Where do I start?

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Ryan95227
Posts: 87
Joined: Fri Jan 30, 2015 3:29 am

Where do I start?

Post by Ryan95227 » Thu Aug 22, 2019 3:34 am

I have been meditating for 1 year so far. I was using "the mind illuminated" as my guide and it has helped me develop such strong intention and foundation for me to practice at least 1 hour a day. I have developed immense motivation to attend retreat as well. I'm now looking to be more devoted to the path. I would like to start practicing Mahasi style noting. Before I start, my question is this.. people have told me that you can enjoy life's pleasure (watching tv, playing games, listening to music, browsing the web) No matter how much i try to be mindfully aware of these activities I just can't. It almost feels like they taint one's mind so much mindfulness becomes interrupted a lot. It almost feels counter productive to even engage in these activities. Why not just meditate during these activities? WHy is it harmful to completely abstain from it? Won't these activities interfere with the noble 8 fold path and slow down progress? Any thoughts?

Srilankaputra
Posts: 673
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2018 3:56 am
Location: Sri Lanka

Re: Where do I start?

Post by Srilankaputra » Thu Aug 22, 2019 4:18 am

Ryan95227 wrote:
Thu Aug 22, 2019 3:34 am
Won't these activities interfere with the noble 8 fold path and slow down progress? Any thoughts?
It might be helpful here to consider what we are ultimate trying to do. We are trying to find an escape(nissarana) from the world with it's manifold sufferings headed by old and death. like some fish trapped in a pool wishing to escape in to the ocean. The fish that get caught in the baited hook of a fisherman will not escape in to the ocean. I think in this Dhammavinaya sensual pleasures are also called baits of the world.

But also there were and possibly are lay disciples of the Blessed One who became Sotapannas and Anagamins. Perhaps they were able to nibble the bait without getting caught in the hook.
O seeing one,we for refuge go to thee!
O mighty sage do thou our teacher be!

Paccuppannañca yo dhammaṃ,
Tattha tattha vipassati

“Yato yato mano nivāraye,
Na dukkhameti naṃ tato tato;
Sa sabbato mano nivāraye,
Sa sabbato dukkhā pamuccatī”ti.

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WindDancer
Posts: 160
Joined: Mon May 01, 2017 3:47 am
Location: Harrison County, IN, USA

Re: Where do I start?

Post by WindDancer » Thu Aug 22, 2019 9:55 am

I, too, spend approximately an hour per day in formal sitting meditation. I also regularly practice meditation while walking and lying down.

I started a Zen practice in the 1970's and continued it exclusively until I learned of vipassana meditation and Theravada Buddhism in 2013. All the years of Zen helped me to develop strong skills in daily life practice, practicing mindfulness and meditation all throughout the day. I highly recommend not giving up. This daily life meditation practice enriches my life. It helps me to flow through the day with greater peace and awareness. It helps me to listen to others with my whole being, not just listening to someone's words. Daily life practice helps me to connect with Nature and with my animal friends, generating greater joy, happiness, gratitude and sense of purpose. All my life is practice.

Though I still benefit from some of my Zen practices, I have grown more during the past 6 years than during any other 6 year period of my life. I am thankful that my brother suggested that I try mindfulness meditation as a means for pain and stress reduction. I soon learned of Theravada Buddhism, and I have been inspired to practice every day, to read many books and to listen to hundreds of hours of Dhamma talks and meditations. Most recently I have been listening to talks at the Metta Forest Monastery, Amaravati and Abhayagiri Monastery.

I wish you well on your journey.

:namaste:

WindDancer
Live Gently....

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Sam Vara
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Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2011 5:42 pm
Location: Sussex, U.K.

Re: Where do I start?

Post by Sam Vara » Thu Aug 22, 2019 11:14 am

Ryan95227 wrote:
Thu Aug 22, 2019 3:34 am
people have told me that you can enjoy life's pleasure (watching tv, playing games, listening to music, browsing the web) No matter how much i try to be mindfully aware of these activities I just can't. It almost feels like they taint one's mind so much mindfulness becomes interrupted a lot. It almost feels counter productive to even engage in these activities. Why not just meditate during these activities? WHy is it harmful to completely abstain from it?
People have told you that these lay-person's pleasures are permissible in that they are compatible with your meditation and (in moderation, of course) no bar to making progress. I think those people are probably right. But that doesn't mean they are compulsory. If you want to give them up then just do so.

The only mild warning I would include here is to be gentle on yourself and not make any big changes suddenly. Renounce things slowly, and monitor how you feel.

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cappuccino
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Joined: Thu Feb 11, 2016 1:45 am

Re: Where do I start?

Post by cappuccino » Thu Aug 22, 2019 5:37 pm

Ryan95227 wrote: to practice at least 1 hour a day. Any thoughts?
why 1 hour a day?

you should waste no time at all

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