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The Dharma of Doing
Answer
5/4/20 2:12 PM
This is a question that relates to morality and to practice. 

In my current phase of practice, I'm starting to get a lot of good practice at feeling an urge or craving and to let it pass without responding. This turns out to be useful in the practice of morality as it relates to avoiding unhealthy behaviors. I have an increased tendency to be aware of an urge before it flows into a habit. I'm getting better at not doing the bad stuff.

What I am now trying to wrap my head around is how to approach practice and morality as it applies to doing. For example, paying attention to sensations while lying in bed in the morning doesn't increase the likelihood that I'll get up to meditate.

In general, this seems like a higher level move. My intuition is that it has something to do with getting stuff out of the way of the part of me that wants to act skillfully. I've experimented with making resolutions, and my sample size so far is very, very small, but I find that if I make a resolution in a moment of stillness and clarity that it happens, and it happens without the usual stress and doubt that accompanies my past attempts at "self-discipline".

There is also the question of how you apply practice to informal active times during the day, like noting intentions, urges, decisions ect.

How do you use the skills acquired on the cushion to make active good choices? How do you practice in the midst of doing stuff?

RE: The Dharma of Doing
Answer
5/4/20 3:39 PM as a reply to Brandon Dayton.
Fine questions here Brandon.

I dont know emoticon 

Let me try and remember how it worked for me during the last decade or so ...

I do remeber my A&P phase back in 2010 as I could go all day long working and interacting and still have the mindfulness of breath. It was as if I was looking at the world through the curtain called breath. You know, you have a window and a transparent curtain infront of it and you see both the world and the curtain. 

This stage is very clear, very concentarted and the feel of it is inspiering. I could go to bed after last meditation and get up 4 in the morning for a relaxed morning walk with my dog with a huge smile on my face and al nature around me had vibrancy to it emoticon Most of us here if not all know this stage Im sure.

So during it there was no issues with morality that much. 

Once in DN things get more unclear and murky in general so morality will also experince a slide down into lower realms so to speak emoticon 

If we are to believe that Im post-SE then now things seem a bit different. Im starting to notice less of wanting to change and more change happening out of direct knowing that holding that hot coal really is causing unecessery suffering. Letting go of it seems very sane. 
Also in case of some serious anger arising I do experience very HOT burning in my head now to the point of being expremely unpleasant and letting go of it again seems like a very sane thing to do.

During my past 20 years or longer I would be very prone to anger and to holding grudges for days (I mean it). Now this kind of hurt or anger lasts for a short while and then its gone as if nothing happened.
It took my partner a while to get used to this "new me" as she say. Back in the pre-SE (if we choose to believe that) times I would get so angry and hold grudge for at least two days or longer. So you can tell how surprised she is now to have me just cool down in short time.
One of the reasons she gladly now lets me disappear and do my daily sit.

Also to mention I do not go all 100% mindfulness during my day to day stuff. This is where I let attetion do what it wants without me chasing it (some folks do this on cushion, relax and just sit emoticon
On the cushion Im full on paint by numbers Noting for the duration of the sit. No slacking there emoticon 

This is me sharing. Im sure many more here (and elsewere) have noticed that this practice is indeed training the mind to be longer and longer "Awake" during conscious hours. 

RE: The Dharma of Doing
Answer
5/4/20 4:08 PM as a reply to Papa Che Dusko.
Oh just to mention; I still have dependency to nicotine (Swedish Snus) and find it hard to minimise or quit! Also I suffer from musical gear acquisition syndrom emoticon Im always researching what new pedal or new amp or guitar I could snatch emoticon I know its a sickness, with doctors and prescribtions and all emoticon 

One thing I did stop with is alcohol as it would aslo cause that same physical HOT pain in the head as anger and it just felt very unpleasant so I had no issues with saying no to offered alcohol since. There is no craving for it either (and I was kind of a beer or two a day guy and then some). I hope to attain to where Chris Marti is so I get back my taste for alcohol again emoticon emoticon 

RE: The Dharma of Doing
Answer
5/4/20 4:58 PM as a reply to Brandon Dayton.
Brandon, I don't quite understand the question.

It sounds like you're succesfully using practice to cut down bad habits, but now you'd like to use the same practice to cultivate good habits?

I think the pragmatic solution would be to figure out what you'd like to do (and why), realize that resistence to doing that thing is a form of aversion and just go ahead and do it anyway even if you don't feel like it... 

Reacitivity is reactivity. I wouldn't overthink it. Just notice reactivity in any form and respond appropriately based on your goals. 

RE: The Dharma of Doing
Answer
5/5/20 12:37 PM as a reply to Papa Che Dusko.
I do remeber my A&P phase back in 2010 as I could go all day long working and interacting and still have the mindfulness of breath. It was as if I was looking at the world through the curtain called breath. You know, you have a window and a transparent curtain infront of it and you see both the world and the curtain. 

This stage is very clear, very concentarted and the feel of it is inspiering. I could go to bed after last meditation and get up 4 in the morning for a relaxed morning walk with my dog with a huge smile on my face and al nature around me had vibrancy to it emoticon Most of us here if not all know this stage Im sure.

Ha! Yes I can totally relate to that. Post A&P I remember telling my wife, "It's just impossible to be bored now." It was all effortless mindfulness, all the time. That it lasted as long as it did was pretty cool, but yeah, that ain't me anymore.
Im starting to notice less of wanting to change and more change happening out of direct knowing that holding that hot coal really is causing unecessery suffering. Letting go of it seems very sane. 
I am starting to feel this a bit, but there are still some trips down into lower realms. I find that it is much harder to ignore how bad decisions make me feel. If I avoid something I know will be healthy for me, it will be very uncomfortable. 

TV and video games used to be a big compulsion, but that has been easier to drop. Social media (and lurking on DhO emoticon )have been a tougher habit to kick.

RE: The Dharma of Doing
Answer
5/5/20 12:35 PM as a reply to Hibiscus Kid.
HK,
You are probably right that I am overcomplicating things, but that is what I do!
I think the pragmatic solution would be to figure out what you'd like to do (and why), realize that resistence to doing that thing is a form of aversion and just go ahead and do it anyway even if you don't feel like it... 

Yes, I think this is the right approach. I guess I have to accept that the there may be some inconsistency with doing, but to pay attention either way.

MCTB makes a point of differentiating the practice of morality, concentration and insight. What follows is hundreds of pages of descripton of how to practice concentration and insight, but not much more on morality. Some of what I learned from my childhood in this regard works fine, but other things not so much.  I'm still trying to figure out more skillful ways to approach the practice.

Lots to sort out, but you just can't avoid that it takes attention, time and patience. Just like any thing you do on the cushion, I guess. 


RE: The Dharma of Doing
Answer
5/7/20 1:04 PM as a reply to Brandon Dayton.
Brandon Dayton:
I do remeber my A&P phase back in 2010 as I could go all day long working and interacting and still have the mindfulness of breath. It was as if I was looking at the world through the curtain called breath. You know, you have a window and a transparent curtain infront of it and you see both the world and the curtain. 

This stage is very clear, very concentarted and the feel of it is inspiering. I could go to bed after last meditation and get up 4 in the morning for a relaxed morning walk with my dog with a huge smile on my face and al nature around me had vibrancy to it emoticon Most of us here if not all know this stage Im sure.

Ha! Yes I can totally relate to that. Post A&P I remember telling my wife, "It's just impossible to be bored now." It was all effortless mindfulness, all the time. That it lasted as long as it did was pretty cool, but yeah, that ain't me anymore.
Im starting to notice less of wanting to change and more change happening out of direct knowing that holding that hot coal really is causing unecessery suffering. Letting go of it seems very sane. 
I am starting to feel this a bit, but there are still some trips down into lower realms. I find that it is much harder to ignore how bad decisions make me feel. If I avoid something I know will be healthy for me, it will be very uncomfortable. 

TV and video games used to be a big compulsion, but that has been easier to drop. Social media (and lurking on DhO emoticon )have been a tougher habit to kick.


(Chris Marti are you readyyyy emoticon here it goes) Kenneth Folk told me about mind always going through Realms. Its just part of its usual stuff it seems. If this is so then how do I go about this? Do I try to ignore this? Do I try to control it? Do I ...? What? emoticon

I can only ever be mindful of it. Mind will go places and do its sub-selfing through realms as it always did but what now takes more place is seeing this happening and seeing it for what it is (non-self, unsatisfactory and impermanent) hence there is non-clinging taking place more and more. Wisdom-dispassion for all this mind states/sensations/feelings is being more and more developed as we go deeper into this practice.

One can certainly TRAIN during the early stages (pre-path) to try and Commit to only the Human Realm as that is the only one that can practice Vipassana (seeing things as they really are) No other realms can do that. I still do this at times if there is some unclear strangeness arising and I cant find the way back to Vipassana. According to Kenneth this is something he still does daily as life goes along. Mind seems to go through all this anyway but now there is SEEING this with WISDOM EYE (sorry Chris Marti for capital letter use, but note I use less smilies so give me a credit will ya) and holding onto it is lesser and lesser. Im sure some nasties might even never come into more than a probability whisper rather than enter into a lower realm in later paths but I dont know this.

We didnt go much into Kenneth's personal "mind in realms" but I assume he too can get into craving Guinness and Doritos for the evening which is the Hungry Ghost realm emoticon (his words not mine and I doubt he would say it if this is not actually the case in his life). 

Practice is KING. There is no doubt about it. Certain practice models can be helpful to pin point some expereices and see them as such and commit to the one thats more of benefit for one self and others. 

As we are on the subject of Kenneth Folk he did tell me that its really useful to track the mind during off cushion in this 6 Realms way, recognise it and commit again to only be in the Human Realm. Basically you fall off the horse (into another realm) then you get back up again (vipassana and the brahmaviharas). No guilt trips for falling into other realms and instead notice that THIS GUILT is also in another realm which is not human emoticon (not sure if guilt is hell or hungry ghost but matters little really as all I can do is find my way back to the human realm. If I can sense the body sensations/mind states/feelings Im in the human realm, all good).
He also used DhO as the example of Jealous Gods Realm (Asura or Demi-gods) where people have discussions about who is right and who is wrong and who has better attainment, or my way is better than yours, and all that goal orientated stuff emoticon 

So on cushion full on Noting and off the cushion noticing mind slipping into realms and commiting back to the human realm without this being some stiff action of guilty morality. Practice will make this "seeing" sharper and less prone to clinging anyway. I can not see this 6 Realms noticing to be of more benefit that Vipassana. 


"lurking on DhO have been a tougher habit to kick" tell that to Chris Marti emoticon 
Dont beat yourself for having activities. I think its healty not to supress stuff. I now keep my music and music gear habit alive just to weigh against the practice emoticon This might sound counter productive but I think its healthy. Im now spending hours researching if to invest my last money into a PRS guitar or a VOX AC15 all tube amplifier , ... or into a bunch of effects pedals and maybe a better speaker cabinet for my existing amp, or maybe new set of custom made stratocaster pickups  emoticon I mean ... emoticon 

Do press on with the daily practice. And I mean to make yourself sit and do the time/work. All else slack a bit and enjoy.

Ok, I better stop as Im loosing the thread. Sorry if I went on a long round and round bicycle ride with this reply emoticon (shit, I used too many smilies Marti's gonna kick my ars again). I hope some of it is of benefit.

RE: The Dharma of Doing
Answer
5/5/20 3:00 PM as a reply to Papa Che Dusko.
Fortunately, I just stumbled onto this post by Shargol explaining the concept of realms. It's helpful to hear you describe it in action.

I was just doing the dishes now. I usually turn on music or a podcast to listen to, but this time I was inspired by Hibiscus and just decided to pay attention to how it felt to do them silently. I noticed lots of urges and dissatisfaction underlying the urges. Not that listening to music is going to hurt anyone, but it still felt like good practice to be able to see the cravings and resistance to what is and to try and relax into it.

I guess your point though is that every moment doesn't need to be practice and we can learn things with our travels through different realms just by paying attention. I'm sure there would have been things to learn if I had turned on the music as well.

RE: The Dharma of Doing
Answer
5/5/20 3:06 PM as a reply to Papa Che Dusko.
BTW, Shargol's description of Hell Realms sounds like how my depression felt before the A&P. It's kind of like I got shot out of a cannon from the lowest realm to the highest, but it makes sense now that there was work I wasn't able to do as long as I was on that high. 

RE: The Dharma of Doing
Answer
5/5/20 3:10 PM as a reply to Brandon Dayton.
Hi Brandon,

For stuff that I wanted to drop (e.g. porn), I would just do it mindfully and observe how it made me feel. Was I really satisfied? How did I feel afterwards? Can I see how it was making me suffer?

For stuff I wanted to do but procrastinated (e.g. my tax returns), I would just look at the resistance and accept that I didn't really want to do them. Once I accepted that then the problem usually lifted - either I would get them done quickly without resistance, or I would not do them (either way, bettter than being stuck with that horrible feeling of not being able to do what I should do).

agnostic

RE: The Dharma of Doing
Answer
5/6/20 7:04 AM as a reply to Papa Che Dusko.
Papa Che Dusko:

During my past 20 years or longer I would be very prone to anger and to holding grudges for days (I mean it). Now this kind of hurt or anger lasts for a short while and then its gone as if nothing happened.
It took my partner a while to get used to this "new me" as she say. Back in the pre-SE (if we choose to believe that) times I would get so angry and hold grudge for at least two days or longer. So you can tell how surprised she is now to have me just cool down in short time.
One of the reasons she gladly now lets me disappear and do my daily sit.

...

This is me sharing. Im sure many more here (and elsewere) have noticed that this practice is indeed training the mind to be longer and longer "Awake" during conscious hours. 
Dang, PCD, I feel like we have a common pool in the collective mind. 

RE: The Dharma of Doing
Answer
5/7/20 9:35 AM as a reply to agnostic.
For stuff I wanted to do but procrastinated (e.g. my tax returns), I would just look at the resistance and accept that I didn't really want to do them. Once I accepted that then the problem usually lifted - either I would get them done quickly without resistance, or I would not do them (either way, bettter than being stuck with that horrible feeling of not being able to do what I should do).
This is probably getting more into psychotherapy than meditation, but one of the things I deal with is having lots of bright ideas and sorting which of them to invest in. This can include little things like getting in touch with an old friend all the way up to grandiose artistic or business ideas. I believe it's healthy to turn some of these ideas into action, but clearly I can't do that with all of them. Too often I end up getting totally frozen in the process.

I guess even getting frozen is a decision, and can be something to observe. Regardless of what I choose I can always observe, observe, observe.