Day to Day activities

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.
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DCM
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Day to Day activities

Post by DCM » Mon Dec 04, 2017 5:07 pm

Hi, I'm interested to here how lay practitioners practise outside of formal sitting meditation. I'm after ideas really how to implement the dhamma into everyday life.

I'm interested in how people remain mindful and aware whilst carrying out the duties below,;
1. Working
2. Talking to people
3. Spending time with family/ children
4. Driving
5. Time to their selves (relaxing)

and any other that come to mind. Possible things to elaborate on would be; how people remain mindful when driving, bending, sitting, standing, stretching etc, and what kind of things they are aware of, i.e. The 4 Satipatthanas, general awareness of the activity, etc. And what the process would be when going through these practises.

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bodom
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Re: Day to Day activities

Post by bodom » Mon Dec 04, 2017 5:28 pm

The single most helpful thing I have found is to stay grounded in the body, to have mindfulness completely immersed in the body from head to toe. It is useful to have the body as an anchor to keep oneself from getting lost in thoughts and daydreams which takes one out of the present moment.

:namaste:
To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With no struggling, no thinking,
the mind, still,
will see cause and effect
vanishing in the Void.
Attached to nothing, letting go:
Know that this is the way
to allay all stress.

- Upasika Kee Nanayan

DCM
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Location: Wales, UK

Re: Day to Day activities

Post by DCM » Mon Dec 04, 2017 6:41 pm

Hi Bodom, i can see how to apply that when carrying out Point 4 and 5, but what about points 1,2 and 3? Would you have mindfulness completely grounded in the body when talking, working and interacting with people?

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bodom
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Re: Day to Day activities

Post by bodom » Mon Dec 04, 2017 7:07 pm

DCM wrote:
Mon Dec 04, 2017 6:41 pm
Hi Bodom, i can see how to apply that when carrying out Point 4 and 5, but what about points 1,2 and 3? Would you have mindfulness completely grounded in the body when talking, working and interacting with people?
Of course. The body is always there wherever you go.

:namaste:
To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With no struggling, no thinking,
the mind, still,
will see cause and effect
vanishing in the Void.
Attached to nothing, letting go:
Know that this is the way
to allay all stress.

- Upasika Kee Nanayan

paul
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Location: Vietnam

Re: Day to Day activities

Post by paul » Mon Dec 04, 2017 7:49 pm

I agree that mindfulness of the body is the foundation. To explain further, the Satipatthana refrain describes a continuum of mindfulness between right effort and right concentration.

"In this way he remains focused internally on the body in & of itself, or externally on the body in & of itself, or both internally & externally on the body in & of itself. Or he remains focused on the phenomenon of origination with regard to the body, on the phenomenon of passing away with regard to the body, or on the phenomenon of origination & passing away with regard to the body. Or his mindfulness that 'There is a body' is maintained to the extent of knowledge & remembrance.”---DN 22, MN 10

This means there are degrees of mindfulness. When the defilements are still, then only general mindfulness is required (there is a body); when they are active, then strong mindfulness needs to be applied (investigating the phenomena of origination and passing away).

These two types of mindfulness lead to different outcomes. With general mindfulness, the orientation is toward samatha, tranquillity. But with strong mindfulness, particular qualities are searched for, for example impermanence. In both cases, mindfulness has an agenda.
These operations can be further studied in for example, “Sattipatthana: The Direct Path to Realization”, Ven. Analayo.

1, 2 and 3 would be the times when defilements would be more likely encountered.
Last edited by paul on Tue Dec 05, 2017 10:55 am, edited 6 times in total.

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altar
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Re: Day to Day activities

Post by altar » Mon Dec 04, 2017 7:52 pm

DCM wrote:
Mon Dec 04, 2017 5:07 pm

I'm interested in how people remain mindful and aware whilst carrying out the duties below,;
1. Working
2. Talking to people
3. Spending time with family/ children
4. Driving
5. Time to their selves (relaxing)
i guess i have issue with the word "remain" as mindfulness will lapse now and then. perhaps i just don't have right mindfulness. Edit: maybe what I mean to say is that mindfulness is not tangible
1.working - zone out as much as possible!! actually i haven't been working much lately. i had a thread about farming and i liked landscaping but i've been withdrawing from those activities of late. i used to have a job at a bakery and i quit that as well.
2. if it is unwholesome speech i think to be aware of the mouth as a body part and not a speech faculty. if it is wholesome speech or speech related to dharma then just keep going...
3. not my specialty - i think patience is key. patient metta or something like that...
4.already made a thread on this one...
5. umm i have kind of morphed this one and "sitting meditation" into one. so really actually i relax more than i meditate and if i find myself meditating so be it.
Last edited by altar on Mon Dec 04, 2017 8:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Sam Vara
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Re: Day to Day activities

Post by Sam Vara » Mon Dec 04, 2017 7:55 pm

With regard to points 1, 2, and 3, it might help if you tried to establish and maintain mindfulness of your intentions in all your interactions with others. Constantly bear the precepts in mind (or maybe a more general requirement that you act harmlessly at all times) and ask yourself whether your intended action is in accordance with your standards, or falls short of them. Something along the lines of "Is what I am about to do now OK or not?". I have tried this when very busy and when I have duties to perform, and found it to be very useful. After a time it becomes almost automatic, and you don't need to verbalise anything as you act. And another advantage of this is that it seems to strengthen the mindfulness one needs to maintain focus on the body or on the breath later on.

You might find the "Mindfulness Precepts" article in this little pdf useful. It's a beautiful little book for lots of reasons.

https://www.amaravati.org/dhamma-books ... -same-car/

Saengnapha
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Re: Day to Day activities

Post by Saengnapha » Wed Dec 06, 2017 4:40 am

DCM wrote:
Mon Dec 04, 2017 5:07 pm
Hi, I'm interested to here how lay practitioners practise outside of formal sitting meditation. I'm after ideas really how to implement the dhamma into everyday life.

I'm interested in how people remain mindful and aware whilst carrying out the duties below,;
1. Working
2. Talking to people
3. Spending time with family/ children
4. Driving
5. Time to their selves (relaxing)

and any other that come to mind. Possible things to elaborate on would be; how people remain mindful when driving, bending, sitting, standing, stretching etc, and what kind of things they are aware of, i.e. The 4 Satipatthanas, general awareness of the activity, etc. And what the process would be when going through these practises.
I think many people are confused about how to live. They equate how to live with meditation and satipatthana practice. To me, this is backwards. The Buddha taught the 8 Fold Path as the remedy for samsaric living. Before we come to be meditators in the proper fashion which the satipatthana and anapanasati suttas talk about, you have to establish the first 5 steps of the 8 Fold Path. This concerns itself with action, how you live your life. Without this orientation of selflessness, meditation will not bear the fruit that many wish for. Satipatthana, the introversion of attention, if not practiced without the foundation of Sila, right actions, will eventually frustrate the meditator and further the habitual habits of the activity of 'I' making. The relaxation that is necessary for satipatthana is established in turning towards Dhamma in your daily life first. What good is meditation if you are still angry and desirous of all kinds of things? It is not going to work. You have to turn away from the habitual reactions first in your daily life. Maybe then, you are ready for a deeper look.

rolling_boulder
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Re: Day to Day activities

Post by rolling_boulder » Sat Dec 16, 2017 8:33 pm

With 1, 2, 3...

try

mindfulness of the Precepts/Right Speech, this is crucial and very underrated
mindfulness of your intentions;
mindfulness of Dhammas, that is, of the Enlightenment Factors and the Five Hindrances.
The world is swept away. It does not endure...
The world is without shelter, without protector...
The world is without ownership. One has to pass on, leaving everything behind...
The world is insufficient, insatiable, a slave to craving.

binocular
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Re: Day to Day activities

Post by binocular » Sun Dec 17, 2017 10:50 am

DCM wrote:
Mon Dec 04, 2017 5:07 pm
4. Driving
Driving is a very good example because it is a private activity while around others.
In line with the instructions to Rahula I find it is helpful to reflect on my actions per the instructions to Rahula, preferrably when I get home and sit down in peace. I think about the dangerous situations that have happened while in traffic, whether they were caused by myself or by others or by other forces (nature), and then try to find ways to learn not to do those dangerous actions again, and find best courses of actions when others or nature do dangerous things.

For example, when I was a junior driver, I noticed that when I shifted lights from long to short, I yanked the steering wheel (very dangerous!). So, with the car parked in the driveway at home, I deliberately practiced switching lights while keeping the steering wheel even. It may look odd (or even humiliating) to practice like that, but it's worth it.

I have a notebook for these things, and I review it, because I otherwise forget them.

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