What are some good meditation off-cushion practices to help achive insight

Macky Ben-Jonah, modified 2 Years ago at 3/20/22 6:07 AM
Created 2 Years ago at 3/20/22 6:07 AM

What are some good meditation off-cushion practices to help achive insight

Posts: 104 Join Date: 2/17/22 Recent Posts
Hello,

I have started meditation 6 months ago, and I am practicing Shargol's noting on-cushion. I am also practicing it off-cushion. The problem is that I have very long periods of forgetting to meditate when I practice off-cushion. Can someone give me some better ways to meditate off-cushion.

​​​​​​​Thanks,
Adi Vader, modified 2 Years ago at 3/20/22 10:01 AM
Created 2 Years ago at 3/20/22 10:01 AM

RE: What are some good meditation off-cushion practices to help achive insi

Posts: 319 Join Date: 6/29/20 Recent Posts
Hi following are the off the cushion practices that I use. Each one is layered on top of the other.

**A. I am doing this**

1. Take a few deep breaths and relax
2. Form an intention to do 'this' - whatever 'this' is - making a biz plan, changing a diaper, planning an invasion ...
3. Become fully present with 'this' - let thoughts, attitudes, interests and inclinations slowly align themselves with the intention to do 'this'
4. Let thoughts, speech and action be guided by the intention to do 'this'
5. Every time the mind moves to anything else, try and notice it, understand that it is not part of this, examine its importance, if not important let it go, if important then make a note to come back to 'it' and gently let it go
6. Keep coming back to 'this' - again and again

**B. Sensory immersion**

1. Do 'I am doing this'
2. Within 'this' as well as within distractions deliberately hold the dominant experience in mind. If touching, hearing, thinking, moving, speaking get a clear sense of what the dominant experience feels like immersing yourself in it
3. Do the above with the 5 sense doors initially
4. Within a session or within multiple sessions slowly start including the sense door of the mind
5. Initially you may have to slow down 'this' but try to get back to normal speed

**C. Vedana**

1. Do 'I am doing this'
2. Do sensory immersion
3. Against each sensory experience try to suss what what it feels like - good/bad/neutral
4. Use labels initially if you must but try to move on to the actual experience of vedana
5. Do this to the extent possible - its not an all or nothing exercise

**D. Mind states**

1. Do 'I am doing this'
2. As you go about doing this keep asking yourself the question - what is my general mood, am I attracted or repulsed by the current overall experience
3. Slowly move this exercise from attention to awareness to MIA - near continuous MIA
4. As a guide look for the following: 1. Attracted 2. Repulsed 3. Excited 4. Tired 5. Energetic 6. Bored 7. Interested You can use labels initially but soon let go of labels and apprehend the actual experienceb

**E. Gratitude**

1. Create a laundry list of things you are grateful for
2. Every few minutes bring to mind one of them and feel and express gratitude
3. As you go about doing 'this' within sensory experiences, events, contexts find on the fly something to be grateful for - deeply feel and express gratitude
Macky Ben-Jonah, modified 2 Years ago at 3/29/22 8:09 AM
Created 2 Years ago at 3/29/22 8:09 AM

RE: What are some good meditation off-cushion practices to help achive insi

Posts: 104 Join Date: 2/17/22 Recent Posts
Adi Vader
Hi following are the off the cushion practices that I use. Each one is layered on top of the other.

**A. I am doing this**

1. Take a few deep breaths and relax
2. Form an intention to do 'this' - whatever 'this' is - making a biz plan, changing a diaper, planning an invasion ...
3. Become fully present with 'this' - let thoughts, attitudes, interests and inclinations slowly align themselves with the intention to do 'this'
4. Let thoughts, speech and action be guided by the intention to do 'this'
5. Every time the mind moves to anything else, try and notice it, understand that it is not part of this, examine its importance, if not important let it go, if important then make a note to come back to 'it' and gently let it go
6. Keep coming back to 'this' - again and again

**B. Sensory immersion**

1. Do 'I am doing this'
2. Within 'this' as well as within distractions deliberately hold the dominant experience in mind. If touching, hearing, thinking, moving, speaking get a clear sense of what the dominant experience feels like immersing yourself in it
3. Do the above with the 5 sense doors initially
4. Within a session or within multiple sessions slowly start including the sense door of the mind
5. Initially you may have to slow down 'this' but try to get back to normal speed

**C. Vedana**

1. Do 'I am doing this'
2. Do sensory immersion
3. Against each sensory experience try to suss what what it feels like - good/bad/neutral
4. Use labels initially if you must but try to move on to the actual experience of vedana
5. Do this to the extent possible - its not an all or nothing exercise

**D. Mind states**

1. Do 'I am doing this'
2. As you go about doing this keep asking yourself the question - what is my general mood, am I attracted or repulsed by the current overall experience
3. Slowly move this exercise from attention to awareness to MIA - near continuous MIA
4. As a guide look for the following: 1. Attracted 2. Repulsed 3. Excited 4. Tired 5. Energetic 6. Bored 7. Interested You can use labels initially but soon let go of labels and apprehend the actual experienceb

**E. Gratitude**

1. Create a laundry list of things you are grateful for
2. Every few minutes bring to mind one of them and feel and express gratitude
3. As you go about doing 'this' within sensory experiences, events, contexts find on the fly something to be grateful for - deeply feel and express gratitude

So for the fisrt exercies, you make an intention do do whatever you are doing, and when you see your mind wandering, you make an intention to bring the mind back to what it was that you were doing?
Adi Vader, modified 2 Years ago at 3/29/22 10:57 AM
Created 2 Years ago at 3/29/22 10:57 AM

RE: What are some good meditation off-cushion practices to help achive insi

Posts: 319 Join Date: 6/29/20 Recent Posts
When the mind wanders, examine where it has wandered to, evaluate if it is important, if not, let it go and come back to your defined scope of 'this'
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Pawel K, modified 2 Years ago at 3/29/22 12:30 PM
Created 2 Years ago at 3/29/22 12:28 PM

Figuring out what you want to experience with restlessness

Posts: 1172 Join Date: 2/22/20 Recent Posts
Here is fun off-cushion practice I invented 8 years ago for myself and had great results with it.
Figuring out what you want to experience by using restlessness as a detector.

For example 
If I was thinking about jhanas there would be probably idea of state called 'jhana' but I would not focus on this but rather first focus on restlessness of my mind. Being restless means mind wants something and it would be this something that not having makes mind restless what I would then focus on rather than whatever idea or event initially might have caused mind to become restless.

There might be experiences in the mind which seems like obvious answers but I would not take such answers but rather try to feel them and see how experiencing them affects restlessness of the mind. If it doesn't seem to reduce it then I would search elsewhere. Eventually usually somewhere far away I would find area which when experienced consciously make mind to not be restless anymore.

That's it, it is the experience I actually wanted to experience!
Robert L, modified 2 Years ago at 3/30/22 9:22 AM
Created 2 Years ago at 3/30/22 9:22 AM

RE: What are some good meditation off-cushion practices to help achive insi

Posts: 72 Join Date: 2/10/19 Recent Posts
Look up Kenneth Folk direct path on Youtube. This series of videos on the "direct path" meditation technique can be done on cushion and off. I also found that Adyashanti's audiobooks on true meditation line up well with Kenneth's described technique. Angelo Dilullo's book Awake has a good description of true meditation that is very similar to Adyashanti's. I found all three sources beneficial to my practice, and utilize them throughout the day, on and off cushion.
Nick N, modified 2 Years ago at 3/30/22 11:41 AM
Created 2 Years ago at 3/30/22 11:41 AM

RE: What are some good meditation off-cushion practices to help achive insi

Posts: 11 Join Date: 1/27/22 Recent Posts
I was thinking of Kenneth Folk too! While his concept of an auditor constantly evaluating mindfulness seems a little disjointed while I'm on the cushion, whenever I snap back to the moment in my daily life, that sort of "prove to me that you're actually mindful!" investigation helps me look at sense doors more closely instead of just sitting in that general feeling of "presentness" without much clarity. It turns out feeling 'present' is largely a sensation somewhere around my forehead and face. I'm pretty new to off-cushion practice but as I have more and more instances of coming back to the moment throughout each new day, the image of an auditor demanding proof of mindfulness helps me get more out of each of those moments.

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