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Complementary Practices

From another thread:

I think it's necessary for many of us in this modern culture to first undo a lot of the damage done to our bodies by living in a very head-based, sedentary society. A lot of the troubles people have with sitting practice, IME, stem from a lifetime of misusing or neglecting their bodies. For myself, I actually usually don't do sitting practice until after I have done either some yoga or a workout of some kind. I find this roots my awareness back into the body, but also allows for deeper, more diaphragmatic breathing. Work requires me to sit for long hours. Jumping right back into more sitting would probably do more harm than good.

I am a great believer in prostrations as a practice to prepare the body/mind for sitting. Or walking meditation as equal to sitting. Mindfulness as both a beginner through to advanced practice. The value of study, good company etc.

What complementary practices have most helped your meditation?

http://opcoa.st/05wPT-476e4

Comments

  • dhammachickdhammachick crazy Aussie BUJU Sydney, Australia Veteran

    I put a lot of stock in walking meditation. Mala chanting is great and I have tried prostrations, though it's not the most graceful of movements when I do it :pleased:

    _ /\ _

    BunksRuddyDuck9
  • SwaroopSwaroop India Veteran

    I lie down to meditate after 70 minutes of workout on the treadmill. It works for me and I don't fall asleep either.

    RuddyDuck9
  • howhow Veteran
    edited May 2016

    Are there complimentary practices or are there just different names for meditation?

    Does meditation really begin and end in formal sitting?

    Does it begin with preparatory practices and end** with** some debriefings?

    What makes this present moment of practice, any less capable of transcending our ignorance's than any other?

    Is there some time or place in life, that should be excluded from our journey towards sufferings cessation?

    OK/OK ....prostrations/contemplation/4 NT/8 FP/ rite/ ritual/ faith/ devotion/ Dharmic study/ and the continual questioning of my assumptions.

    lobster
  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman Veteran
    edited May 2016

    @how said:> Are there complimentary practices or are there just different names for meditation?

    I think it's more accurate to say they are different names for mindfulness. Meditation is mindfulness sitting down, hence for example "mindfulness of breathing". Walking meditation is mindfulness walking. Chanting is mindfulness singing, and so on.

    Tara1978
  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman Veteran
    edited May 2016

    @lobster said:> What complementary practices have most helped your meditation?

    Watching waves is very meditative. At first glance waves all look much the same in their shape and movement, but when you look closely they are all unique, each with their own character. It's fascinating the the way they interact with each other and with the shore. A bonus is seeing the occasional seal. :p

    BunksLi2asusanne
  • howhow Veteran
    edited May 2016

    @SpinyNorman
    Interesting approach!

    I am curious why you see meditation as being is limited to just sitting down?
    Can't stand or lie down and still call it meditation?
    or is your meditation incompatible with movement?
    What about your blood flow or breathing?

    &

    Mindfulness is only one aspect of meditation...like concentration, which is why the Buddha offered an 8 FP to address suffering's cause instead of a 1 FP.

    I do see the 4NT & 8 FP as the component parts of life's meditation with
    all 8 needing to be addressed for such a journey, not just one.

    lobster
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    Complementary Practices

    Life...Living...being mindful, of being mind full....

  • @how said: I am curious why you see meditation as being is limited to just sitting down?> Can't stand or lie down and still call it meditation?
    or is your meditation incompatible with movement?
    What about your blood flow or breathing?
    Mindfulness is only one aspect of meditation...like concentration, which is why the Buddha offered an 8 FP to address suffering's cause instead of a 1 FP.

    I do see the 4NT & 8 FP as the component parts of life's meditation with
    all 8 needing to be addressed for such a journey, not just one.

    It's partly about language, most people think of "meditation" as the bit you do sitting down, and I still think "mindfulness" is a more accurate descriptor for most of the activities we're discussing here, mindfulness of the breath, position, movement etc.

    If we're talking about more generally about Buddhist activity then I think the word "practice" covers it quite well, so we would talk about Buddhist practice as including aspects of the 8-fold path and so on. Referring to all this as "meditation" seems a little odd to me.

    I think in discussion it's useful to distinguish between sitting meditation and practices off the cushion like mindfulness, it gets very confusing otherwise.

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    Yoga is complimentary in so many ways. If you look at it as meditation in motion it helps you to carry that throughout your day. The times I find myself most easily "falling into" meditation during daily life is when I am running, walking, cooking, eating, cleaning and sometimes driving. Though that is more of awareness meditation, I don't zone out, quite the opposite. It prevents me from zoning out.

    But what enabled me to bring meditation from my cushion to my daily life, was yoga. Because I could associate it with movement and life rather than just sitting on my cushion. It has taught me more than anything how to breathe through life's rough moments. As the saying goes, the pose doesn't really start until it becomes difficult. Life is kind of the same, your practice doesn't kick in as much until you start to struggle.

    The other day I was on a car trip with my mom. We went to a concert that was a 6 hour drive from home. The concert itself, despite it's loudness, was quite meditative. It was an opportunity to bond with other people just for that brief time despite our differences. It was not dissimilar to group meditation, actually. A unique experience with 20,000 other people. On the drive back, my mom stopped at a nursing home to visit her dying godmother. After 4 hours in the car, I needed to stretch so I turned it into a more meditative walking balance lunges walk. I kept my hand in reverse prayer (hands together as in prayer but behind your back) to stretch my upper body and then I did walking lunges to stretch the lower. It was quite nice. Very slow, deliberate movements. I enjoy doing that quite often because watching everyone rush around like a pack of rats bothers me. Slow down and marvel at all the things in life, even while grocery shopping. Just don't do it in the middle of the aisle ;)

    I guess I am getting more to the point where meditation and yoga aren't singular moments held apart from everything else. Less and less is there "meditation time" and "yoga time" while I rush through the rest of life. It is all tied in together and life IS meditation and yoga time. I find myself bringing meditation and even yoga postures all the time in my every day life.

    howWalkerlobsterShoshin
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    @SpinyNorman said:

    It's partly about language, most people think of "meditation" as the bit you do sitting down, and I still think "mindfulness" is a more accurate descriptor for most of the activities we're discussing here, mindfulness of the breath, position, movement etc.

    Indeed.
    Formal awareness and practice of the ultra spiritual practitioner and practice or awareness as being, without labling and outward show ...

    If we're talking about more generally about Buddhist activity then I think the word "practice" covers it quite well, so we would talk about Buddhist practice as including aspects of the 8-fold path and so on. Referring to all this as "meditation" seems a little odd to me.

    I feel these are minor semantic differentations. Practice at all time, in all things ... or at least an increasing number of activities done meditatively is not so odd.
    Meditation in movement, eating, walking, study, focus, being aware of the breath or mantra increasingly. The lines becoming blurred IMO.

    I think in discussion it's useful to distinguish between sitting meditation and practices off the cushion like mindfulness, it gets very confusing otherwise.

    Perhaps. Perhaps not. B)
    Iz I confuzed again? :3

  • @karasti said:> Yoga is complimentary in so many ways.

    Yogic contortions are a form of masochism and slightly kinky, :p

    silverkarasti
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    @SpinyNorman said:

    @karasti said:> Yoga is complimentary in so many ways.

    Yogic contortions are a form of masochism and slightly kinky, :p

    You're telling me........

    SwaroopsilverkarastiLi2asusanne
  • gracklegrackle Veteran

    To calm that poor old monkey with effective practices sure helps to lessen his/her resistance. Give the poor dear some nice distractions. Then ease into the task at hand.

    silver
  • Tara1978Tara1978 UK Veteran

    Walking while chanting mantras and Qi gong practice, both keep my old monkey mind quiet and easier to sit the body still.

    RatBoy
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    @how said:
    What makes this present moment of practice, any less capable of transcending our ignorance's than any other?

    Pig headed determination? Not really sure ...
    'Ignorance' I think is the official line ... ;)

    As usual I like what @karasti says. A sort of increasing pre and post formal meditation. Awareness and attention of our body, munching habits, rodent watching, bathing ... in fact that very fashionable practice of mindfulness ...

    Plan iz working ...

  • YReedYReed Chicago New

    @Swaroop said:
    I lie down to meditate after 70 minutes of workout on the treadmill. It works for me and I don't fall asleep either.

    Lying down is a very effective position. I'v used it all the way up to neither perception nor non perception. But after a work out seems a bit counterintuitive?

  • namarupanamarupa Veteran

    Mindfiul consumption of coffee or tea. :)

  • Walking is a great form of meditation. There are some kinds of meditation that require a seated/seiza position, however walking is a great tool I use to allow my mind to work and process. I also find it necessary to engage in a physical activity with meditating, either before or during. We are comprehensive beings, and we need to take care of our minds, bodies and spirits.

    lobsterTara1978RuddyDuck9
  • @YReed said:> Lying down is a very effective position.

    Lying down is a great way to meditate, it's physically relaxed, and it cuts through all that nonsense about posture and yogic contortions. I have a friend who meditates standing up sometimes, but that is a bit too energetic for me. :p

    lobster
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    ^^^
    Can be energising too.
    In taoism/chi kung/tai chi standing is the opening of the form, used to allow the relaxed opening from tension. If we get a chance a class to learn standing ... oh yeah ... or maybe youtube ...

    Standing is really an energised corpse asana.
    http://buddhaweekly.com/the-better-way-standing-meditation/
    I usually fall asleep in 'corpse posture', mind relaxes too much in response to body cues - I iz so rubbish ...

    I have done formal standing meditation for no more than ten minutes. Think I should try it a bit longer and report back. Waiting for a bus is not formal meditation but mindfulness ... Be interested in others experience :)

  • Currently I meditate lying down, then go for a long mindful walk by the sea, it works quite well. The comfy chair is always in reserve of course. :p

    lobster
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    @Swaroop said:
    I lie down to meditate after 70 minutes of workout on the treadmill. It works for me and I don't fall asleep either.

    Sounds good.
    Treadmill would seem an excellent way of meditating before lying down, thereby doubling ones efforts.

    I used to run with a wii fit before taking the 5k challenge. Good practice and mood/being changing practice ...

    Yesterday we visited a local Buddhist Temple
    http://www.buddhapadipa.org/ to check out the vesak presents. Someone was doing the slow mindful walking meditation of the serious practitioner. We walked around the temple grounds at normal pace, disturbing the squirrels and more contemplative visitors, preparing to chant for Her Holiness Dalai Queenie Elizabeth mk II on Sunday ...

    Being mindful/attentive at normal pace, including running is not easy. Takes practice. Perhaps focussing on the breath ... interior calm.

    Sorry squirrels ...

    I'll repeat @how point/questions ...

    @how said:
    Are there complimentary practices or are there just different names for meditation?

    Does meditation really begin and end in formal sitting?

    Does it begin with preparatory practices and end** with** some debriefings?

    What makes this present moment of practice, any less capable of transcending our ignorance's than any other?

    Is there some time or place in life, that should be excluded from our journey towards sufferings cessation?

  • I used to sail dinghies and found that a good mindfulness practice, being in tune with the wind and being one with the boat... and trying not to fall in and look like a complete dork. :p

    lobster
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    ^^^ I rather like the idea of being blown by the wind ...
    The boom, from my limited experience is the ultimate keisaku

  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    @namarupa said:
    Mindfiul consumption of coffee or tea. :)

    Yes indeed. Ideally I have herbal tea or barley cup. However I am not an ideal consumer. I used to bring green tea into my formal sits and have a mindful sip every five minutes or so. Mindful breaks without phone and music listening ... good plan.
    http://bethreacher.com/blog/cup-tea-taught-life-minfulness/

  • @lobster said: barley cup.

    I remember that as a Triratna staple, shame it tastes like cardboard though. :p

  • RatBoyRatBoy St. Louis area New

    I attended a qigong practice last Tuesday, and am thinking of making it a part of my daily routine. Mostly for the discipline and movement.

    Our Center in St. Louis also changes up from zazen to walking meditation to chanting, to mindful breathing meditation. Mostly zazen, but utilizing the others to remind us that other forms of meditation can be more appropriate for different situations.

    lobsterRuddyDuck9
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