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How to stay mindful while reading or writing?

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How to stay mindful while reading or writing?
mindfulness
Answer
6/2/18 2:19 PM
Give me your best technique for being mindful while reading, writing, and surfing the internet.
I find it very difficult; for example, I cannot note while reading because mind already produces mental voice, so labels can't be used. Since much time of the day is spent in those activities, this has strong negative effect on my practice. Any help greatly appreciated.

RE: How to stay mindful while reading or writing?
Answer
6/2/18 5:14 PM as a reply to Griffin.
I wouldn't worry about it. If you have a consistent daily practice (i.e. one or two sits, 1/2 hour to 1 hour each) you can spend a lot of time reading and it won't hinder practice. 

RE: How to stay mindful while reading or writing?
Answer
6/2/18 5:39 PM as a reply to Griffin.
The mental noting needn't interfere with reading any more than your own thoughts about what you are reading would interfere with it. In fact noting as you read, noting your thoughts, noting your distraction from the text, noting the mental images the text is giving you, noting the feelings that arise in response to what you read, noticing any strain to undersrtand or any enthusiasm to continue, etc, should all help with comprehension and help one stay mindful.

Tips could be to set the intention to be mindful when one starts the reading session
set the intention to be mindful of the end of each paragraph, of each page turn, etc. Or of each tab opening, link clicking, app switching, etc.
It is very easy to get distracted with a computer, what I find useful is to set an intention to do a single small activity and to notice any thoughts about doing any other activity and to not follow them until I perform the intended activity
setting timers to delineate how much time you'll spend on that activity can help you keep track too

RE: How to stay mindful while reading or writing?
Answer
6/2/18 6:01 PM as a reply to Andrew S.
Like shargrol, I wouldn't worry about it, either.

RE: How to stay mindful while reading or writing?
Answer
6/3/18 1:33 AM as a reply to Griffin.
How you stay with reading is based on Flow. You need to have enough skill to read and learn something for you to go into Flow states. Thoughts by themselves will take you out of mindfulness. Being mindful of emotional reactions in the body is good and learning to tolerate them and understand them will help to release them. Beware not to repress the emotions too much. It's unhealthy. Feel them, accept them, and act on to them when it's appropriate to do so. When the emotion has released and there is calm, your thinking will naturally feel better.

Ultimately we tend to go into Flow states when our skills are adequate to the challenge so that we aren't too stressed, or too bored if things are too easy.


https://youtu.be/qpeIf8Zcriw
Flow in 7 steps

RE: How to stay mindful while reading or writing?
Answer
6/3/18 1:46 AM as a reply to Griffin.
Ponder the impermanence of human life & how precious your metacognitive capacity is.  Then resolve to be worse at reading in order to do a tad bit of meditating while reading.  Be willing to be frustrated & grit your teeth when you find you can barely do both, if it all.  Begin noting with mental labels.  Seeing hearing grrrr f this shit hearing feeling annoyance grrrrr can’t concentrate.  Repeat in an obstinate unyielding manner until you slowly begin to overpower the mind which wants to just read (or live or whatever) & not metacognitively watch itself reading .  Persist from waking till sleeping.

i practiced like this for 2 years & it did wonders for me.  This approach drives everyone else I know absolutely crazy when they try it, so I wouldn’t recommend it emoticon 

RE: How to stay mindful while reading or writing?
Answer
6/3/18 7:26 AM as a reply to Griffin.
When i had a lot of mindful momentum at Shwe Oo Min monastery, reading mindfully was a lot easier than without that momentum. They even had a library there that yogi's could borrow from as spending an amount of time doing activities that closely relate to daily life is promoted there ie mindful talking, sweetping etc, so you can leave the retreat seamlessly and integrate the awareness.

I think that's where the emphasis on the act of knowing, or being aware comes in handy while reading a page, as you're not focussing on any particular object or anchor, but noticing that awareness is present. Noticing the mind observing. I'd put aside the labelling personally, and just be aware of the mental object of thinking the words on the screen or seeing the colours in front of you, or feeling the sensations of sitting in the peripheral awareness while reading.

I think dharma books that are referential of the state of being aware help too. For examply tejaniya's book the illustrated version of 'dharma everywhere' is constantly prompting you to notice what is going on with its meditative monastery photographs and phrases. It's why I have chosen this username, as to see it is to be prompted or woken up. So the sense door of Seeing, and the mind observing the seeing has been a critical part of reading meditation for me in the past.

I've noticed that 'The Mind illuminated' with its heavy discussion on technique creates an atmosphere that's constantly reminding you of the act of being aware. TMI would have you being peripherally aware of the body and hearing and whatever arises in the BG, while your attention is zoomed in onto the book page

Don't have much advice on non-dharma fiction books (or tv shows for that matter) though, i get lost with the fairies. Sometimes software that gives you reminders every so often can help.

RE: How to stay mindful while reading or writing?
Answer
8/2/18 7:16 PM as a reply to Griffin.
Griffin:
Give me your best technique for being mindful while reading, writing, and surfing the internet.
I find it very difficult; for example, I cannot note while reading because mind already produces mental voice, so labels can't be used. Since much time of the day is spent in those activities, this has strong negative effect on my practice. Any help greatly appreciated.

Learn to be mindful of your breathing. You are always breathing. The way I meditate, I notice the pleasant feeling of relaxation as I breathe in a relaxing way. So every breath is a pleasure. Every breath is relaxing. I just notice this pleasure and relaxation in breathing with part of my mind. 

I can do it while reading. It's harder to do when writing. But if you take your time it is possible. It is very easy to do watching documentaries on youtube so that is a kind of trick way to do a lot of easy light meditation. Very relaxing / calming, but not very deep. 

The trick on the internet is not to let internet use make you feel stressed. Sometimes just writing can make you stressed if you have a lot of corrections, or you are writing about something emotional, or if you are writing about something complicated. When I feel the internet is making me stressed, I get off.

I find it hardest to be mindful when doing analytical brain work.

Also, I try to turn off notifications as much as possible. Notifications are designed to produce compulsive use. They use all sorts of psychological tricks to get you to use web sites and apps. If you can't remember to check without a notification, is it really important enough to be interrupted for it?