How to practice while reading?

Matheus Ribeiro de Assis, modified 1 Year ago at 7/3/22 10:18 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 7/3/22 10:18 AM

How to practice while reading?

Posts: 22 Join Date: 1/23/22 Recent Posts
It has occurred to me that is quite difficult to practice noting/noticing while reading a text, is there anything specific that I should note/notice? Actually I can change the focus to notice the monitor or the page that I'm reading, or how the forms in the paper/monitor are one thing and it's cognition are another, and all other kinds of sensations that are involved. But the problem is that this significantly increases the difficulty of understanding the text. It seems that I can't note/notice and understand the text at the same time. Any tips?
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Chris M, modified 1 Year ago at 7/3/22 11:48 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 7/3/22 11:48 AM

RE: How to practice while reading?

Posts: 5277 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
Your comment begs the question - why do you want to practice while reading? As you are finding, you can't do justice to both reading and practice at the same time.
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Sigma Tropic, modified 1 Year ago at 7/3/22 11:59 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 7/3/22 11:59 AM

RE: How to practice while reading?

Posts: 368 Join Date: 6/27/17 Recent Posts
Read Dharma. 
George S, modified 1 Year ago at 7/3/22 3:00 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 7/3/22 3:00 PM

RE: How to practice while reading?

Posts: 2722 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
You could try taking a quick note of how you feel after every paragraph or something.
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Jim Smith, modified 1 Year ago at 7/3/22 11:47 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 7/3/22 11:18 PM

RE: How to practice while reading?

Posts: 1752 Join Date: 1/17/15 Recent Posts
Matheus Ribeiro de Assis
It has occurred to me that is quite difficult to practice noting/noticing while reading a text, is there anything specific that I should note/notice? Actually I can change the focus to notice the monitor or the page that I'm reading, or how the forms in the paper/monitor are one thing and it's cognition are another, and all other kinds of sensations that are involved. But the problem is that this significantly increases the difficulty of understanding the text. It seems that I can't note/notice and understand the text at the same time. Any tips?


Read slowly.

You have to decide what you are going to be mindful of while you read. It could be just to stay mindful that you are reading. Or it could be noticing everything that comes into your mind: thoughts, emotions, impulses, sensory input, sense of self (Who is reading?), Or something in between like seeing the words and understanding their meaning, or noticing when something you read triggers your mind to produce dukkha, or noticing your breath.

You might want reading meditation to be similar to your regular practice or you might want to do something different. And you can change that as often or as seldom as you want.

And you might do it differently depending on what and why you are reading, whether it is a novel, a textbook for a class, the instructions for your income tax forms, or the news.

This is pretty much what you have to decide with any type of practice in daily life. What you decide might relate to why you are practicing in daily life.
  • Do you want to further your formal practice?
  • Do you want to work on something different from your formal practice? (I tend to cultivate tranquility in sitting meditation and practice vipassana in daily life.)
  • Do you want to keep your mind focused so your mind does not become turbulent between meditation sessions?
  • Do you want to change your default mode of awareness?
  • Do you want to maintain/prolong the tranquility you attained through sitting meditation?

Be patient. With practice you will be able to read faster while remaining mindful.
Matheus Ribeiro de Assis, modified 1 Year ago at 7/4/22 8:10 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 7/4/22 8:10 PM

RE: How to practice while reading?

Posts: 22 Join Date: 1/23/22 Recent Posts
Chris M
Your comment begs the question - why do you want to practice while reading? As you are finding, you can't do justice to both reading and practice at the same time.


Because in the Mahasi noting style, you're supposed to note the whole day long, without interruption.
Matheus Ribeiro de Assis, modified 1 Year ago at 7/4/22 8:11 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 7/4/22 8:11 PM

RE: How to practice while reading?

Posts: 22 Join Date: 1/23/22 Recent Posts
Sigma Tropic
Read Dharma. 


That's one of the things I'm trying to do.
Matheus Ribeiro de Assis, modified 1 Year ago at 7/4/22 8:12 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 7/4/22 8:12 PM

RE: How to practice while reading?

Posts: 22 Join Date: 1/23/22 Recent Posts
Jim Smith
Matheus Ribeiro de Assis
It has occurred to me that is quite difficult to practice noting/noticing while reading a text, is there anything specific that I should note/notice? Actually I can change the focus to notice the monitor or the page that I'm reading, or how the forms in the paper/monitor are one thing and it's cognition are another, and all other kinds of sensations that are involved. But the problem is that this significantly increases the difficulty of understanding the text. It seems that I can't note/notice and understand the text at the same time. Any tips?


Read slowly.


Thank you! That's what I needed!

You have to decide what you are going to be mindful of while you read. It could be just to stay mindful that you are reading. Or it could be noticing everything that comes into your mind: thoughts, emotions, impulses, sensory input, sense of self (Who is reading?), Or something in between like seeing the words and understanding their meaning, or noticing when something you read triggers your mind to produce dukkha, or noticing your breath.

You might want reading meditation to be similar to your regular practice or you might want to do something different. And you can change that as often or as seldom as you want.

And you might do it differently depending on what and why you are reading, whether it is a novel, a textbook for a class, the instructions for your income tax forms, or the news.

This is pretty much what you have to decide with any type of practice in daily life. What you decide might relate to why you are practicing in daily life.
  • Do you want to further your formal practice?
  • Do you want to work on something different from your formal practice? (I tend to cultivate tranquility in sitting meditation and practice vipassana in daily life.)
  • Do you want to keep your mind focused so your mind does not become turbulent between meditation sessions?
  • Do you want to change your default mode of awareness?
  • Do you want to maintain/prolong the tranquility you attained through sitting meditation?

Be patient. With practice you will be able to read faster while remaining mindful.
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Jim Smith, modified 1 Year ago at 7/6/22 11:55 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 7/6/22 11:51 PM

RE: How to practice while reading?

Posts: 1752 Join Date: 1/17/15 Recent Posts
Matheus Ribeiro de Assis
Chris M
Your comment begs the question - why do you want to practice while reading? As you are finding, you can't do justice to both reading and practice at the same time.


Because in the Mahasi noting style, you're supposed to note the whole day long, without interruption.


Also, if you are trying to read and there are distractions in the environment, or if you are distracted by other things going on in your mind, or if the content you are reading is emotionally distressing, it can help a lot if you are practiced at reading mindfully. Mindfulness, being in the moment, is a beneficial psychological state that is different from ordinary consciousness, there is no reason you shouldn't be able enjoy those benefits  while reading.
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Chris M, modified 1 Year ago at 7/7/22 9:22 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 7/7/22 9:22 AM

RE: How to practice while reading?

Posts: 5277 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
 Mindfulness, being in the moment, is a beneficial psychological state that is different from ordinary consciousness, there is no reason you shouldn't be able enjoy those benefits  while reading.

This is all correct.
 
But we should be cognizant that mindfulness adds a layer of mental effort to what's going on when we're occupied by something like reading. Mindfulness (and noting in the Mahasi tradition) is an intermediate step toward a deeper recognition. These are tools that we can use to help us discover the true nature of mind.
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Jim Smith, modified 1 Year ago at 8/7/22 9:01 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 8/7/22 9:01 PM

RE: How to practice while reading?

Posts: 1752 Join Date: 1/17/15 Recent Posts
Jim Smith
...

Read slowly.

You have to decide what you are going to be mindful of while you read. It could be just to stay mindful that you are reading. Or it could be noticing everything that comes into your mind: thoughts, emotions, impulses, sensory input, sense of self (Who is reading?), Or something in between like seeing the words and understanding their meaning, or noticing when something you read triggers your mind to produce dukkha, or noticing your breath.

You might want reading meditation to be similar to your regular practice or you might want to do something different. And you can change that as often or as seldom as you want.

And you might do it differently depending on what and why you are reading, whether it is a novel, a textbook for a class, the instructions for your income tax forms, or the news.

This is pretty much what you have to decide with any type of practice in daily life. What you decide might relate to why you are practicing in daily life.
  • Do you want to further your formal practice?
  • Do you want to work on something different from your formal practice? (I tend to cultivate tranquility in sitting meditation and practice vipassana in daily life.)
  • Do you want to keep your mind focused so your mind does not become turbulent between meditation sessions?
  • Do you want to change your default mode of awareness?
  • Do you want to maintain/prolong the tranquility you attained through sitting meditation?

Be patient. With practice you will be able to read faster while remaining mindful.



When you read very slowly, reading each word distinctly, mindfully, you don't get drawn into the subject you are reading, you stay mindful. But if you read at a normal speed you most likely will forget to be mindful and loose awareness of the present moment and become drawn into the subject and your mind is carried away by it.

This is how the sense of a continuous constant self gets created (it is not an analogy, it is the process). If you are aware of each distinct moment of consciousness you have a unique sense of self in each moment, but because there are so many distinct moments of consciousness occurring so rapidly one after another you don't notice each moment is unique, it seems like there is a continuous flow of time, the way the distinct frames in a movie create the illusion of continuous motion.

By trying to notice each distinct moment of consciousness, in meditation and daily life, you can weaken the appearance of continuity and start to see things differently. By reading at different speeds, trying to stay mindful you can discover the subtleties of how this process occurrs.

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