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Meditation: Howzit workin' for ya...?

Formal:
After closed eye meditation for about a year, my eyes are open again.
I sit on two to four firm pillows (memory foam) for a minimum of twenty minutes. Lately about an hour. I might also do some extra chanting or chant for part of a session. I favour my own mantra which is so secret I can tell anyone:

OM YA HA HUM HRIH (meaning: Have a nice day)

I sit on the floor as I don't have chairs and using the Burmese pose. Very occasionally will use a half lotus. Mudra is normally hands in lap.
http://yinyana.tumblr.com/day/2014/11/06

Earthninjaajhayes

Comments

  • VastmindVastmind Memphis, TN Veteran
    edited April 2015

    I do 2 15 minute sets a day. One in the morning and a walking med at work in the evening. Mantras and visit to the altar couple times a week. I need to step up my monastery vists.......i pass the temple on the way to work....so i get a quick notice/check in there. Everything is working pretty good so far....thanks for asking. =)

    David
  • 20 mins in the morning with a Tibetan mantra on the I pod. Sit outside amongst the cactuses or sometimes I go out into the desert just before sunrise. Sit on the ground. Works a treat.

    Earthninja
  • NamadaNamada Veteran
    edited April 2015

    I try to do 30 min + everyday, breathing meditation, I dont have any alter or spescial mantra or something like that, but I sit close to the wall with my eyes closed, (the room is not made for "formal meditation" there are too many distracting things so I sit close to the wall).

    If its to noisy in the house, I just take the car and drive away for 30 min, parcking the car near the ocean/beach and take a "formal car meditation", if not I will use walking meditation, I like to move around, humans are not designed to sit on their ass :P

  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran
    edited April 2015

    I'm just doing a single 40 minute sit daily at present, a simple breathing meditation to develop samatha. I meditate with eyes closed though I did eyes open for many years. After meditation I usually have a mindful walk by the sea, though with eyes open to avoid falling in. ;)

    lobsterElizEarthninja
  • NamadaNamada Veteran
    edited April 2015

    I tried walking meditation with closed eyes...works very well, until you reach the stairs :)

    silverHamsakaEarthninjaajhayes
  • nakazcidnakazcid Somewhere in Dixie, y'all Veteran

    Twenty five minutes a day, at whatever point of the day seems convenient. On some days I work 12-hour shifts, but I usually have time at work between calls to meditate. I'm trying to "let go" in meditation and do it without expecting anything in particular. So far I've had good results, and am far less likely to avoid meditating altogether.

  • @lobster said:> I sit on two to four firm pillows (memory foam) for a minimum of twenty minutes.

    Memory foam cushions?! Sheer luxury!

    Earthninja
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @Namada said:
    I tried walking meditation with closed eyes...works very well, until you reach the stairs :)

    And what's more, it's amazing how a small piece of lego under a bare foot can focus the mind wonderfully....

    Namada
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @SpinyNorman said: Memory foam cushions?! Sheer luxury!

    Don't get excited... what he means is, the cushions see the posterior and think "Oh I've seen that face before...!"

    stacey
  • 3 hours a day for me! Using a Zafu cushion. If I'm at work, I do walking meditation on my lunch break, but I do sitting on my day off.
    Earthninja
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    "Meditation: Howzit workin' for ya...?"

    Lets just say "I" now work for it :)

    Earthninja
  • Thanks guys.

    This thread title was suggested from a comment from our esteemed hard working moderator @federica Long may she enjoy her spelling.

    Informal Practice:
    My thoughts/being/experiencing of awareness is always with me apart from during unconsciousness. Therefore my informal practice takes up most of my time. So what do I do exactly? Watch and listen. Feel and sense.

    silver
  • edited April 2015

    i'm taking the Vipassana Fellowship's online course and it's working pretty freaking awesome for me so far.

    that, and a bunch of candles, a broad selection of new incenses, and a new (old) Tibetan singing bowl that all help to make the space and the time spent sitting in front of my altar like unto a journey into a new and exceedingly pleasant world - different every time - even before i settle into my meditation and add its benefits to the mix.

  • @ShockYourMoneyBuddha said:> i'm taking the Vipassana Fellowship's online course and it's working pretty freaking awesome for me so far.

    That looks interesting. Could you say briefly what the method is?

    lobster
  • It's not working, at least not for me. But we haz a plan :)
  • I had done 30 minutes every day for several years and then november I started an hour/day because my goal was to medititate 10,000 hours in my life. This past week or so I sort of ran out of gas and have only been doing about 15 per day, but haven't had a day without a sitting at least. And I have gone jog/walk 7 times in the past two weeks so I guess that is where my energy is going!

    Earthninja
  • howhow Veteran

    @Lobster
    Howzit workin' for ya...

    Seems to take unscheduled coffee breaks, often arrives late for work, offers unsolicited criticisms of others, shows a complete lack of ambition and may not respect the management.
    Is a tenuous employee at best.

    lobsterajhayes
  • As for how is it working I imagine it is like therapy in that you are never totally sure it helps but you pretty much feel that way (that it has helped) over the years.

  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited April 2015

    @how said:

    Seems to take unscheduled coffee breaks, often arrives late for work, offers unsolicited criticisms of others, shows a complete lack of ambition and may not respect the management.
    Is a tenuous employee at best.

    LOL
    Good thing you are your own boss ... sort of ...

    Thanks guys.

    Non Practice
    When under the sway of ignorance, what then? We can not run or hide or blame Mr Cushion. For me this is where acceptance, patience, letting go of perfect idealism comes in.
    I am human. Failure is part of my Being.

  • BuddhadragonBuddhadragon Carpe Diem Samsara Veteran

    Whenever possible, I aim for two sessions a day of between 15-40 minutes.
    That amount works fine with me.
    I am able to scan my body for tension areas, relax, not get carried away by the monkey chatter and sit up from my session with an overall sensation of bliss.

    I have found that beyond 40 minutes it does not work for me.
    My legs pass out and I begin to feel too distracted by it, and getting anxious for the gong to mark the end.
    I find myself berating myself for my lack of discipline and come out of my session more worked up and frustrated than if I had not sit at all.

    What I enjoy the most is dwelling in mindfulness during the day.
    To me, that's the real practice: being present to life, more aware of the noises and colours that impact on my senses, breathing deeply and actually knowing that I am savouring life.

    lobsterEarthninja
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    2 x 10-minute slots currently help keep me sane, cheerful and optimistic.
    I know it doesn't sound like much, and when I see people mention more than 30 minutes, or hours even, I get a small feeling of inadequacy.
    But to me, the quality is important, and I'm dedicated, if nothing else.

    So I comfort myself with the knowledge that there are some out there (and I'm not referring to any present company) who say they sit for very long periods, but still have difficulties focusing and getting any positive results, whereas I, with my little and modest twenty-minutes-in-total, feel a real difference....

    lobsterJeffreyBuddhadragon
  • @federica said:
    2 x 10-minute slots currently help keep me sane, cheerful and optimistic.

    Outstanding.
    I normally do only one formal session, usually first thing. My time varies a lot. If under twenty minutes, there is a problem, usually stress. If over an hour, I have gone into 'bliss bunny' mode.
    Both are problems that I rectify.

    Equanimity is a useful measure of progress. The ability to focus or attend to an aspect of awareness can then arise.

    Sado masochism or 'gimp meditation', where one contorts or restricts movement belongs to kinky body binding. Completely unnecessary unless training for the yogic meditation marathon. Ideally you sit and rise in complete ease. The crippled rising after extensive sitting that you often find on retreats is indicative of competive 'more is better'. Crippled tightness, haemorrhoids, buttock callouses and torn ligaments are worn with self congratulaly pride. LOL. Pity the fool. :p

    Sit on a chair dudes, you are on a mind path, not statue mime class. However you can not say such things or you will get sutras thrown at you ...

    Be kind to the mind AND the body.

    Have I failed again? :o

    Kennethpossibilities
  • VastmindVastmind Memphis, TN Veteran
    edited April 2015

    I'm on raking meditation again!

    -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_rock_garden

    Anyone else do this Zennie thing? hahahaha

    FWIW...my kids went it very easily and my youngest one can sit for an hour... <3 :)

    lobsterBuddhadragon
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @Vastmind said: I'm on raking meditation again!

    I love this, about the Ryoan-ji Japanese Garden- arguably the most famous one in Japan...

    The stones are placed so that the entire composition cannot be seen at once from the veranda. >They are also arranged so that when looking at the garden from any angle (other than from above) only fourteen of the boulders are visible at one time. It is traditionally said that only through attaining enlightenment would one be able to view the fifteenth boulder.

    Vastmind
  • howhow Veteran

    @Lobster
    Meditation: Howzit workin' for ya...?

    Currently...
    30 Minutes of formal Zazen meditation first thing in the morning & later in the evening.
    Attend a couple of different meditation venues once week to stretch my boundaries.
    Try to have my daily activities be an integeral part of my meditative exploration.
    I seem to either be navigating the space between my senses and my conditioned reflexes to them, or I am lolling about somewhere in an ego dream.
    And... I come here to help me explore what all of this means.

    lobster
  • Thanks everyone raking in the meditation methods

    Most of us know why we meditate ...
    http://www.bodymindsoulspirit.com/100-benefits-of-meditation/#

    I feel though this is an excellent approach, two hours for beginners is perhaps unrealistic
    http://www.albigen.com/uarelove/abandon_release.htm

    So here is a seven minute practice. One minute on each technique

    Segmented Practice
    _- dedicate practice, refuge or for situation or person

    • notice the thought, watch the monkey mind
    • body scan and let go of tension (yoga nidra)
    • just sit and hear
    • mantra/prayer, aloud, quietly or internally
    • connect to goodwill, metta bhavna
    • notice or attend the breath without changing_
  • @lobster said:
    Sit on a chair dudes, you are on a mind path, not statue mime class. However you can not say such things or you will get sutras thrown at you ...

    Be kind to the mind AND the body.

    Thanks for this. My 57 year old back doesn't deal well with the traditional sit for 20 minutes, unless I really want to just focus on physical discomfort :(

    I usually sit for 20 minutes before breakfast and 20 minutes before dinner. Twenty minutes just sort of worked out, it's as long as I typically have time for and after four months I seem to have a sense when it's up, I use a timer in the morning but in the evening I usually don't and still seem to open my eyes around 20 minutes.

    In the office, I try to count what I call 10 up 10 down just to clear stress when needed. It really helps :)

    lobster
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited April 2015

    @lobster said: Thanks everyone raking in the meditation methods
    Most of us know why we meditate ...
    ......So here is a seven minute practice. One minute on each technique

    Segmented Practice
    _- dedicate practice, refuge or for situation or person

    • notice the thought, watch the monkey mind
    • body scan and let go of tension (yoga nidra)
    • just sit and hear
    • mantra/prayer, aloud, quietly or internally
    • connect to goodwill, metta bhavna
    • notice or attend the breath without changing_

    I propose to do the following (for myself):

    1 minute: Dedication.
    1 minute: Watch the Monkey Mind
    4 minutes: Body scan
    1 minute: sit & hear
    1 minute: Mantra recitation
    1 minute: Metta connection
    1 minute: breathe - you are alive!

    That's my 10 minutes taken care of.

    When I increase it to 15 - Eeek! What to do, what to do...?!

    (I'll worry about that later...)

    lobster
  • @lobster said:
    So here is a seven minute practice. One minute on each technique

    Segmented Practice
    _- dedicate practice, refuge or for situation or person

    • notice the thought, watch the monkey mind
    • body scan and let go of tension (yoga nidra)
    • just sit and hear
    • mantra/prayer, aloud, quietly or internally
    • connect to goodwill, metta bhavna
    • notice or attend the breath without changing_

    @federica said:
    I propose to do the following (for myself):

    1 minute: Dedication.
    1 minute: Watch the Monkey Mind
    4 minutes: Body scan
    1 minute: sit & hear
    1 minute: Mantra recitation
    1 minute: Metta connection
    1 minute: breathe - you are alive!

    Would you time this or just wing it?

  • bookwormbookworm U.S.A. Veteran

    Trying to experience the first foundation of mindfulness, called the body in the body, and that is where I am right now, i'm hoping i'll eventually get to the second foundation of of mindfulness called feelings in the feelings, using anapana.

    lobster
  • bookwormbookworm U.S.A. Veteran

    That is if i'm practicing correctly.

  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited April 2015

    @Kenneth said:
    Would you time this or just wing it?

    Personally I would do what @federica has done. Personalise and be prepared to modify/hone it.
    Personally I would wing it. The basic structure is:

    • preparation
    • settling the mind/body complex
    • attention and focus
    • meditation

    Doing it in a formal timed way is excellent. If able, for your back, try a full prostration or three at the beginning and end.
    Segmented practice shows you how much can be done (we live in a 'one does' meditation society). Make use of that but also think in terms of aimless sitting towards the end if going for your twenty minute stint.

    Sitting without doing ... =)

    Buddhadragon
  • Having mindfulness/silence moments throughout the day count as meditation?
  • bookwormbookworm U.S.A. Veteran

    @dantepw said:
    Having mindfulness/silence moments throughout the day count as meditation?

    yes it does, when you're on the path then mindfulness is invaluable.

    https://suttacentral.net/en/sn1.21

    lobsterBuddhadragonsilver
  • Once our monkey mind has settled and we can engage in relaxed attentive focus we can try:

    Themed Meditation
    Some samples to get you started. If your mind drifts you may be doing this prematurely. Return to breath, mindfulness and discipline.

    • Sadhana is a spiritual practice used a lot in Tantra. On the exoteric level an abstract concept such as 'compassion' or 'wisdom' is given a concrete visualisation and practice. However we can allow the associations and theme of 'wisdom' to arise and be present without the need for Manjusri visualisation.

    • Return to a core word/phrase : Peace, Love, Compassion, Patience, Nirvana, Dependant Origination, Health, Karma, One of the 8 fold path recommendations etc.

    • Symbols. In many ways symbols such as a Buddha image are good to stare at - a theme reminder. Hence altars.

    • Metta Bhavana is a much used theme based meditation.

    On the whole going into negative or 'wrathful' themes is deemed advanced practice without a supporting structure, strong personal discipline or teaching/community support.

  • VastmindVastmind Memphis, TN Veteran
    edited April 2015

    No rakers yet?? :( instead of sending books or malas....the next one of ya is gettin a table top zen/ rock garden.....hahahaha

    Try one if u can.

    I'll post pics when I get done this round of raking....

    silver
  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited April 2015

    @Vastmind said:
    No rakers yet??

    I believe the plural of rakers is Reiki O.o

    Perhaps you would like to say more about

    Active Meditation

    @shadowleaver said:
    It's not working, at least not for me. But we haz a plan

    Anything you care to share? <3

  • VastmindVastmind Memphis, TN Veteran
    edited April 2015

    Not sure what more I can say about it : :3 You humble me. (prostration here)

    Zen rock gardens/landscapes are used for concentration/calming the mind/or visual reminders. Visual reminder can be the rake patterns looking like ocean waves, etc.

    I personally prefer active/moving meditation. Always have. Not really sure why. TBH, I think it takes out the 'intention' of sitting for me. Does that make sense? It physically addresses my mind wanting and feeling forced to sit.... I dunno....I just find particularly walking meditation more effective for me personally. I do keep in a quick sit in the rotation, just to address this 'forceness', but you get the idea.

    Walking meditation and gardening have always been my go to's....I added raking to the mix about 5 years ago. Started with a little cheap table top set from a chain $1 store and went from there. We made a small one in the back yard with things from Home Depot.

    Here's a super easy How to rake....very general...but user friendly for starters...

    http://www.wikihow.com/Rake-a-Zen-Garden

    quick little video....

  • thug4lyfethug4lyfe Explorer

    Im sweet as OP!

    lobster
  • mmommo Veteran

    Hi Loster,

    I am currently at the stage where I can maintain some regularity and motivation in the meditation. I notice really subtle sensations in my body when my mind is really quiet. I am not entirely sure I should meditate on these or bring the focus back to the breath. So I keep doing both.

    And most of the distractions I tend to get during the sessions are either fallen into greed, aversion or delusion. But I can see them arrive, which hopefully is a pointer that I don't loose sight of my stillness.

    But my practice is still not so formal, as I am meditating on my couch :p but I do have plan to set up a shrine area in my flat. Hopefully that will set me in a mood for some serious meditation.

    lobster
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    @mmo said:
    Hopefully that will set me in a mood for some serious meditation.

    Sounds good. <3
    It is a serious commitment. Real effort and real potential. Gentle return to the breath and an altar sounds like a plan. Be gentle with yourself but also determined.

    Good luck. I will be setting up a new shrine in your honour. <3

  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    I personally prefer active/moving meditation. Always have.

    It is also suitable for the times between formal sitting or for those not sitting ...
    @Vastmind mentions raking. I have only done this on grass. Never on sand.

    Activity meditation

    Practice based:
    Prostrations, altar care, walking, yoga, tai chi
    personally I include Tai Chi and some martial arts from the Shaolin tradition

    Life as practice:
    Cleaning, running, cooking?
    Crafts, painting, dancing?

    Do it with, love, carefully, attention?

    One of my teachers always said. No doubt you have heard similar:

    'Your practice begins after you leave the practice hall'

  • ZenniZenni Veteran

    My activity meditation

    Yoga - I don't meditate while doing yoga actually, but I do it mindfully. I end my exercise with meditation, either sitting or shavasana.

    Taichi (yang) - 3 segments, 30 mins per segment. Warm up, qigong, taichi forms. I do meditation at the qigong segment. For warm up and taichi forms, I do them mindfully.

    Walking meditation - every evening.

    In the morning, I do sitting or standing meditation.

    Hm.. Dearest veterans, I have a question.. (again)

    What's the difference between mindfulness and meditation?

    So I said I do walking meditation or is it mindful walking...
    Each evening, as I walk, I "unload my suffering", be it caused by my ego, wrong perception or ...
    I unload them one by one, gently, in a peaceful manner until I am totally at peace.
    Still walking, now immerse in peace, I begin focussing my steps, each step of the way..

    What I'm doing every evening as described above, is it..
    Mindful walking or Walking meditation?

    Thanking all of you...

    Namaste
    Zenni

    lobster
  • I tend to think of meditation as being on the cushion and mindfulness as being off the cushion, but of course the boundaries are blurred.

    lobsterTravellermmo
  • ZenniZenni Veteran

    @SpinyNorman - thank you very much =)

    Namaste

  • VastmindVastmind Memphis, TN Veteran

    I've been raking as part of my home retreat until the funeral stuff starts....


    Earthninjasilver
  • EarthninjaEarthninja Wanderer West Australia Veteran
    I like to do meditation of breath to focus and calm the mind. This is my formal sitting meditation. I rarely go over the hour but never less than 10 minutes. I normally sit around 40 minutes. I'm working in doing this on weekends!

    I also spend about an hour doing walking/mindfulness meditation. Passive observing of life. It's normally during this that I have insights, weird huh?

    I also do a few guided meditations about 30 minutes long. Good if the monkey is on your back.
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