Monday, December 8, 2014

Living in the future and spiritual practice.


I once had a friend I was seeing in the hospital. She had cancer and was in stage four. I remember sitting with her while she was having chemo. We were relatively quiet and just sitting. As I remember I was reading at the time.

I felt her looking at me and looked up. She was looking directly at me and said " We will never know what happens next. We were never supposed to know what happens next." I could do nothing but agree. I could hear my mind trying to set up an argument and wanting to disagree. But I couldn't.


Because nothing I ever imagined in my mind about my future experience ever came true. Oh, it came pretty close a few times, but never ever was it totally accurate. Most of the time outcome was entirely different than plan.

When you think of it the entire universe is always changing. Never ending combinations and drifts. Plans are good for the moment but never survive contact with the future. Plans start to adapt and evolve along with everything else in the universe.

"Impermanence is the essence of everything"
Pema Chodren

Knowing this is a great worry breaker. No more worries about what might happen in the future. No more focus on what might go right or wrong. Only the focus on the now and what we need to do next.

A lot of people will take issue with this attitude. They will insist that they made plans and followed thought to success.

But memory is just that. Memory. It's a story about what happened. Not particularly accurate or on point.

So. We do what needs to be done to make our plans generate towards what we want to achieve. We don't stay attached to outcome. Outcome means nothing in the now. Process means everything in the now.

Comments and suggestions are welcome.