Prasanna Natarajan

Mindfulness vs futuristic thinking

For a while earlier this year I was into mindfulness meditation. I listened and read stuff from Dan Harris, Sam Harris, Joseph Goldstein and Sharon Salzberg. I installed the apps, controlled my kundalini and pondered into the void called the presentness for as long as 30 minutes a day for more than 30 days.

I didn’t get enlightened. So I stopped.

The essense of mindfulness practice is to always be focused on the present moment. Your sense of breath, your surroundings, the sound, smell and texture of all that comprises of your present reality, in the here and now.

The idea is that being futuristic makes us stressed, and so being mindful of the present moment relieves us of that tension by making us focus on the things around us right now.

As good as these explanations were, they didn’t work for me.

And now after reading this Steve Pavlina article, I can understand the reason for the resistance.

Being inside your head thinking about the future, when done right, is actually a great way to life life.

You shouldn’t focus on fear when you think about the future. Just focus on all the good stuff that could happen in your life.

Instead of thinking “What if I can’t repay the loan? What’ll happen to my house then?”, think “I can try that idea to make more money and repay the loan faster and buy yet another property!”

If anything, the mindfulness practices that I did just made me numb about my own feelings. It suppresses our fears and desires for a while.

But I think they have their significance and if we use them right, then the mindfulness practice can make us enjoy the present while allowing us to daydream about our future.

The main benefit of thinking about my own future is that, I’m anxious to do even a small step daily to get closer to and realise the future I dreamt of.

Futuristic thinking allows you to be more committed to your desires, whereas mindfulness just pulls you out of all excitement.