Present Moment Awareness & Planning

Written by Tobi Warzinek

There you are, on retreat. The birds are singing, everything is quiet, there’s no need to worry about schedules, appointments or meetings. You can feel the wind on your skin and fully dive into the bliss of present moment awareness. Isn’t it wonderful?
Yes it is…


“how can I do this when I will be back home after the retreat?”
This question seems to invade all of us at some point on the journey into meditation practice.  As if there was something inside of our mind that doesn’t allow us to fully relax in this moment. Almost as if it was a sin to simply be happy for a few days. This famous question seems to be like that sort of noisy neighbor that decides to always mow the lawn exactly when you are out on your balcony taking a sunbath. Just when you start to calm down and relax at the retreat…THERE IT IS, mowing the lawn of your future or chainsawing into your past.

But worry not, I heard your prayers, retreat after retreat. Finally here’s the article that will bring clarity and light into this very popular topic 😉 How to combine a lifestyle that requires planning with present moment awareness – read right on my planning brothers and sisters.

Being and Doing – Two Facets of Life

We all know what doing means. Most of our entire life story is based on what we did, what we are doing and what we hope to do. The doer is the king of our conditioned mind. For simplicity sake let’s call him “King Do”. King Do is ruling with a strong hand, he never gives his people a break. For as soon as they would like to rest, he invades their spare time with his army of smartphones, books, conversations, movies and so much more. Even when his folks want to sleep he invades their dreams with a government of tasks, duties and other stuff that needs to be done.

But King Do is not a bad man. Doing is absolutely necessary in life. If we don’t do – we die. It is necessary to get out of bed in the morning (at least most of the time), or to earn money (unless you are a monastic of course). It is necessary to eat, have fun and pursue meaningful goals in life. In other words: on this planet there’s no life without doing.

“But what about the Queen?” you might wonder. The Queen is ruling at the Kings side but King Do is by far too noisy for people to notice her. She is incredibly beautiful and wise. And if the King would listen to her, his kingdom would flourish. Life is about the balance of both, doing and being. When one aspect gets neglected, there is imbalance and this imbalance is expressed as suffering. Achieving balance between doing and being is what we can learn in this life.

Present Moment Awareness and Planning

When we take a good look at our mind we will quickly realize that we are great (over)doers. The mind is racing without ever coming to an end. Would you agree that a bit of relaxation would actually help you to feel more happy and fulfilled? Would you also agree that life has more to offer than just plans to find some mysterious fulfillment in the future? What about the art of being here and now – when have you been fully in touch with life, your breath, your heartbeat, your presence the last time?

Seeking happiness by living a meaningful life, having plans and goals is great! You can fulfill your dreams and bring more joy into the world by cultivating positive actions. It’s not a bad thing at all! But it’s also not the only thing life has to offer – there’s more to it. So you might wonder – how can I bring more present moment awareness and mindfulness into my daily life of doing? Good question! Let’s show the King and the Queen how to hug 😉

I’m planning and I know it…

The solution: Manifest your skills as usual. Motivated by kindness and compassion you will lead a great life that benefits yourself and others! But while you are doing your daily things, do them fully. Like a skilled musician that is able to forget him or herself in the music you can be able to lead a life of presence, clarity and more consciousness. In fact, allow the quality of inner quietude and present moment awareness to flow into your life. This needs practice – but that’s exactly why we need to meditate more, isn’t it?

Once the beautiful and joyful stillness of Queen Be takes over and leads King Do by the hand, your life will bring peace to those around you. It is important to find a place in which you have arrived – an unshakeable refuge within your heart. To share your peaceful presence is to lead a fulfilled and inspiring life. Honestly, I believe that the world could well do with a few more people who have found peace within themselves – what do you think?

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Tobi Warzinek

Phuket Meditation Center

Tobi Warzinek

Tobi Warzinek - Meditation Teacher

About The Author

Tobi Warzinek has been working as a spiritual guide and mentor since 2009. His journey started in early 2002 when he entered the Tibetan Buddhist monastery of Rabten Choeling. He spent approximately 7 years in the community and studied the Tibetan language, mind-training and various meditation methods. Additionally he trained in traditional monastic debate and Buddhist philosophy. In 2011 he subsequently began practicing within the “Forest Tradition” in Thailand. Altogether he has dedicated his life to the exploration and refinement of introspection throughout the past 18 years.

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2 thoughts on “Present Moment Awareness & Planning”

  1. Hi Tobi,

    Saw this post and felt the need to add some supportive feedback.

    Having just finished another retreat with you this week, and sitting here on the sofa surrounded by my suitcase and packing, I felt the uncomfortable feeling of thoughts and sensations arise in me as I pondered the journey home and the future at work and in life and how I will practice what I have learned during my meditation practice.

    I felt the urge to cling onto the retreat I was leaving and craving things would not change, and as a result I sensed a need, and I went onto the blog site, for the first time I may add, to seek further nuturing in the way of meditation and kindness. Holding on you may say!

    Normally, I may think that I can deal with life back home after the retreats with the skills I learn practicing with Tobi and it takes a lot of effort to maintain the practice, but this time it I must admit, things are knowingly and mindfully different and more comforting than before.

    Seeing, knowing and letting go (not me or mine) – this is the skill that I have learned!

    As mentioned earlier, I felt myself feeling tight, not wanting to let go of here, getting stressed because of it and wondering if I thought what I had learned would fade away after a phone call back home to my wife to hear about her life and the world since I have been away! But then it kicked in! I naturally recognized what was going on, my craving to stay and resistance to the flow and changes facing me right now. I felt the pains in my back and core beginning to cripple me.

    Then I stopped, became present of here and now, acknowledged the pain and the craving/resistance, knew that the pain an suffering would not last if I relaxed into it, then had the mindfulness to say to myself that the pain and suffering is not me, or mine, and then the pains and struggle I was holding on to and resistance, began to fade and I felt a huge sense of relief! Yes! I was so proud of myself. Having put what I leaned into practice reinforced the belief and kindness to myself, that following this method and awareness helped me to relieve stress and deal with everyday things with a different approach.

    I’m glad I found the courage to not be afraid of my fear in this moment and have trust in the Procss and myself!

    I hope you do too!


    • Thank you for your kind words my friend! I am very grateful to see how it has been unfolding for you this time. Every time is different if we are open – you already know by experience!
      Very well done! Keep going – stay in touch 🙂


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