Message Boards Message Boards

Non-specific/Broad/Generic

Any tips for practicing in everyday life?

Toggle
I spend a great deal of the day desk-bound as I work at a computer and was wondering if anyone had any tips for practicing under these conditions? I find noting practice unsuitable as I have to think about my work but I do try to keep a certain level of awareness while I carry out each task. This can be tricky to maintain for long periods though and I find my mind wanders. If I go to the bathroom or anywhere else, then I begin to note walking, walking etc but a large part of my day is spent at my desk.

Or does anyone have any tips for other daily life activities? I find that washing the dishes and other menial duties can be quite good for keeping mindful and even brings a whole new level of enjoyment to them! Retreats are not really possible for me at the minute, so I'm looking to get as much daily practice in as I can (in any shape or form).

RE: Any tips for practicing in everyday life?
Answer
11/3/10 12:59 AM as a reply to John H.
I would ask Trent, who is a veteran of insight in cubicle-land or something like it, I believe, but all the standard moments when you are not needing to pay a lot of attention to the content are good ones, as you say, and great things definitely can be done by those who really go for this path with profound diligence and dedication.

D

RE: Any tips for practicing in everyday life?
Answer
11/3/10 1:12 AM as a reply to John H.
Hi John,

Some things I do:

- set up a "typing break" software to alert me every 30 minutes. I relax my wrists, stretch my back, and do a bit of noting practice of these activities and whatever I see, smell, hear... at that time.

- do noting practice when walking to and from conference rooms.

- do noting practice when eating my lunch. I also go for a walk in my lunch break, doing walking meditation.

- set up some "stop exercises": i.e. try to be aware when walking through doors, or when switching application windows, or something like that.

Cheers,
Florian

RE: Any tips for practicing in everyday life?
Answer
11/3/10 8:33 AM as a reply to Florian.
Florian:

set up a "typing break" software to alert me every 30 minutes. I relax my wrists, stretch my back, and do a bit of noting practice of these activities and whatever I see, smell, hear... at that time.


This is a great idea. I have a little bit of programming experience so I could create something to notify me at regular intervals.

@Daniel Thank you. It's good to know that progress can stil be made without retreats. I guess I need to get a little creative in my endeavours.

I was also wondering about Maharshi's 'Who am I' practice. This seems like it could be worked into my activities fairly easily as it doesn't take a long time to ask 'Who am I'. Is this type of practice compatible with vipassana? I.e would it progress me along the insight path?

RE: Any tips for practicing in everyday life?
Answer
11/3/10 8:45 AM as a reply to John H.
Hi John,

This is right where I'm right now so I have a bit to say on it. It’s likely to be a little too much. Bear with it and extract what useful tip/s you can ☺ My own approach right now bears a not too distant relation to the actualism/Direct method/Chuck Kasmire method. Or, at least, aspects of those methods. What I've found extremely productive is to take an actively postive approach to paying attention. I've made my baseline an open and positive frame of mind/approach to whatever I must focus on/do, as well as to my body state and physical position.

For example, this means a positive commitment to whatever work I must engage in. And then within that positive commitment a further commitment to non-reactivity. I just allow things to arise and pass, my attention a container. With that attitude, and a little time, my attention seems to deepen and become more stable, and reality flows more readily. Less pleasant emotions and body states become highlighted, yet also pass more rapidly. The result is a further deepening of presence and awareness and ease. It's good standard results that good attention gives.

And I take this same positive open attitude towards my body. That is being aware of the body, positioning it for comfort and efficiency, while also consciously relaxing it as required. I use a small group of techniques that include smiling into various areas of my body, to giving parts of my body metta - it works wonderfully, btw - to simply recognizing tension and consciously relaxing my body.

The one thing I'd really like to emphasize is that this positive approach gives energy and ease to the project/process of paying attention. A project that can otherwise get me fairly strung out and over-extended by the end of the day. The relaxation, 'love', and openness seem to be essential for me to provide balance and energy. And even in those moments when fatigue or some other unpleasant state or emotion becomes overwhelming I find I’m still able to simply sit with it and ride it out without too much reactivity.

And, of course, with this approach, noting can continue as you wish as states and feelings highlight themselves against the positive easeful mode cultivated. There is undoubtedly both more stability and more energy to attend. And, of course, as I note above, actualism et al, fit right in with this approach should you wish to take it further.

Helpful?

RE: Any tips for practicing in everyday life?
Answer
11/4/10 8:35 AM as a reply to D C.
Hi D C,

That is useful, thanks for taking the time to reply. I like your ideas for relaxing the body. I am currently in the 3 C's nana (I suspect) and have sore Trapeziod muscles and my body just wants to hunch. Your tips on relaxing the muscles and dissipating the tension with metta have given some relief.

Out of interest, what are your practice goals? Are you aiming for stream entry/arahatship or AF or something else? If you're on the insight path, do you feel that this method has improved your efforts?