Planning as Meditation

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I finally hit on a form of meditation that works for me: a pencil, a planner and quiet time on the bus. I calm down. I relax. I pull together all the bits inside myself and feel whole.I realized last Friday night my weekly “planner meditation” was just that for me.  

I have tried other forms of meditation: contemplative prayer, centering prayer, TM (that dates me!) and others; but they either bore me, put me to sleep, or make me feel inadequate because I couldn’t reach a higher consciousness or perfect state of awareness. I stayed on earth.   My mind continued to scamper.

But when I plan, I focus. And that focus brings with it a certain expansive awareness and inner calm.

Do I have any soul mates out there?

7 thoughts on “Planning as Meditation

  1. Karen I love this post! I absolutely use planning, or even just playing around with planners, as a form of meditation. I love to look through my pages, update my lists, fill in repeating events into future weeks, write in birthdays and reminders. After a few minutes I feel more calm and in control.

  2. I haven’t had such blissful planning time since we moved from Houston to Iowa. In Houston, I had a combined two-hour daily commute via bus to my downtown office/home and it was wonderful. I made lots of lists, got lots done and finished lots of needlework while lost in my thoughts. No commutes in Iowa and I find myself missing them – it was enforced time then and it’s hard to garner that kind of time here where the pace is slower.
    Note to self: more planning time in bucolic Iowa!

  3. Yes, I do know what you mean about the peace of the planner. I suppose you could call it contemplative planning. I use Journal 21 at the end of the day to pull the fragments of the day together and push away the sense of time pressure that seems to permeate life. I have a small box of tiny images that I’ve cut out and paste one in almost every day with a bit of doodle or colored pencil to get just a bit of art in. When I put down activities for days to come, it gives me a sense of enough time … at least for the evening. It’s a form of nourishment for my soul.
    But I also have to mention that meditation is not meant to be goal oriented, it’s the journey not the destination to some “perfect” state of awareness. It’s about learning to know your mind and beyond that, your I. It’s a way to train your thinking. There’s been too much hype about how to do it and what you should experience. As you have found with your planner, it’s a state of being connected with your whole, centered. My hand mudra is holding a fountain pen!

  4. Absolutely! I hadn’t thought of it this way before, but planning is definitely a form of meditation. And it works better for me than conventional meditation because with conventional meditation I either fall asleep or get impossibly bored. The type of thought used in planning and organizing clears the mind.

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