. It spoke to me because I spend so much time thinking and planning and for what. Even if Buddhism never existed, it's obvious that plans don't always work out and if they do, it's only by coincidence to some degree. I knew this, but still nothing. I recently started practicing not planning and even trying not to assume what is going to happen and just live in the beautiful moment. By assuming an outcome or making a plan for the future I create an illusion of something that has never happened and therefore can't be created by simply planning it. I even find myself now helping others do the same thing. Here is an example.

I'm a trainer at an insurance company (don't hate me) and a new trainer in my department had to teach a class so her agents can obtain a licence to sell insurance in Ontario. She was terrified to do it and scared about what might happen. She thought of all the possibilities (all negative of course). I stopped her and said "do you realise you are creating this really negative event which has never happened". Didn't stop her but it made me understand it more.

Shoshin

Comments

  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    I can empathize with your colleague @Tigger. I have a strong aversion to being put under time pressure. Particularly at work.
    Yesterday a manager called me and told me he wanted something urgently for a client and could I do it straight away.
    Immediately I get my back up. I had to be careful not to be rude to him and I think I kept it in check.
    Sure enough I just went and did it and an hour later it was done. No problem!
    I have come to realize my anger in these situations always comes from fear. Fear that I am going to let someone down and they'll think less of me.
    I try and remember my effort to let go of the eight worldly concerns.

    http://googleweblight.com/?lite_url=http://thubtenchodron.org/2007/12/hopes-fears-samsara/&ei=z62anif1&lc=en-NZ&s=1&m=177&host=www.google.co.nz&f=1&gl=nz&q=eight+worldly+concerns&ts=1486764552&sig=AJsQQ1A5hJ7DcggashB6oTwZZWGiHiqrGw

    dhammachickTigger
  • 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

    I remember watching a documentary about the plane that crashed into the Potomac river, in the cold dead winter of 1982, and hearing one of the survivors admit that the event had had such a profoundly distressing impression on him, that he now could no longer bring himself to actually plan for any future event. He simply found it literally impossible to consider that any future date was a probability, let alone a certainty....

    This is a humanly tragic way of looking at things; The Middle Way would be to view the possibility of a future as an optimistic forthcoming situation, but to still bear in mind that every single moment is precious.
    This is particularly important when bidding farewell, or goodnight, to our loved ones, and making sure that our words towards others are both considerate and kind.

    Imagine how awful it would be, for someone's last thought of us to be a negative, resentful one....

    BunksTigger
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    What I use to do was, at morning meditation part of the meditation would be where I focus on how I would like to feel at the end of the day, (regardless what's been booked in for that day), I would focus on a strong feeling of peace and contentment and really feel it throughout body & mind...That was my plan just to feel peaceful and content...and what I found was the 'mind' will take care of the day in order for the body to feel peaceful and contented at the day's end...

    Nowadays I no longer have to focus, I just sit and the day takes care of itself no matter what's on the agenda... go with the flow as it unfolds ....

    I guess making plans involves somewhere along the line, one's desires for and aversions to. both lead to disappointment if things don't go to plan....

    BunkslobsterTigger
  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    @Shoshin said:
    What I use to do was, at morning meditation part of the meditation would be where I focus on how I would like to feel at the end of the day, (regardless what's been booked in for that day), I would focus on a strong feeling of peace and contentment and really feel it throughout body & mind...That was my plan just to feel peaceful and content...and what I found was the 'mind' will take care of the day in order for the body to feel peaceful and contented at the day's end...

    Nowadays I no longer have to focus, I just sit and the day takes care of itself no matter what's on the agenda... go with the flow as it unfolds ....

    I guess making plans involves somewhere along the line, one's desires for and aversions to. both lead to disappointment if things don't go to plan....

    Wonderful!

    ShoshinTigger
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @Shoshin said:
    Nowadays I no longer have to focus, I just sit and the day takes care of itself no matter what's on the agenda... go with the flow as it unfolds ....

    That's kind of how I feel... I'm between jobs, so I have a lot of time on my hands, I spend it forumming, writing, doing a little volunteer work, spending time with my dad, and reading Buddhism of course

    Tigger
  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran

    @Tigger said:> I got goose bumps just typing it out. It spoke to me because I spend so much time thinking and planning and for what. Even if Buddhism never existed, it's obvious that plans don't always work out and if they do, it's only by coincidence to some degree.

    I think it's worth distinguishing between planning and worrying here. Planning can be very useful, particularly when it includes preparing for a range of possible options.

    lobsterfedericaTigger
  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited February 11

    Exactly so @SpinyNorman
    Even the enlightened awakenees do not lose their memories, capacity to plan a Sangha meet etc. They lose the pontificating, worry, indulgence etc.

    Reality bubbles ... pop!
    http://www.forbiddenmind.com/science-of-the-mind/how-to-alter-reality-with-your-mind/

    Tigger
  • TiggerTigger Toronto, Canada Veteran

    @federica said:
    This is a humanly tragic way of looking at things; The Middle Way would be to view the possibility of a future as an optimistic forthcoming situation, but to still bear in mind that every single moment is precious.

    Buddhism practice of living mindfully in the moment makes perfect sense when you understand that

  • TiggerTigger Toronto, Canada Veteran

    @Shoshin said:
    What I use to do was, at morning meditation part of the meditation would be where I focus on how I would like to feel at the end of the day, (regardless what's been booked in for that day), I would focus on a strong feeling of peace and contentment and really feel it throughout body & mind...That was my plan just to feel peaceful and content...and what I found was the 'mind' will take care of the day in order for the body to feel peaceful and contented at the day's end...

    I'm going to try that. It makes a lot of sense. It's like you're meditating on the right attitude

  • TiggerTigger Toronto, Canada Veteran

    Planning is needed for sure but I find some of my planning is not. Just as @SpinyNorman said some of my planning tends to create worry. I have to plan to go to work and make sure I have groceries but I need to let go of "assumption planning" that can cause stress. An example would be people assuming they will be married and have the perfect job and family at a certain age. When the time comes and they're not there, they may be upset.

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