What’s your practice routine?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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mettafuture
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What’s your practice routine?

Post by mettafuture » Sat Oct 13, 2018 3:00 pm

Do you feel that it’s important to have one?

I haven't made much progress reconciling my ideal practice routine with my current work schedule. As soon as I wake up, my mind is flooded with all the things I have to worry about for that day, so trying to meditate then hasn't panned out. And when I try to meditate at the end of the day, I often fall asleep before I can get started. However, I have managed to keep up with my nightly sutta reading goal, which itself has been a meditative experience. For object meditation, maybe I should try weekends. Yeah, now that I think about it, meditating for an hour on Saturday and Sunday could probably work.

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JamesTheGiant
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Re: What’s your practice routine?

Post by JamesTheGiant » Sat Oct 13, 2018 6:45 pm

One part of my routine is I meditate for 30 minutes each morning in my car, after I commute to the city.
That way I can get a parking spot early, right outside my destination, plus I have properly woken up by that time so I'm not tempted to stay in bed an extra 30 minutes. It's not a typical place to meditate but it's quiet and people walking past think I'm just having a snooze.
mettafuture wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 3:00 pm
Yeah, now that I think about it, meditating for an hour on Saturday and Sunday could probably work.
Take it down to 30 minutes or even less. If you are having difficulty establishing a routine, forcing youself to do an hour is not useful. Establish the routine for a month and only then extend the time to an hour.

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Idappaccayata
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Re: What’s your practice routine?

Post by Idappaccayata » Sun Oct 14, 2018 1:37 am

mettafuture wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 3:00 pm
Yeah, now that I think about it, meditating for an hour on Saturday and Sunday could probably work.
I've heard many teachers say it's better to meditate, say, ten minutes a day, everyday, than to meditate two hours straight, once a week.

My experience would agree with this as well. Consistency over time is the most important thing for progress.
The furniture may be exquisite,
And the bars of solid gold,
But once the bird realizes that the cage is a cage,
It finds within that cage
No joy

- Ajahn Jayasaro

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mettafuture
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Re: What’s your practice routine?

Post by mettafuture » Sun Oct 14, 2018 2:42 am

Thank you for your suggestions.
JamesTheGiant wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 6:45 pm
Take it down to 30 minutes or even less. If you are having difficulty establishing a routine, forcing yourself to do an hour is not useful. Establish the routine for a month and only then extend the time to an hour.
Great point. I'll likely start with 15 minutes sessions, then work my way up to an hour.
Idappaccayata wrote:
Sun Oct 14, 2018 1:37 am
I've heard many teachers say it's better to meditate, say, ten minutes a day, everyday, than to meditate two hours straight, once a week.
This makes a lot of sense. Unfortunately, with my work schedule, I don't think I have much of a choice right now, but it's not too serious of an issue. I was just thinking aloud about finding time for more intensive practice.The brief breath meditations I do during the week to de-stress have been helpful.

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anthbrown84
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Re: What’s your practice routine?

Post by anthbrown84 » Sun Oct 14, 2018 5:04 am

OP why don't you get up, make a list of these distractions that you "have" to worry about for the day and then meditate?

Our minds aren't naturally free from worry, we meditate to help let go of that very worry.

The writing down may help subdue the emergency of those thoughts a bit?

To answer your question

My weekly routine is
2+ hours meditation most days
Sutra reading on evenings (newly added this week)
1 observance day per week (8 precepts)
Try and practise as much as can remember to during waking life spreading loving kindness

One question, on your death bed do you think you'd be happy that you sacrificed potentially precious formal practise time for time to think more about work?

Chip away at this now and you'll be the master instead.of the slave in time to come

Good luck

Anthony
"Your job in practise is to know the difference between the heart and the activity of the heart, that is it, it is that simple" Ajahn Tate

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mettafuture
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Re: What’s your practice routine?

Post by mettafuture » Tue Oct 16, 2018 11:39 am

anthbrown84 wrote:
Sun Oct 14, 2018 5:04 am
OP why don't you get up, make a list of these distractions that you "have" to worry about for the day and then meditate?
I've done this. I've even put them on a schedule. With my line of work, I have to constantly be on the search for ideas, or ways to improve them. In a sense, I get paid to be distracted, so I can't simply put everything aside. But I already have a plan for practice, which I started over the weekend, and it worked out pretty well. With this thread, I'm more curious about how others are practicing.
My weekly routine is
2+ hours meditation most days
Sutra reading on evenings (newly added this week)
1 observance day per week (8 precepts)
Try and practise as much as can remember to during waking life spreading loving kindness
Very nice.

:namaste:
Last edited by mettafuture on Tue Oct 16, 2018 1:37 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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WindDancer
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Re: What’s your practice routine?

Post by WindDancer » Tue Oct 16, 2018 12:11 pm

Thanks for the question. I, too, am interested in how others live the practice.

I live an active practice that is influenced by a few main sources. I have maintained a Zen practice since the 1970's. In addition to formal sitting practice, I have developed a high level of skill in practicing meditation all throughout the day. All my activities are part of my meditation practice. I practice being mindful of my breathing, how I move, the experiences I am having on a walk in Nature or the time spent with my three Great Pyrenees, for example. I meditate as I wash dishes, sweep the floor or work at my potter's wheel. I meditate, stay in touch with my breath and body as I interact with others, listening to them with not just with my ears but with my whole being. These are just a few examples of my daily life practice. As I have grown in Theravada Buddhism, I have integrated more mindfulness and the Brahma Viharas into my daily life and formal meditation practices. For example, I have an angry neighbor. I regularly practice Loving Kindness meditation as I am out mowing my 2 1/2 acres and see him scowling as he works on his property, sending him love and compassion as I ask that he may be happy, healthy, safe and at peace.

I listen to many hours of Dharma teachings and guided meditations per month. It is common for me to listen to them while washing the dishes or doing light housework or while preparing my meals. Other times I will sit and meditate while listening with more intention. I have a chronic illness. On days I am in rough shape, I may curl up in my recliner and let 5 to 6 hours of Dharma talks flow over me. I soak in what I can. I read suttas and the writings of more contemporary Dharma teachers. I study online and participate in online groups like this one.

Once per day I do a more formal sitting practice of prayer and meditation. I have over 23 years of recovery in AA, so I start out my formal meditation time with a few related prayers. I then take a review of the last 24 hours, giving thanks for all the good that has been in my life that I had nothing to do with. Then I give thanks for all the good things I was able to do in the last 24 hours, taking time to experience the joy in keeping the Precepts, of doing no harm, of the acts of kindness and compassion I was able to do and the healthy productive things I was able to accomplish. Next, with a thankful heart, I review what I could have done better and set intentions to make corrections in my life. After this meditative reflective time, I typically practice mindfulness meditation. In addition, I sometimes formally practice the Brahma Vihara meditations. The entire formal practice takes 45 to 60 minutes, sometimes longer. I am much better at active forms of meditation practice. I find it much harder to quiet my mind and be still as I follow the breath. My mind resists being quiet and still. Twenty to thirty minutes of mindfulness meditation focusing on my breath is the range that works best for me right now. It takes 15 to 20 minutes to settle in. After 30 to 35 minutes I start to feel a strain in my mind and in my body. I am not much good going past 45 minutes. Sometimes I do formal walking meditation; however, I don't do this as often. I get plenty of walking meditation practice when I meditate while gently walking my dogs or doing light work around the house.

I live an active life of showing up in Love and Service in the world. On purpose, I look for opportunities to practice loving kindness, compassion, sympathetic joy and equanimity. In addition, I do my best to practice the Precepts, the Noble 8 Fold Path and the 10 Paramis in my daily life. As part of this practice, I work with people in early recovery, especially men at a local half way house. And as part of this loving kindness and compassion practice, I take in and do my best to rehabilitate lost, neglected or abused animals. Currently I have three Great Pyrenees and one cat.

I wish I was able to work with a meditation and Dharma teacher and was able to meditate with a group of good spiritual friends; however, I don't have access to anyone in my area. About 6 times, I have made the close to 2 hour round trip to meditate with a Vipassana Meditation Group that is East of where I live. I am considering whether it is worth the high cost to go become a regular member of the sangha.
Live Gently....

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