Following from the previous post;
Do you find yourself day dreaming and building castle in the air?
Do you imagine things for the worst or for the best? If the answer is yes, delusion is present.
However, isn’t planning a part of a better future? I wouldn’t discredit the importance of planning. A buddhist would further advice;
Do not be lost in it.
There is a great difference between wishful thinking and planning.
Wishful thinking is imagining the end result or how we would be going through the process (without really doing it, just imagination). And when you are doing it, you start imagining other things and possibility. In that manner, nothing gets done well.
For example, if you are now at work. Do you “plan” about sitting on your cushion after work to meditate? That’s day dreaming, that is delusion. (unfortunately that happens to me a lot) Then when I get home, its more important to watch Game of throne……(alas) Instead of losing ourself to an imaginative future, it would be better to practice mindfulness and work mindfully. (That is buddhist practice at work) That is being awake.
Day dreaming seems to be built upon the data that enter our senses. A word, a picture, a sound, even a taste, then perhaps a thought in our rumbling mind, will send our monkey mind to fetch something entertaining to offer. Before long, we are chasing our monkey mind as it throws “mental baits” along the way, leading us to our la la land.
Our daydreaming will be boring if there is only one actor in it. Usually we include others. It could be our lovers, our parents, our co-workers, our bosses etc. We also imagine how people would react to us.
We imagine the smile and excitement from someone whom we intend to give a present. We may imagine the best or imagine the worst. It doesn’t matter. They are just delusion.
Once we find our mind wandering off to imagine something that has not happen, that is delusion.
Since all this are our wishful thinking, there is always chance for a rude shock when things does not turn out as expected. Therefore, it is a waste of our mental energy, spent on laying a “trap” for ourselves. “Not skilful” a Buddhist master would comment.
The solution to all this unskillfulness is nothing but mindfulness. We have to train our mind to be awake and not be “Drunk” or deluded in a past memory or a fictitious future.
To be mindful, we need to strengthen the mind with power to concentrate.
It is easier for most people to adopt a mind training tool. It can be any mantra (best not to put too many meaning into a mantra, it is best left meaningless if we intend to use it as an anchor to tie our monkey mind down) Otherwise, mindfulness of breathe, an imaginary holy figure hovering above your head. etc can also do well. It depends on what suits you best.
Once there is mindfulness, it is important to learn mastery over our mind. Stop it from travelling to the past or future. Stay awake.
While being mindful and awake, it is important to develop positive traits such as compassion, loving kindness, generosity etc. It is important to be considerate and mindful of others. (That is compassion too)