Noting during exercise

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Paul Anthony, modified 10 Years ago.

Noting during exercise

Posts: 71 Join Date: 6/22/10 Recent Posts
Hi there,

Is it possible to do noting while doing repetitive physical exercise such as jogging?

Thanks, Paul
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Ian And, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Noting during exercise

Posts: 784 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
Can you walk and chew gum at the same time?

If you can, well, maybe you have an answer.
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Paul Anthony, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Noting during exercise

Posts: 71 Join Date: 6/22/10 Recent Posts
Right - so the more fundamental question is what's the limitation as compared with traditional walking practice or whatever. Is there any reason why this wouldn't be a substantial part of someone's practice - the reason I ask is that I don't see much mention of it here or eslewhere and that's interesting: Often for me in the midst of work and family life it's much easier to find a place to work out than a place to sit quietly or walk slowly.... Perhaps becuase our society accepts exercise as a legitimate activity and leaves people alone to get on with it. Not always the case with an activity percieved as esoteric.

Thanks, Paul
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Dark Night Yogi, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Noting during exercise (Answer)

Posts: 138 Join Date: 8/25/09 Recent Posts
its a bit tough but i try my best. I regularly exercise (about 5 days a week) but the quality of meditation i can get with it is low.
Though Osho's dynamic meditation seems to work, going all out and just letting go. I find it easier to use the same approach when doing exercising meditation, but noting I don't remember succeeding with it while exercising..

But exercising meditation is also something I'd want to do more often and it is a great time saving thing. Its also something I'd want to have as part of the schedule on retreats
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Paul Anthony, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Noting during exercise

Posts: 71 Join Date: 6/22/10 Recent Posts
Fair enough - thanks
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Dark Night Yogi, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Noting during exercise

Posts: 138 Join Date: 8/25/09 Recent Posts
I did some stationary biking earlier and tried noting. Easiest objects are the feet, hips, root chakra and breath. Definitely this is something that could really train equanimity. Exercise being as boring as it is. Im not an expert in walking meditation, but Id think that the better you are at walking, the better you'd be at exercising meditation.

Maybe a good place to practice would be a running oval. There are times when I do get jhana while biking/ running, never thought of it but it is a motivating challenge to try to merge the 2 practices, maybe even throw in some energy or chi running
http://www.chirunning.com/shop/home.php

A dilemma I guess for me is that exercise usually causes my mind to become very active & spontaneous and this is the time I usually get a lot of cool ideas, so I usually let go of mindfulness when the cool ideas start flowing..

On another note, there are loads of runners, and id think there are also quite a few meditators who would be interested to extend their practice here. It would be interesting to invite Dharma friends and organize something along these lines, get the ala Zen walking meditation groove going.. and then maybe even create an opportunity for runners to get into dharma.

I usually get equanimous and good sits After exercising though.
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Ian And, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Noting during exercise

Posts: 784 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
Paul Anthony:
Right - so the more fundamental question is what's the limitation as compared with traditional walking practice or whatever. Is there any reason why this wouldn't be a substantial part of someone's practice - the reason I ask is that I don't see much mention of it here or elsewhere and that's interesting.

It's just easier to do noting practice while in sitting meditation rather than having to also pay attention to where one is jogging, street noises etcetera, and whatever other distracting occurrences arise. Meditation, in general, is a solitary activity designed to help one become more familiar with the gross and subtle movements of the mind. It therefore greatly facilitates this process if one is able to just sit quietly and undisturbed without having to be anxious about anything.

The discourses describe it thus: "Here, monks, a monk abides contemplating body as body, ardent, clearly aware and mindful, having put aside hankering and fretting for the world...

"And how, monks, does a monk abide contemplating the body as body? Here a monk, having gone into the forest, or to the root of a tree or to an empty place, sits down cross-legged, holding his body erect, having established mindfulness before him. Mindfully he breaths in, mindfully he breaths out...."

Paul Anthony:

Often for me in the midst of work and family life it's much easier to find a place to work out than a place to sit quietly or walk slowly.... Perhaps because our society accepts exercise as a legitimate activity and leaves people alone to get on with it. Not always the case with an activity perceived as esoteric.

Find a quiet church to sit in if you aren't able to at home; or a vacant park out in nature. There are any number of quiet places one can find if one applies one's ingenuity. Also, don't be embarrassed by sitting in meditation while in public. Most people passing by could care less.
Becky McNeil, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Noting during exercise

Posts: 10 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
I find it useful to meditate while exercising, but I don't usually use noting while doing so. I don't have much time to meditate, so I try to overlay it on other activities when I can. Exercise is a good one because I can get mine in a pretty quiet and boring environment without lots of distractions. If I try meditation while, say, walking outdoors ... fail. Ooh, look at the bunny.

Anyways, I find it useful because I focus on the impermanence of the physical sensations. Also, suffering, because I don't particularly enjoy exercise. But after a couple of minutes, I can't tell how long I have been doing the activity because it has become very moment-to-moment with no recall of the past moment. For example, I will be aware that my legs are burning and that I'm warm and somewhat short on breath, but I could very well have been in that condition for hours, for all I can consciously recall. It's kind of fun and helps me to refresh my understanding of impermanence. I seem to be able to focus more easily when I do get a few minutes for formal meditation, too, so perhaps the technique is exportable outside of the exercise framework. Maybe I'll try to add noting to it and see how it changes things.
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Dark Night Yogi, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Noting during exercise

Posts: 138 Join Date: 8/25/09 Recent Posts
Chi Running, tried it last weekend. worked very well, had a solid running meditation session. energy felt easily in the base of the spine, and the whole spine felt like a rod, pushing me forward. it felt very intuitive and the chi locked on quite easily and i had a clear mind the whole session, even more so than i usually have on the cushion. im going to try chi running again tomorrow and ill see if i can get the same results.

i felt very calm after the workout
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Michael Zaurov, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Noting during exercise

Posts: 25 Join Date: 11/8/09 Recent Posts
Dark Night Yogi:
Chi Running, tried it last weekend. worked very well, had a solid running meditation session. energy felt easily in the base of the spine, and the whole spine felt like a rod, pushing me forward. it felt very intuitive and the chi locked on quite easily and i had a clear mind the whole session, even more so than i usually have on the cushion. im going to try chi running again tomorrow and ill see if i can get the same results.

i felt very calm after the workout


Could you please share a little bit about what chi running is and how to do it? I just got some running shoes and plan on starting to run regularly. I always found it too boring to do, but now I have to get in shape. Perhaps doing 'chi running' will make things less boring. I assume you visualize and feel/breathe in energy while you run?
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Dark Night Yogi, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Noting during exercise

Posts: 138 Join Date: 8/25/09 Recent Posts
there are a ton of videos on youtube u can check out! i didnt watch the videos though but someone gave me these instructions:

on the first few minutes, try to run as light as possible, with the least amount of effort, leg effort, arm effort. as if ur just being carried.. then after a few laps or so.. maybe about 5 minutes, then try to feel the chi, lean forward a bit, have a straight back,

i felt the chi on the base of the spine. you dont need to visualize it, but you have a more direct contact with it, you actually 'ride' it. you also have a nice real-time gauge if ur doing it right or not, because ull immediately notice if the chi is pushing you or not. you will immdiately notice if your mind has wandered off, because you will feel like ur getting heavier, unlike on the cushion, where its easier to fall asleep

i tried running twice. both 75% of the time i felt like my brain was in beta/alpha state (im not an expert on the states) but it was pretty much like that.. i ran at night.. in an Oval, so just round and round.. no distractions.. i tried running on the streets but there are alot of cars here, so the obstacles made chi running (or runing meditation harder).

first time i ran 17kilometers, 2nd time just earlier about 19 kilometers and i feel like i couldve still done more. not competitive speed though. my runs are slower. 2nd time about 2 hours, 20 minutes. the first 10k was very slow, the slower, the easier to get into that beta state and to really let the Chi do its work.

by the way i have also been eating a lot of raw foods. id recommend trying a "green smoothie" (its raw green leafy vegetable + fruit) shake, before running. this is a powerful Chi giving drink!

i try to feel the Chi first in the base of my spine, then all around my chakras too, in my heart, and in my crown/third eye. i think the point is to have it flow from top to bottom as much as possible. i tried a couple of times this meditation recommended to me on this forum "Macrocosmic orbit" where u visualize the chi orbiting around your spine vertically... i dont know but that may be an effective method to get good Chi running results..

The thing with me is i am at 3rd path (if u read mtcb) so my chakras are open and feeling the chi is natural with not much effort.. and its pretty perfect that chi running takes full advantage of that, its like perfect integration!

to summarize:
-try to run in an oval or a quiet road where there are the least distractions (be mindful of the times when you're overtaking or passing people by. these are the times i notice my mind has a tendency to fall out of the beta state/meditation state)

-check out green smoothies!
-eat your heart out experimenting with what method works for you to get into that Chi running groove. Try macrocosmic orbit, try going to jhana? try some standing up with your arms stretched out to your sides meditation and training yourself to let Chi hold them up(and other similar techniques) looking 4ward to hearing what works for you!
-i dont listen to music doing it.. i havnt tried listning to music yet... so i cant say if itll lessen the chi or not..

good luck! have fun! for me it feels like 2 birds with one stone. meditation plus exercise. the natural high after also is like meditation plus exercise w/c is pretty kick-ass!
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Dark Night Yogi, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Noting during exercise

Posts: 138 Join Date: 8/25/09 Recent Posts
what also worked for me was feeling the 'grip' of the chi in the swaying of the arms. i did this sometimes when the feeling in the spine got weak. doing this sort of got me back in the groove and helped the chi circulate once again

-

i was never good at walking meditation.. but now that i've learned running meditation, walking meditation also feels more natural, and feeling the 'grip' of the chi in my back also happens when i walk now sometimes.
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Michael Zaurov, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Noting during exercise

Posts: 25 Join Date: 11/8/09 Recent Posts
Thanks for the reply DNY emoticon I will give that a try! I'm pre-path so feeling 'chi' is difficult at whim, but I'm getting there.. I actually woke up last night because energy was going up my spine and my ears were popping plus loud sounds as the energy went up my neck. I was doing spinal breathing before bed to open up the spine.... maybe I'll go for a run on Tuesday and really let the chi flow emoticon
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jim dewey, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Noting during exercise

Post: 1 Join Date: 11/17/10 Recent Posts
Good topic for those of us " in the world". I am a long time distance runner. Started using noting and breath concentration around 1985. Ruth Dennison, Vipassana teacher, advised in this. My experience echoes some of what has been said in this discussion. It is helpful to run ( bike etc.) in a location relatively free from distractions-keep focus on the ground. I live in an isolated , moutain area where trails predominate and traffic is mostly deer and coyotes. I will often interrupt my runs( duration 3-14 miles with) stopping and maintaining stillness, focusing on breath and body sensations. When running I use Shinzen Young's body scanning technique. Shinzen made a tape series some years back on excercise and mediation( sounds true).

Running after sitting meditation is particulary conducive to deep concentration. The enery movement seems to facilitate concentration and vice versa.

Here's a blog that speaks of meditation( zen in particular) and distance running.http://runwithmu.com/ It includes competitive trail running . With depth of focus and strong intention distance running can be a great part of practice. Note the Tarahumara indians in central mexico who use running as spritual practice. Also the running Zen monks of Japan.

I must admit , for me, running can become a distraction from practice. It is very easy to get caught up in pushing and comparison. Like anything intention is key.