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Advice on Mindfulness versus Worrying About the Future


#21

I think it’s about which word is used to describe this. Concern or conscientiousness might reflect better. Worry is a state full of anxiety and sometimes with an underlying belief of it being useful. The latter can perpetuate it. ‘Being concerned about the slightest fault’ is not about living in fear. It’s a state of wholesomeness.


#22

That’s ok :slight_smile: we can agree to disagree, though it is probably more to do with our individual definitions of what is “worry”. Personally I don’t see any positives in worry, but I do in conscientiousness, mindfulness and motivation. Worry to me is more, like running the engine without engaging the gears that allow for forward movement. Revving the engine and not going anywhere.


#23

@Mat & @Viveka

I agree with both of you that we might be using the word worry differently.

Most negative feelings include an element of care, and in many cases, and due to our linear way of thinking, it can appear that the only way to get rid of negative feelings is by apathy or lack of care, which was the main point i wanted to clarify.

This is why, i personally find the idea of “near enemy” used in explaining the four brahmaviharas to be quite useful. The difference between what is wholesome and what is not can be quite subtle.


#24

As the originator of this thread, this comment by @Viveka really captures what I was getting at in my initial post. When I found myself flat on the floor a couple of weeks ago by who-knows-what ailment (I am sticking with low blood sugar for the time being) I experienced a sense of freedom from being anxious about the future, and instead simply experienced the present moment, breath by breath. I was still aware of commitments and responsibilities, but I felt strangely free from attachments to them. I knew that once I was feeling better I would need to take care of all my normal obligations (e.g., associated with work, etc.), but I stopped worrying about them.

As a meditation teacher put it to me not so long ago, there is a fine line between planning for the future and worrying about it. What I am working on in my practice is cultivating right mindfulness so that I can focus on tasks that have to be completed without worrying about them. Unfortunately, I can’t induce low blood sugar at will so that I experience a perpetual state of freedom from concerns about the future. What I am exploring are meditation techniques and Buddhist teachings that serve that purpose. Thank you to everyone who has contributed to this discussion :pray:


#25

Nice reflection Leon! Here’s a poem that came to mind:

"The Guest House;

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.

Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond." — Jellaludin Rumi,


#26

I often wish I had an “off” switch for my brain motor. :yum:


#27

For so many years I have been watching my discursive mind which seems to operate as separate perpetual motion entity. From the time I wake up until my very last waking moment…and apparently in between those moments while sleeping…these multitude of voices aka The Committee votes on every thing often resoundingly much like the British Parliament.

My bladder woke me up this morning, and while luxuriating on my Princess throne a voice opened up the meeting by chastising me for what I ate last night-homemade chocolate chip cookies. The voice of the Diet Authority started berating me about what I should and I should not have done, and then the Buddha voice jumped in to de-escalate the growing controversy by reminding the Dietitian that last night was gone. Then the FoF Representative- Fear of the Future-interjected with some warning about weight gain.

I was still sitting on my throne when I realzed that I was having a rousing committee meeting before I even changed my undies. “Shut up” I screamed…rather in vain cause the next voice of the Coffee addict took over, and led me to the liberation of King Coffee Maker. And so it goes my friends. Beware the Committee! [Don’t Worry, Be Happy!]