Insights and progress from incorporated daily practice

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Rich N, modified 8 Years ago.

Insights and progress from incorporated daily practice

Posts: 64 Join Date: 1/12/11 Recent Posts
Is it possible to make insight progress while just walking around the street and doing whatever you do day by day? If so, how? What should your priorities be?

For example should you be noting all the time? Is it even possible to really note experience while performing complex day to day tasks (like writing an essay, for example).

Don't reply unless you've actually had real significant insights in daily practice.

Thanks,

Rich
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Nikolai ., modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Insights and progress from incorporated daily practice

Posts: 1648 Join Date: 1/23/10 Recent Posts
Rich -:
Is it possible to make insight progress while just walking around the street and doing whatever you do day by day? If so, how? What should your priorities be?

For example should you be noting all the time? Is it even possible to really note experience while performing complex day to day tasks (like writing an essay, for example).

Don't reply unless you've actually had real significant insights in daily practice.

Thanks,

Rich


There is only way you will find out what works and that is by experimenting your arse off. Priorities should be whatever gets you paying attention to the field of experience (what is happening for this mind/body organism from moment to moment via sight, sound, touch-within and surface, taste, smell and thought) continuously. It is very possible and I would say vital to take one's practice into all or as many avenues of life if one wishes to seriously change the baseline of one's ongoing experience of living, for the better. Momentum in practice means taking practice from formal sitting times and allowing it to infect, seep into and establish itself into non-formal sitting times (daily life). It is not neccessary to 'note' all the time, though if you can, simply note a selection of the field of experience, it might make it easier. You could mentally note a couple of times per minute the current 'mind state'. This is enough to still continue momentum in my experience. Simply noting 2 times per minute the current mind state. Happiness, sadness, curious, agitation, searching, wanting, interested, depression, anger, calm, peaceful, fear, etc. etc. When sitting formally, it may be easier to be more inclusive of all aspects of the field of experience when noting, but out and about, one has to pay attention to responsibilities and oncoming cars when crossing the street. But the occasional paying attention and recognition of the current mind state shouldn't be too hard to continue non-stop during the day. The hard part is simply making it the new habit. once it becomes established as something the mind simply does at all times, then one may notice, that one is noting all the time regardless of what is noted. And maybe 'noting labels' will not be so necessary. baby steps first. Establish the practice, then experiment with being more inclusive.

When out and about, figure out what continues momentum , and if that is by narrowing what is noted and paid attention to, so be it. Experiment and see what works for you. You can mix it up when and how you want as long as 'paying attention' to what is happening right now is the theme, noting or not noting.

http://thehamiltonproject.blogspot.com.au/2012/04/yogi-toolbox-gathering-momentum-at-work.html

Nick
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Rich -, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Insights and progress from incorporated daily practice

Posts: 64 Join Date: 1/12/11 Recent Posts
I have been experimenting the arse off with it, for several years. I'm at a stage now where I'd say that I'm meditating approximately 4-5 hours a day "off the cushion".

The reason I'm asking is that my on the cushion meditation is basically 0.

My off the cushion meditation varies depending on what I'm doing. For example:

When waiting I do heavy and deep noting practice, normally hitting between 5-10 sensations a second. I find this extremely challenging and difficult to "ensure" the "integrity" of what I'm noting.

When walking I do a lighter noting practice, approx 3-4 sensations a second.

At other times (including working, thinking, talking, going the toilet, washing the dishes, cooking, and so on) I do various levels of "mindfulness", "being in the moment", "looking for the self" and "examing sensations as closely and in as much detail as possible".

The reason I'm asking is because I'm finding it difficult to see progress right now, even though I feel I'm working my ass off meditation wise.
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Nikolai ., modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Insights and progress from incorporated daily practice

Posts: 1648 Join Date: 1/23/10 Recent Posts
Rich -:
I have been experimenting the arse off with it, for several years. I'm at a stage now where I'd say that I'm meditating approximately 4-5 hours a day "off the cushion".

The reason I'm asking is that my on the cushion meditation is basically 0.

My off the cushion meditation varies depending on what I'm doing. For example:

When waiting I do heavy and deep noting practice, normally hitting between 5-10 sensations a second. I find this extremely challenging and difficult to "ensure" the "integrity" of what I'm noting.

When walking I do a lighter noting practice, approx 3-4 sensations a second.

At other times (including working, thinking, talking, going the toilet, washing the dishes, cooking, and so on) I do various levels of "mindfulness", "being in the moment", "looking for the self" and "examing sensations as closely and in as much detail as possible".

The reason I'm asking is because I'm finding it difficult to see progress right now, even though I feel I'm working my ass off meditation wise.


Are you noting 'wanting progress', 'frustration', 'confusion', 'impatience', etc.? I noticed the same tendencies inmy own practice way back. It was frustrating not seeing 'progress'. But then I saw that I wasn't noting the very arisings/compoundings of mental states of wanting (progress), goal orientatedness, confusion, impatience and thus momentum was broken up by the very desire to maintain momentum. I found it a very profound and a postively shifting (and progressive) move to notice and note the very desire for progress, and all the frustration that came with it every time it arose (which was a lot). When such arisings were noticed and noted continuously as they arose and compounded, it was enough to stop worrying about progress, and enough to be even more inclusive of what was noted. Progress happened in and of itself. 'I' (the compounding of felt sense of 'me-ness') was that which was dissatisfied with the concept of 'progress'. 'I' was manifesting as that 'wanting of' and 'frustration with' the concept of 'progress'. Becoming, becoming, becoming. More becoming. But when the compounding of 'wanting progress' was noticed and noted, it lost the fuel for its power over the moment (i.e. ignorance of it), and ceased to break up momentum. It became grist for the mill, fuel for the rocket ship to awakening.

Notice and note the arising of the mind state of 'finding it difficult' and everything associated with such an evaluation of yourself and your practice. The link I posted above in my first post points to the notion that once noticed and noted for what it is, whatever was noticed and noted loses steam and weight in the mind. So if your only problem is 'finding it difficult', then notice the feeling that comes up when it seems difficult, and note it as it is. Allow it to lose steam and mental weight as opposed to further re-enforcing the feeling of 'finding it difficult'. 'Progress' will occur without 'you' manifesting as the want for it. 'You' often just get in the way. Step out of the way (notice and note that which seems unsatisfactory, i.e. 'finding it difficult')

This is what I did myself. it worked. Give it a go.

Nick
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Rich -, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Insights and progress from incorporated daily practice

Posts: 64 Join Date: 1/12/11 Recent Posts
Thanks for this Nick. I've been experimenting for some time on what you said.

I've recently began to notice that previously when I thought there was no thought, actually there was "searching" or "thinking"... just with seemingly no object. I need to look at this more.
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Brian K., modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Insights and progress from incorporated daily practice

Posts: 142 Join Date: 4/18/12 Recent Posts
I'm not an extremely experienced meditator, but maybe my advice can be of some help. I have been in the same position as you for quite a while. However, lately I have been seeing a lot more progress, and not just in formal sits, but out and about in the world. Whereas before I was never able to maintain continuity of mindfulness, now it is becoming progressively more natural. I think first of all, if you can get more time on the cushion that would help. What got me going was doing a few days where I could get about 6-8 hours of meditation in, consecutively. It was able to throw me into that mind state where i was just noting every sensation and it made it immensely easier to bring it into daily life. It jump starts your practice of mindfulness and has made it much easier for me to bring it over into everyday experience.

Also what I found helped was using one thing as an anchor for my mindfulness. So every single time i walk, i say "left, right, left, right" all day long, "left, right, left, right". But i have to walk around alot for my work. So now it's literally a habit where before i even think about it, I'm saying mentally, "left, right, left, right", and after a few steps I notice I'm doing it, and it brings me back to the present moment. And so every time i get up and walk even a few steps, it's "left, right, left, right"... Even if I'm just noting the grosser movements it's still bringing me back to the here and now. Hope this can give you some ideas maybe
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Rich -, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Insights and progress from incorporated daily practice

Posts: 64 Join Date: 1/12/11 Recent Posts
Thanks Brian.

Perhaps one of the problems is that I really have little familiarity with the maps and the Jhana states. I don't know if I'm in 1st Jhana, Access Concentration, or what-not...

Equally I don't know if I'm in mind body, 3 Cs...

I'm not even sure if I've ever had an AP... which according to almost every meditation teacher I've heard is quite unlikely because more people come to the practice because of an A/P event.

But really.. I couldn't say for sure. I certainly have never had anything wildly out of the ordinary happen.. no massive hallucinations, no massive changes in brain chemistry (apart from some experience with what I'm quite sure was 1st Samadhi Jhana).

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