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Mindful Planning

All the major spiritual traditions teach to live in the moment, to not be caught in the past or the future. But how then do we live our lives if we can't think about the future? Of course we need to think about the future and sometimes plan what we are going to do. There is, however, a major distinction to be made between constant anxious planning, living for the future and never savoring the achievements of the present, and mindful planning.

Mindful planning means that the planning you do is in devotion to the present moment. It is a moment of planning that comes naturally from the needs of the moment that project into the future, and feels natural to do. It can arise after you have fully accomplished a previous task or activity, and before you start the next set of activities. All the while, offering your full and heartfelt attention to the activities you are doing without worrying about the next step until it is appropriate. Mindful planning occurs with the discriminating awareness that recognizes when planning is what serves your love, or your cares well. Planning or thinking of the future out of fear because you resist the negative possibilities of some potential future, while your are in the middle of some other activity, is not mindful planning. Do all the planning you need to do at a given time, then rely on your plans from that moment on without worrying so much about what to do or how to do it. Organization is a friend to a stressless life, and planning well can be conducive to a more peaceful and mindful life. Find the appropriate times to plan your day, whether it is the night before, or the morning of, or any time you find works for you, then stick with it and go with the flow. May you come to utilize mindful planning that you can take your day step by step, so you can devote all your attention to the present activity and not be lost in the future.

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