Meditation: Your Practice

Here’s a thread to discuss whatever form of meditation or anchoring you’ve adopted, as well as its importance in your life. Resources, tips, etc.

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when i was a kid, i used to sit zazen for an hour a day. it…did not help me engage with the world(s) around me.

these days i do about 15 minutes max of “mindfulness” meditation, followed by some more focused/intentional imagery exercises (which vary/shift over time, and according to need). this combo definitely serves my purposes better.

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I’m a 10 year varjayana buddhist practitioner. It saved my life, saved my mind and informs 100% of my creative output.
In addition to my daily practice, every year I’m fortunate enough to do a 14-28 day silent retreat in the Colorado mountains (9hrs or meditation practice/day and no talking for 2+ wks). Many mornings I wake early and field record the dawn chorus. This year late in wk 2, I used Norns in the afternoon and made the best music of my life.
Practice, and the truths it makes obvious, truly inform the value of art, creativity and of taking full advantage of this human life.

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Great topic!

I did zazen for a couple years regularly, but stopped for a while because I found it too difficult to meditate in NYC. Then I took a Goenka Vipassana course a few years ago and that was pretty interesting, although over the last couple years the most sustainable thing has been sitting for 15-20 minutes as soon as I get out of bed, before any waking thoughts have time to take root. Essentially rolling out of bed and onto my mat, as Suzuki Roshi put it.
I don’t always get to it right away but I know that sitting for any amount of time is more helpful than getting upset that I didn’t do it perfectly.

Where in CO? I grew up there and attribute a lot of my mindfulness practices to it. Also, a regular retreat once a year is amazing, especially the social aspects. I’ve been looking for a good group (Sangha) but haven’t settled into one yet…

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I sit and focus on my breath for 8 minutes a day after hitting the bathroom and before putting my contacts in. I’ll probably increase by a couple minutes in the future.

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I get that. It’s a practice for me. Like lifting weights or running. If I’m working the muscle, my normal time begins to feel shorter and my timer gets longer. If I’m out of practice, 3 minutes feel like a chore.

I just enjoy meditation as a chance to really ‘hear’ where I am for a few minutes a day. I have a few times a month where I will meditate in a more structured environment, but the silence is MORE distracting than less… go figure.

And um, wow; a norns, grid and arc would probably be the best possible partner for a silent retreat I could think of.

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I used to have bad tinnitus during my mid-late 20s, and every once in a while my hearing sort of ‘drops’ out in my left ear (the better of the two), it feels like a release of pressure, and my hearing becomes distant/muted, slowly returning within a minute or two. Just last week it happened, only this time it took nearly a week to return to normal.

I have bad insomnia, pretty much on a regular basis, and it affects my hearing negatively. I have a hard time engaging with my modular system during these episodes, so I patch in silence. This feels somewhat meditative, though more often than not I find that my patches are almost useless, after plugging in and playing for a while… I usually end up disassembling 60% of what I’d patched in silence. Still, it’s calming and helps me to focus.

Zen meditation in a group 3 times a week, we sit 3 x 30 minutes each time. Should try to get a daily morning and night zazen at home too, but so far haven’t been able. I recommend finding a group, it makes a big difference at least to me… easier to commit to the routine. Personally I like the strict form of zazen and the “ritual” parts of it (chanting, dharma talks etc.) even though at first I rejected them. I recommend for example reading Suzuki’s “Zen mind, beginners mind” and maybe also Charlotte Joko Becks “Everyday zen”.

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Sit and do nothing silently. Inactivity.

I’m dissolving into the flow of my music

I have nothing.

I used to do an hour a day on the motorbike, being in the helmet was my meditation. Pure focus on the line and surviving the ride, nothing focussed my mind more. Now I don’t ride I have nothing and my head is spinning.

I’ve tried all the mindfulness apps. Went on a retreat. Did it all. I can’t do it, I need to be very close to death to achieve that level of calm. I’m thinking of climbing, thats been fun every time I’ve tried it.

I’ve been practicing several forms of sitting meditation over the years and I’m thinking about maybe doing a Vipassana retreat sometime next year.

Recently however, I feel like some other activities are working out much better to get myself in a meditative state. For example Yoga or long bicycle tours (especially well-known routes outside the city, where I don’t get distracted by traffic or new impressions). Playing some minimalistic and sparingly animated drones on my modular in the evening can also have kind of a meditative effect. Paying attention to all the subtle changes in timbre, that sometimes can get lost in more complex and energetic patches…

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ah yes, yoga most always does it for me :slight_smile:

i’ve been sitting in bastard practice for years and still in love with it. my wife has adopted it. we love it and it serves our marriage so deeply. we have this gorgeous back room that i had in my dreams far before it manifested. it is the yoga/meditation/modular room. half the room is lined with ancient warped windows and yields the most beautiful morning sunlight. 2 x zafu/zabuton, a few yoga mats, a tiny modcan b modular, moog source, pedals, a roland tr8s and 2 x roland keyboard amps.

so my practice is to sit back there on a z/z mat, i pay attention to my breath, seating into world, mouth softly closed, eyes gently unfocused a few feet ahead of me on a chosen point on the ground (never the same). i sit pretty often 5-7 mins. very grounding stuff with gentle reminders to re-focus on breath when my mind strays. attempting to keep a straight back/posture without pushing too hard.

we’ve recently (the house) been discussing finding a meditation bell as start and stop cues. in concept test was a free app that includes a timer that worked well on test and didn’t feel invasive.

this is a wonderful topic and i love reading what others do. thank you for starting in and for those contributing. :gift_heart:

a spiritual practice has been the most profound thing found in adult life. simply nothing more meaningful to me. the cynic shows me people constantly who lack any path, understanding, empathy thoughtfulness or mindfulness and humanity 50% scares me…but then 50% inspires me…just depends on the day/time/hour/minute/second. so i feel it my responsibility to attempt to not do the often found horrible human existence and my means of encouraging not being that horrible human i can be is to sit and breathe (amongst many many other actions or abstinences).

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I use the insight timer app as a timer. Has some nice bells and useful settings. There’s also a lot to it that I don’t use, but as a timer it’s functional.

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This is a profound time to be studying meditation in the west. It is the last chance we’ll have to learn with Tibetan born Rinpoches and masters. While many lineages continue globally, things are different now, and opportunities to study with teachers who have done 10, 20 or 30+ years of their lives in retreat are increasingly rare. Fortunately, many of these people teach in the west, many in Colorado particularly. Here are a few links of places one can do retreat in Colorado:
https://tsoknyirinpoche.org/


https://tergar.org/communities-and-practice-groups/find-a-center-or-group/ - a powerful community
https://dkd.shambhala.org/ - supported solo retreats
https://www.shambhalamountain.org/ - supported group, 1-4 wk retreats

Thank you very much for starting the topic.

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i forgot to mention my love of process meditation, aka dreambodywork. outlined in this book:

this practice counters the negatory stance of what most folks call meditation, and is well-suited to cultivating change in the world(s). the writer comes from a jungian background, but i don’t hold that against him, as his approach/orientation in this book is pretty solid.

folks who struggle with meditation but would like to experience its benefits might be interested in this, as it’s quite a different practice.

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I’m simultaneously interested and avoidant of “meditation”. A lot of times listening is a meditation for me in that I can use it as a way to focus/quiet the mind, shut out emotion, so on…

I climb a lot, and while not always or exclusively it works for me almost like a moving meditation like Tai Chi or Qi Gong. When its going well you do things you weren’t sure you could do without even realizing it, the rest of the world drops away, and you focus on just movement and breath. I pretty much always come away more relaxed, happy, and feel more at ease with everything else. Also as someone who enjoys spending a lot of time working alone and in their head for me it also works as a meditation because it draws me out of that space and into something else. If you are alone or work too much in the head doing a social activity can be more meditative than going deeper.

I’m curious for those who practice things more in the mindfulness area, how do you prevent that from becoming a destructive pattern? I feel like I would get so locked in and see other people who do get locked in on this obsession with their state of mind, awareness, level of “presence”, observation, etc… almost like hypochondria but a preoccupation with some arbitrary mental state of being rather than physical illness.

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@slowsounds Mindfulness is proven to be healthy for you. But it depends what you mean by mindfulnes. There’s good and bad practices. But there is more and more research on what type of practices benefit you and/or your wellbeing.

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Very similar experience here with tinnitus, except mine is permanent, I’m sure. Those pressure drops always make me think, “Welp, this is it, my hearing is gone forever.” Brutal every time.