Turning daily life into retreat

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Miroku
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Re: Turning daily life into retreat

Post by Miroku » Sun Jul 29, 2018 1:55 pm

A little bit of rest is also important. but maybe if you are relaxed and do not strai ntoo much during practice it can be good. When people find time to get drunk and have hangovers then there is for sure time to meditate.
A boat delivers you to the other riverbank.
A needle stitches up your clothes.
A horse takes you where you want to go.
Bodhicitta will bring you to Buddhahood.

~ Khunu Lama Rinpoche

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Matt J
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Re: Turning daily life into retreat

Post by Matt J » Sun Jul 29, 2018 4:18 pm

I think you have to start where you are. I can say that unlike Cone and Malcolm, I am a lazy, busy householder who practices far less than he should and reads way too much. Even so, with the right set of practices, major transformations can occur. When I first started practice, I had gone through many years of what I can only term "addict-depressive" (caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol being my drugs of choice). People who meet me now have no idea, thinking I am the very definition of a sane, put-together, professional adult.

The ideal that I've heard across dharma centers from serious practitioners and teachers is that the goal for householders is 2 hours a day with at least 1-2 weeks of practice retreat a year, and a one or more one day or weekend retreats a month. That is a lot, and quite frankly, not something for everyone to shoot for. If you do too much, practice will be a chore and you'll find reasons to avoid it. Do too little on the other hand and nothing happens. I've found it helpful to push a little bit, but not too much. I personally went from 20 minutes a day to two hours a day at one point and it wasn't helpful.

If some one doesn't practice at all, then 15 minutes a day (but it must be every day) is not a bad start. Many people have to work up to it. I've noticed that the best incentivizer for daily practice are going on practice retreats (also that is where you get the best instructions). My practice retreat, I mean where you spend most of the time in silence practicing. Some one who starts going on retreats will often start a daily practice, whereas the reverse is not always so.

The key I think is to find practices that you can take with you throughout the day, because that it where (in my mind) the real magic happens.
"The essence of meditation practice is to let go of all your expectations about meditation. All the qualities of your natural mind -- peace, openness, relaxation, and clarity -- are present in your mind just as it is. You don't have to do anything different. You don't have to shift or change your awareness. All you have to do while observing your mind is to recognize the qualities it already has."
--- Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche

Motova
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Re: Turning daily life into retreat

Post by Motova » Sun Jul 29, 2018 4:51 pm

Matt J wrote:
Sun Jul 29, 2018 4:18 pm
When I first started practice, I had gone through many years of what I can only term "addict-depressive" (caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol being my drugs of choice). People who meet me now have no idea, thinking I am the very definition of a sane, put-together, professional adult.
:twothumbsup:
To become a rain man one must master the ten virtues and sciences.

Pema Rigdzin
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Location: Southern Oregon

Re: Turning daily life into retreat

Post by Pema Rigdzin » Sun Jul 29, 2018 6:23 pm

Ignorant_Fool wrote:
Sun Jul 29, 2018 12:56 pm
It's been challenging for me to diligently practice daily. I usually get off work earlier than my wife, so I have at least a couple of hours to myself - time which I should use better. Motivation is a big problem for me. That and the fact that I can be horribly lazy. :?
Something I've been focusing on is discipline instead of motivation. Motivation comes and goes, but the solid commitment of discipline leads to development of habits that make it take less willpower. Also, contemplation of the unknown time of death, the inexorable nature of the karmas we've created and will experience the results of, and of the suffering permeating samsara, can get a fire lit under one's butt.

I get the difficulty sometimes of staying motivated, though. I work 12+ hour days Sun, M, F/M, T, Sat, have gone back to school online for the next several months, and have a wife and toddler. My wife's pretty understanding & supportive, but my toddler... lol. When it's just the kid and I, I sometimes just have to accept the enhancement of my practice that is her playing somewhat noisily with around me with her toys, sometimes wanting to sit on my lap lol. It can be really tempting on downtime between work and toddler wrangling and school to just slump onto the couch and watch TV or waste time on the internet/social media, and I've spent an unfortunate amount of time doing that sometimes, but I've found that with contemplation of the above topics and just getting practicing, inspiration and joy of practicing really gains some energy and momentum. and keeping that going and sharpening up aspects of my practice that need imporovement, I start to see progress; I also have noticed the slump that comes about when I'm not doing my practice diligently. It's also helped to write out a schedule for my days off, blocking out time for practice (which varies based on whether it's just the kid and I, or my wife's home, too.) On work days, I just do a very unelaborate guru yoga throughout the day and try to maintain the view, and then a brief practice before bed. Good luck and keep at it. Little by little you'll get there!
Last edited by Pema Rigdzin on Sun Jul 29, 2018 6:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Pema Rigdzin
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Re: Turning daily life into retreat

Post by Pema Rigdzin » Sun Jul 29, 2018 6:25 pm

practitioner wrote:
Sun Jul 29, 2018 1:43 pm
Ignorant_Fool wrote:
Sun Jul 29, 2018 12:56 pm
It's been challenging for me to diligently practice daily. I usually get off work earlier than my wife, so I have at least a couple of hours to myself - time which I should use better. Motivation is a big problem for me. That and the fact that I can be horribly lazy. :?
In my experience just establishing a daily practice is the first step. Even just 15min. You can worry about longer sessions later. But creating that space in your life is the first step.
:good:

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weitsicht
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Re: Turning daily life into retreat

Post by weitsicht » Mon Jul 30, 2018 9:33 am

Tenma wrote:
Sun Jul 29, 2018 2:13 am
Personally, I perform my daily sadhanas in the bus in the morning and afternoon during school days. During lunch, I fast and recite sutras and whatnot. As it is summer vacation(unfortunately, more "Christian security"), I do my sadhana for around 1.5 hours from anywhere between 10 PM - 12 AM
Do you do them mentally or do your fellow commuters perceive you mumbling gibberish to yourself?
(Asking because I find myself in the same situation daily)

Matt J saying
I think you have to start where you are
Very wisely put, you should get the Pulitzer price for that.
No, seriously. Everyone has to work with that is being brought up to him. A cultivation of honesty to the self helps perceiving "I am lazy", "I lack stamina", or "I have a tendency for arrogance"
Once seen one can start to work on that. Gently.
Ho! All the possible appearances and existences of samsara and nirvana have the same source, yet two paths and two results arise as the magical display of awareness and unawareness.
HO NANG SRI KHOR DAE THAMCHE KUN ZHI CHIG LAM NYI DRAE BU NYI RIG DANG MA RIG CHOM THRUL TE

Ignorant_Fool
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Re: Turning daily life into retreat

Post by Ignorant_Fool » Mon Jul 30, 2018 9:38 am

Thanks everyone ... It's all very sound advice. I try do 20 minutes of Guru Yoga, at the very least. I'm usually quite diligent for about a month or so - then it gets patchy for a bit. I've been a bit distracted by a medical condition that suddenly flared up but that shouldn't be an excuse. I will work harder. :smile:
Pema Rigdzin wrote:
Sun Jul 29, 2018 6:23 pm

Something I've been focusing on is discipline instead of motivation. Motivation comes and goes, but the solid commitment of discipline leads to development of habits that make it take less willpower. Also, contemplation of the unknown time of death, the inexorable nature of the karmas we've created and will experience the results of, and of the suffering permeating samsara, can get a fire lit under one's butt.
practitioner wrote:
Sun Jul 29, 2018 1:43 pm

In my experience just establishing a daily practice is the first step. Even just 15min. You can worry about longer sessions later. But creating that space in your life is the first step.

Tenma
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Re: Turning daily life into retreat

Post by Tenma » Mon Jul 30, 2018 6:05 pm

weitsicht wrote:
Mon Jul 30, 2018 9:33 am
Tenma wrote:
Sun Jul 29, 2018 2:13 am
Personally, I perform my daily sadhanas in the bus in the morning and afternoon during school days. During lunch, I fast and recite sutras and whatnot. As it is summer vacation(unfortunately, more "Christian security"), I do my sadhana for around 1.5 hours from anywhere between 10 PM - 12 AM
Do you do them mentally or do your fellow commuters perceive you mumbling gibberish to yourself?
(Asking because I find myself in the same situation daily)

Matt J saying
I think you have to start where you are
Very wisely put, you should get the Pulitzer price for that.
No, seriously. Everyone has to work with that is being brought up to him. A cultivation of honesty to the self helps perceiving "I am lazy", "I lack stamina", or "I have a tendency for arrogance"
Once seen one can start to work on that. Gently.
I just whisper. If the mantra requires to be chanted out loud, I just make the excuse of being in choir.

Miroku
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Joined: Fri Jul 24, 2015 11:18 am

Re: Turning daily life into retreat

Post by Miroku » Mon Jul 30, 2018 10:39 pm

Tenma wrote:
Mon Jul 30, 2018 6:05 pm
weitsicht wrote:
Mon Jul 30, 2018 9:33 am
Tenma wrote:
Sun Jul 29, 2018 2:13 am
Personally, I perform my daily sadhanas in the bus in the morning and afternoon during school days. During lunch, I fast and recite sutras and whatnot. As it is summer vacation(unfortunately, more "Christian security"), I do my sadhana for around 1.5 hours from anywhere between 10 PM - 12 AM
Do you do them mentally or do your fellow commuters perceive you mumbling gibberish to yourself?
(Asking because I find myself in the same situation daily)

Matt J saying
I think you have to start where you are
Very wisely put, you should get the Pulitzer price for that.
No, seriously. Everyone has to work with that is being brought up to him. A cultivation of honesty to the self helps perceiving "I am lazy", "I lack stamina", or "I have a tendency for arrogance"
Once seen one can start to work on that. Gently.
I just whisper. If the mantra requires to be chanted out loud, I just make the excuse of being in choir.
I'd quite honestly discourage from this behaviour. I am all for using bus drives for practice but for some that is essential and can be done withou wisper or chanting. Why? It is better to keep your practice to yourself only. Also people can start thinking about you that you are just weird. And you also need not lie. In some parts of the world it can also protect from being attacked. Also it can be taken as some form of showing off and grow your ego, but that highly depends. In essence. Unless you live in a country where dharma practice is normal it is better to keep it to yourself.

What you can do is take a recording of a practice and listen to it in your headphones during the way. You do nto have to remember everything and can repeat together with the recording in your head. Or if you do not have recording of it you can make your own during your practice at home.

But I just might be bit too conservative sooo you do you I guess.
A boat delivers you to the other riverbank.
A needle stitches up your clothes.
A horse takes you where you want to go.
Bodhicitta will bring you to Buddhahood.

~ Khunu Lama Rinpoche

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Nemo
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Re: Turning daily life into retreat

Post by Nemo » Tue Jul 31, 2018 1:53 am

By retreat do you mean accumulating merit or parting the veil and revealing the nature of reality? The first one is easy. Accumulating merit can be done anywhere under almost any circumstances. Even during a war.

For the second it is very important to be as invisible as possible. Don't let any worldlings feel strongly about you, good or bad. That alone will mire your meditation. Celibacy is recommended or if you have a lover they should also be a practitioner with many Samayas. Pretend you are in the witness protection program. Solitude is ideal. You aren't the President. No one is going to miss you if you aren't on Facebook for a few weeks. Be very picky about your time with others.

“A bore is someone who deprives you of solitude without providing you with company.”
― Oscar Wilde

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Aryjna
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Re: Turning daily life into retreat

Post by Aryjna » Tue Jul 31, 2018 10:31 am

Tenma wrote:
Mon Jul 30, 2018 6:05 pm
weitsicht wrote:
Mon Jul 30, 2018 9:33 am
Tenma wrote:
Sun Jul 29, 2018 2:13 am
Personally, I perform my daily sadhanas in the bus in the morning and afternoon during school days. During lunch, I fast and recite sutras and whatnot. As it is summer vacation(unfortunately, more "Christian security"), I do my sadhana for around 1.5 hours from anywhere between 10 PM - 12 AM
Do you do them mentally or do your fellow commuters perceive you mumbling gibberish to yourself?
(Asking because I find myself in the same situation daily)

Matt J saying
I think you have to start where you are
Very wisely put, you should get the Pulitzer price for that.
No, seriously. Everyone has to work with that is being brought up to him. A cultivation of honesty to the self helps perceiving "I am lazy", "I lack stamina", or "I have a tendency for arrogance"
Once seen one can start to work on that. Gently.
I just whisper. If the mantra requires to be chanted out loud, I just make the excuse of being in choir.
Chanting in a bus and using the excuse of practicing for a choir doesn't sound good at all. Even whispering may draw attention and make others think you have some kind of problem. As Miroku said it is much better to do everything completely mentally.

Tenma
Posts: 723
Joined: Mon Mar 13, 2017 4:25 am

Re: Turning daily life into retreat

Post by Tenma » Tue Jul 31, 2018 1:45 pm

Aryjna wrote:
Tue Jul 31, 2018 10:31 am
Tenma wrote:
Mon Jul 30, 2018 6:05 pm
weitsicht wrote:
Mon Jul 30, 2018 9:33 am


Do you do them mentally or do your fellow commuters perceive you mumbling gibberish to yourself?
(Asking because I find myself in the same situation daily)

Matt J saying

Very wisely put, you should get the Pulitzer price for that.
No, seriously. Everyone has to work with that is being brought up to him. A cultivation of honesty to the self helps perceiving "I am lazy", "I lack stamina", or "I have a tendency for arrogance"
Once seen one can start to work on that. Gently.
I just whisper. If the mantra requires to be chanted out loud, I just make the excuse of being in choir.
Chanting in a bus and using the excuse of practicing for a choir doesn't sound good at all. Even whispering may draw attention and make others think you have some kind of problem. As Miroku said it is much better to do everything completely mentally.
By whispering, I mean as in combining mantra with with breathing to make it seem as though there's no difference between the two. Either way, there is something called "non-anti-dharmist" friends in the bus you know....

amanitamusc
Posts: 1405
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2010 3:32 am

Re: Turning daily life into retreat

Post by amanitamusc » Tue Jul 31, 2018 2:06 pm

Tenma wrote:
Tue Jul 31, 2018 1:45 pm
Aryjna wrote:
Tue Jul 31, 2018 10:31 am
Tenma wrote:
Mon Jul 30, 2018 6:05 pm


I just whisper. If the mantra requires to be chanted out loud, I just make the excuse of being in choir.
Chanting in a bus and using the excuse of practicing for a choir doesn't sound good at all. Even whispering may draw attention and make others think you have some kind of problem. As Miroku said it is much better to do everything completely mentally.
By whispering, I mean as in combining mantra with with breathing to make it seem as though there's no difference between the two. Either way, there is something called "non-anti-dharmist" friends in the bus you know....
Remember samaya .

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Sennin
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Re: Turning daily life into retreat

Post by Sennin » Sat Aug 11, 2018 9:04 pm

Matt J wrote:
Sun Jul 29, 2018 4:18 pm
I think you have to start where you are. I can say that unlike Cone and Malcolm, I am a lazy, busy householder who practices far less than he should and reads way too much. Even so, with the right set of practices, major transformations can occur. When I first started practice, I had gone through many years of what I can only term "addict-depressive" (caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol being my drugs of choice). People who meet me now have no idea, thinking I am the very definition of a sane, put-together, professional adult.

The ideal that I've heard across dharma centers from serious practitioners and teachers is that the goal for householders is 2 hours a day with at least 1-2 weeks of practice retreat a year, and a one or more one day or weekend retreats a month. That is a lot, and quite frankly, not something for everyone to shoot for. If you do too much, practice will be a chore and you'll find reasons to avoid it. Do too little on the other hand and nothing happens. I've found it helpful to push a little bit, but not too much. I personally went from 20 minutes a day to two hours a day at one point and it wasn't helpful.

If some one doesn't practice at all, then 15 minutes a day (but it must be every day) is not a bad start. Many people have to work up to it. I've noticed that the best incentivizer for daily practice are going on practice retreats (also that is where you get the best instructions). My practice retreat, I mean where you spend most of the time in silence practicing. Some one who starts going on retreats will often start a daily practice, whereas the reverse is not always so.

The key I think is to find practices that you can take with you throughout the day, because that it where (in my mind) the real magic happens.
Good posting. I will add that by doing short sadhanas daily it does allow space and room for growth. Even if a sadhana is short if it has all the essential steps in a concise way then it can be extended and a 15 minute practice can become a 30 minute practice.
Namo Guru Bhyaḥ

Miroku
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Re: Turning daily life into retreat

Post by Miroku » Sat Aug 11, 2018 10:06 pm

I think this year or last year Meido created some "meditation challenge" for his students to sit 30 minutes a day. And from this came one of the best advices I have heard. Meido said something along the lines that we should not look at meditation as something we have to do for 30 minutes (or more) every day for the rest of our life, but do it just simply do it today everyday. I am bad at paraphrasing and quite tired, but I hope it is clear.
A boat delivers you to the other riverbank.
A needle stitches up your clothes.
A horse takes you where you want to go.
Bodhicitta will bring you to Buddhahood.

~ Khunu Lama Rinpoche

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