Mindful tricks or treats?

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Mindful tricks or treats?

Postby adamposey » Fri Oct 30, 2009 1:52 pm

Eh, halloween is tomorrow, so forgive the title.

Anywho, this is an advice question. I have really stepped back my expectations on my practice, even going as far as reducing the time I spend in meditation at a time so as to slowly work my way up rather than trying to start off at a sprint. This moderation, and slowness, has helped me develop more, I think, because it removes the desire to succeed so quickly. I even believe I may be able to attain brief periods of mindfulness, although I'm not sure my concentration is there yet and I don't know what mindfulness feels like so I have no comparison or way to say.

That said, are there small tricks (or treats!) that one can use to temporarily trick himself back into, or into, mindfulness?
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Re: Mindful tricks or treats?

Postby pegembara » Fri Oct 30, 2009 2:26 pm

And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.
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Re: Mindful tricks or treats?

Postby Jechbi » Fri Oct 30, 2009 3:43 pm

Hi Adam,

My advice would be, try not to have expectations, or to bring any expectations to your sitting periods. Try to keep a consistent time commitment regardless of whether you perceive that you have been successful or not. And meanwhile, create the conditions in your life that are conducive to peace through the practice of sila (which I suspect you already are doing). Then smile, and don't worry about it.

Metta
Rain soddens what is kept wrapped up,
But never soddens what is open;
Uncover, then, what is concealed,
Lest it be soddened by the rain.
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Re: Mindful tricks or treats?

Postby adamposey » Fri Oct 30, 2009 4:25 pm

Jechbi wrote:Hi Adam,

My advice would be, try not to have expectations, or to bring any expectations to your sitting periods. Try to keep a consistent time commitment regardless of whether you perceive that you have been successful or not. And meanwhile, create the conditions in your life that are conducive to peace through the practice of sila (which I suspect you already are doing). Then smile, and don't worry about it.

Metta


I gave up on my expectations and that's when I started seeing some progress which is cool. But if I'm experiencing moments of mindfulness, and the goal is to try to be mindful at all times, I would just like to learn how I can "snap back into it" if I were to lose it.
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Re: Mindful tricks or treats?

Postby catmoon » Fri Oct 30, 2009 4:58 pm

adamposey wrote:
Jechbi wrote:Hi Adam,

My advice would be, try not to have expectations, or to bring any expectations to your sitting periods. Try to keep a consistent time commitment regardless of whether you perceive that you have been successful or not. And meanwhile, create the conditions in your life that are conducive to peace through the practice of sila (which I suspect you already are doing). Then smile, and don't worry about it.

Metta


I gave up on my expectations and that's when I started seeing some progress which is cool. But if I'm experiencing moments of mindfulness, and the goal is to try to be mindful at all times, I would just like to learn how I can "snap back into it" if I were to lose it.


I'm not sure it actually works that way. Out there in the world, mindfulness (personal experience mind you) pops up with a frequency closely tied to the amount of time spent in meditation. As practice advances, the "mindfulness alarm" goes off more frequently.
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Re: Mindful tricks or treats?

Postby adamposey » Fri Oct 30, 2009 7:49 pm

That's what I was curious about. I thought I would ask you all if such a tactic did exist.
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Re: Mindful tricks or treats?

Postby Ben » Fri Oct 30, 2009 10:16 pm

Hi Adam
no special tricks or treats. you just need to develop the habit of bringing your attention back to object.
What I have found is that with meditation this eventually becomes natural.
In the beginning you may want to focus your energies exclusively on developing sati during meditation periods and over time you may notice that you slowly extend your mindfulness during your day-to-day activities. A famous teacher within my tradition, Sayagi U Ba Khin, recommended this approach to students when he said "work while you work and play while you play".
All the best

Ben
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Re: Mindful tricks or treats?

Postby pink_trike » Fri Oct 30, 2009 10:27 pm

What Ben says is good advice. Also, many teachers stress that when starting meditation five minutes of correct meditation at a time is better than going for quantity, then working up to 15 minutes morning and evening - always paying attention to correct technique. It really is helpful to attend at least one introduction to meditation retreat to learn the proper way of meditating, but Mindfulness in Plain English by Bhante Henepola Gunaratana would help develop a good foundation on the path. There's no rush, slow down and settle into it.
Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

---

Disclaimer: I'm a non-religious practitioner of Theravada, Mahayana/Vajrayana, and Tibetan Bon Dzogchen mind-training.
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