Do you ever make plans? Do you ever make plans and find out they didn’t turn out the way you had planned? Perhaps things didn’t turn out the way you wanted. Months, perhaps years of planning go into a project or an idea or maybe even a career. Maybe you have planned your entire life out. Somehow things don’t click. All the data analysis, all the advisors, all the thought leaders and think tanks…all the research and all the investment. Years of investment. Yet somehow, circumstances turn in a direction no one could have predicted. In your mind it appeared one way, but now it’s different.
This doesn’t have to be a bad thing, of course. You could be walking down the street and out of the blue you see your best friend from 35 years ago. You lost touch with this person, but here they are! You didn’t get that job you wanted, but somehow you end up at another job, and it’s even better than you expected. You search for a home to move into for over a year, and finally you give up and end up getting the next house. After an exhausting day in the heat, when you are just about to drop to the ground, someone hands you a cool drink and it’s the best glass of water you have ever had. And of course, yes, many times people make plans and they do go off smoothly. Nothing wrong with planning.
Of course, if you are honest and look at your experience and what you have experienced, you will agree that it is impossible to predict exactly what will happen. No one knows. Look and see for yourself. Even the great prophets and sages do not know. The astrologers don’t know. Keep in mind, I am not discrediting them. Predictions can be made and they may very well come true. It has definitely happened and many live by such predictions. But at the root of what is really happening, the fundamental truth remains.
This need to know what will happen only comes from identification with the thinking mind. This addiction of needing to know the result of what will happen indeed causes unnecessary suffering. The thinking mind is always somewhere else. It is never HERE. It is never NOW. Therefore, it is already too late. Whenever something good happens spontaneously, it is not thanks to the mind. The mind is already late to the party. It is like the sports commentators at a big game. All it can do is say GOAL! That’s about it. It will, of course, be glad to take credit for whatever has already happened.
For example, no one knows whether the next breath will come. Sure, you can say according to the latest medical research, or other external sources, it is likely that…but in truth, if you look and see with clarity, it is obvious that you do not know that you will have the next breath.
Take a moment to contemplate this deeply by observing the in an out breaths with awareness. Leaving aside all ideas of what might happen in the future as a fool’s errand, stay here right now, with the breath. Just be with the breath and enjoy its soothing, intoxicating movement and pulsation. A large chunk of your fears, worries, doubts and past pain is literally falling away with each breath. The breath is sweeping the floor of the mind. It is clearing the way. There is no failure. There is nothing wrong. Clarity is arising.
In this stillness, you can see how all thoughts and experiences come later. YOU were here first and you still are. You always will be. The mind can only pretend to obscure. But your real nature is the source of everything you experience and think. Sink into that Source and feel a profound rest. There is nothing to find. Anything that can be found is only passing phenomena. It is fodder for the mind. It is a passing experience. The mind wants to know. But you are Unknown.
Having felt and clearly seen this, anything is possible. You can plan or not plan, predict or not predict. It no longer matters. This here now has everything you will ever need. And you can make to-do lists and you can research and you can consult astrologers again. If things work out or they don’t, it no longer matters. Everything is already worked out.
This is peace.
This post is a response to the WordPress daily prompt: Unpredictable