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Morality and Daily Life

Can you be continiously mindful in daily life without strong concentration?

Practise isn't going to amount to much if I meditate for a small portion of the day and then be hedonistic and stuck in my own personal drama for the rest, so I've been trying to be mindful of my posture and breathing whenever I can, off the cushion.

However, my concentration isn't too strong so this mindfulness is fairly intermittent and short-lived. Will it become continious through applied effort or will I need to get to a certain 'concentration threshold' in my practise for it to really stick?

I'm sure it is different for everyone.  May experience is that with right motivation and right view backing it, I could learn to do a technique all day long.  The 'bandwidth' of the technique vs the attention required to do daily tasks would change based on the demands of the moment, but I did learn to keep a continuous string of intention morning to night.  My technique of choice at first was noting with mental labels and at times noticing without them.  I also did a lot of 'thinking through' the three characteristics.  

One of the keys here is motivation.  Gain a really good understanding of why you are practicing.  This will help align your internal family system so that you have less forces inside pulling your attention away.

Another factor is right view.  This has to do with a precise understanding of cause and effect as well as interdependence.  If you are practicing, you are putting coins in the piggy bank - bottom line.  Keep practicing and you will rewire your brain.  Taking an ultimately pragmatic approach means you will harness anything and everything that keeps you on track towards your goal (even if this means surrendering or being effortless or giving up the goal).  If you learn to tune in, you can trust your intuition and distinguish between the influence of the 3 poisons and the influence of clear seeing.

Could you elaborate on your practises? I try to observe without labels, but noting may also be fruitful. Is it simply just a stream of noting 'walking','walking',walking' every moment,sort of like a mantra?

Google Pamojjo and read his The Path to Enlightenment I and he also has II.

That is how you practice during the day.

Read Anapanasati Sutta. It does not say to concentrate on your nostril. Mindfulness not concentration.

Samadhi has been mmistranslated into concentration. It means stillness of mind which by its nature is concentrated mind. Concentration meditation leads to hypnotized mind.

Could you elaborate on your practises? I try to observe without labels, but noting may also be fruitful. Is it simply just a stream of noting 'walking','walking',walking' every moment,sort of like a mantra?

I can tell you what I did, which is take any opportunity I could to do noting during the day, but it was by no means the entire day. Certain activities don't lend themselves to it all that easily. Both I and others found driving to be a good time, and I can testify that it made me more attentive as a driver to do so. If I were out on a walk I wouldn't note just "walking, walking, walking," but rather move my attention to things I was seeing, hearing, smelling etc. and thinking. My mind would drift off into imagined conversations or planning, so it was not perfect. Don't drive yourself crazy trying to nail down every single thing. Whatever you can manage is better than nothing at all. As time goes on it becomes more natural. 

Could you elaborate on your practises? I try to observe without labels, but noting may also be fruitful. Is it simply just a stream of noting 'walking','walking',walking' every moment,sort of like a mantra?

To be fair, I don't know anyone else who did what I did.  I did not do formal sitting at all.  But I noted mostly all day, every day while finishing college and working in a restaurant (this was a two year period).  

What I did was to strengthen the labelling muscle and maximize momentary, partial concentration.  The noise volume of the label in my head became louder than discursive thought going on beside it.  It took months to get this going.  I would grit my teeth and push through the thinking to return to the labels, again and again.  Eventually, the concentration pathway became wired in and it took on a life of it's own.  Some of my label patterns would be like:

touching touching touching seeing feeling hearing thinking mental image humor annoyance seeing touching touching feeling tingles annoyance seeing 

And other times they would be two-fold:

seeing-road touching-wheel tingles-arm image-dog feeling-humor seeing-leg touching-wheel seeing-road feeling-joy feeling-chest feeling-smile touching-seat feeling-leg

I found that through persistently doing this I could get through all the nanas fairly reliably and complete cycles of insight.  I did not focus on practicing well.  I focused on practice with poor to moderate quality, but all the time.  

I would be remiss to mention perhaps the most important or key ingredient: I was talking to Ron Crouch for the 1.5 years every two weeks.  He was able to give me tailored advice that was adaptable to my unorthodox approach.  This advice prevented me from wasting time on side tracks.

Interesting. I had a session with Ron Couch.

I can mental note thought, but I simply cannot note other sense objects; however, knowing works for me very well.

I mix it up. If for whatever reason I am not sensing the body as if I am observing a body, I would mentally ask awareness is aware of what in the awareness. This brings the sense of body without "I" back. Other time, the mind is just being aware of experience that is happening.

I read that Mahasi says once you are proficient you can simply know what you are aware of. Pamojjo says if you just practice knowing what you know every moment then over time awareness will grow into full time automatic awareness in the background. If you are lost in thought, the instance you are aware of it, you recollect what happened ( not the story but that the mind was delusional).

RE: Can you be continiously mindful in daily life without strong concentrat
2/26/17 8:03 AM as a reply to Simon Liu.
All good. Gritting my teeth like Noah was never my strong suit (I tend to be a bit on the lazy side, or more positively, relaxed). As Noah says, he doesn't know anyone who did exactly what he did. And as Simon has posted, after awhile it can be automatic, in the background. The most important thing is the strength of one's motivation to be aware. Individuals vary, along with their practice. 

I also know Ron Crouch and he is excellent. I had tons of dukkha in the early paths and I needed a lot of support. 

RE: Can you be continiously mindful in daily life without strong concentrat
2/26/17 11:53 AM as a reply to Simon Liu.
You have mentioned this point in several posts. Let's be more specific than just talking about "concentration."

I listened to a few minutes of the youtube video, enough to presume that the teacher is talking about concentration with dullness. He mentions hypnagogia, for example, which is an obvious manifestation of strong dullness. You are doing good to warn against this, as dullness is a very common trap. However, it is not a new concept to those of us who follow Culadasa's teaching. As Culadasa says, meditation with dullness can lead nowhere, and the real objective of "concentration" on the breath is to strengthen mindfulness by stabilizing attention and developing metacognitive introspective awareness. Dullness is a major obstacle when attention settles down, but it can and must be overcome for real progress to happen.

Culadasa's  anapanasati is fine because he talks about introspective awareness.

Goenka emphasized on concentration on the nostril area without any mention of introspective awareness.

Pure concentration meditation takes the brain from beta frequency range towards theta and alpha frequency range, towards subconscious state.

Meditation with focus on introspective awareness leads the brain towards gamma frequency where insight can arise.

I watched a video from Dr Punnaji, a psychologist and a Buddha scholar who researched for many years to ascertain what Buddha really did teach.

I see introspective awareness in Culadasa and Punnaji's teaching instructions.

Dr Punnaji says samadhi has been wrongly translated into concentration. He says stillness of the mind is also a concentrated mind but that doesn't mean concentration meditation leads to concentrated mind. He says it leads to self hypnosis.

Samadhi means stillness of the mind.

You can watch the video on YouTube "meditation retreat - meditation or self hypnosis".