Practice in the midst of intellectual work

thumbnail
fivebells ., modified 8 Years ago.

Practice in the midst of intellectual work

Posts: 566 Join Date: 2/25/11 Recent Posts
How do you do this? In the Hawk sutta, the Buddha recommends abiding in body, feelings, mind and mental qualities to avoid being swept away by Mara. This is doable in sitting meditation, but what about situations where you need to think? How do you connect with an intellectual construct (say, a Mathematical model, a chess position or a biological hypothesis) in a way which allows for insight about it, and yet at the same time remain attendant to body, feelings, mind and mental qualities, or at least avoid being swept away (usually into tension, anger or anxiety in my case?)
srid ᠎, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Practice in the midst of intellectual work

Posts: 23 Join Date: 9/19/10 Recent Posts
hi fivebells (are you the fivebells from LJ buddhists community?),

i work as a computer programmer. i don't know what it means to "abide in body, feelings, mind and mental qualities", but what works for me is -

* goenka-style attention, meaning: pay more and more attention to body sensations, ignoring the affective/mental aspects[1]. eg: experiencing anxiety? pay attention to the body sensations; remain equanimous. ignore anxious feelings/thoughts[1].

* do this style of attention, adding in attention to sights/sounds/smell/etc (anything but feeling/thoughts), consistently and continuously 24x7 ... mostly during such non-intellectual activities as walking, commuting, eating, etc.

* the more and more awareness of body sensations develops, the more and more you become *automatically* tuned to feel them even without trying.

* which means, the more and more it becomes possible to automatically feel them during intellectual activities as well.

it is also worth pointing out that before taking up goenka practice, i have always been keen on becoming happy and harmless and wanting to eradicate any or all affect that hinders that goal. thus, i never equated "Peace" to "The capacity to do what's right regardless of emotional disturbance."[2] - but to the very absence of those emotions (emotions == disturbance). i though i would mention this, because if one has any vested interest in feeling anxiety (or whatever emotion), then it may not be possible to pay unbalanced attention.

[1] though when attention is anchored in body senstations, i can freely attend to and investigate those aspects as well (which is where actualism's social identity practice comes into picture)
thumbnail
fivebells ., modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Practice in the midst of intellectual work

Posts: 566 Join Date: 2/25/11 Recent Posts
Hi, yes I'm that fivebells. Thanks for the suggestions.

I wasn't drawing that equation. "Peace" and the "capacity to do what's right" are separate goals. If you are free of emotional disturbance, I envy you, so there's another one for me to work on. emoticon

Breadcrumb