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TOPIC: Awake Network Members' Practice

Awake Network Members' Practice 31 Aug 2019 16:11 #111515

I don't know if there's already a thread on this, but I couldn't find one.

What practices are people here actually into?

I generally like a few things:
- vipassana, in either a Mahasi or Shinzen style;
- bare awareness
- standing meditation (ritsu zen/zhan zhuang) and the slow movement exercises that follow from taikiken/yi quan
- sometimes concentration on the breath when I feel like I need better concentration.

Anyone else?
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Awake Network Members' Practice 31 Aug 2019 22:50 #111518

I'm doing a lot of Zhan Zhuang at the moment. It doesn't really feel like a practice- it's just standing, but it helps my knee and seems to give me energy and bring bliss.
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Awake Network Members' Practice 01 Sep 2019 06:16 #111520

SigmaTropic wrote:
I'm doing a lot of Zhan Zhuang at the moment. It doesn't really feel like a practice- it's just standing, but it helps my knee and seems to give me energy and bring bliss.
Cool, how do you think your "just standing" might compare with "just sitting" à la shikantaza and similar practices?
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Awake Network Members' Practice 01 Sep 2019 10:03 #111521

Junglist wrote:
SigmaTropic wrote:
I'm doing a lot of Zhan Zhuang at the moment. It doesn't really feel like a practice- it's just standing, but it helps my knee and seems to give me energy and bring bliss.
Cool, how do you think your "just standing" might compare with "just sitting" à la shikantaza and similar practices?

More painful if you fall asleep...
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Awake Network Members' Practice 01 Sep 2019 11:11 #111522

Since pretty much the start of the year, my practice has been noting, Shinzen-style ("see, hear, feel"). It started by my having taken Jeff Warren's "21 day challenge" on the 10% Happier app. That got me mostly regular again, and I have been doing a lot of guided meditations on 10PH and Shinzen's Brightmind app since. I still tend to use guided meditations a lot, even knowing that I should probably do more on my own. But the Brightmind guidance in general is sparse at the advanced levels, so it more just keeps me on track. I sit almost everyone morning, for 20-30 minutes.

The Brightmind guidance also has other teachers (like Vince/Emily Horn) that teach their own thing, but I have not really like that too much and have been sticking to the core curriculum. That does, however, include other things besides noting, including a "do nothing" practice that I try from time to time but am challenged by.

I also try to either drop in to Jeff Warren's Live Stream group meditation "Do Nothing Project" on Sunday nights, or (more often), catch up one morning during the week of the recorded session. The styles there are varied but are, typically, more "awareness" based.
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Awake Network Members' Practice 02 Sep 2019 07:57 #111527

I think the best summary would be "trying to live the commandments and the precepts of the Church 24/7 in thought, word, and deed, as appropriate to my state in life" and where that is not succeeding, bringing appropriate exercises to the context (prayer, mental reminders, confession). Then in addition as time permits I do various devotional activities like going to daily Mass (Sunday is a precept, daily is optional), praying the rosary, praying the Divine Office, personal prayer (verbal or non-verbal), spiritual reading/study.
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Awake Network Members' Practice 02 Sep 2019 10:50 #111530

These days it tends to be:

- samatha/vipassana as described in 'Start Where You Are', which is basically being present on the outbreath, rest on the inbreath and just label distractions
- simple samatha to build up a base of concentration and then inquiry
- taking and sending (still a beginner at this)

I think the crazy-ass noting days are over :)
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Awake Network Members' Practice 12 Sep 2019 00:09 #111568

I've also been doing Zhan Zhuang standing meditation as my primary practice, and have been since the beginning of the year. I've limited it to just the first two postures, "Standing Like a Tree" and "Holding the Balloon", as well as warming up with the Eight Silk Brocades.

I've found it immensely helpful in working with the subtle energy body and various blockages. I began doing it in order to smooth out some out-of-whack energy problems that emerged after practicing in unbalanced ways on a retreat and/or were possibly from a lifetime habit of dissociating from the area of body below the neck.

I've been working out Lam Kam-Chuen's "Way of Energy" and Mark Cohen's "Inside Zhan Zhuang".

I occasionally do seated mindfulness of breath as instructed by Thanissaro Bhikku and Ajahn Lee.

I've also been following the five precepts in a straightforward sense that I've found supportive to practice.
Last Edit: 12 Sep 2019 00:20 by Zachary.
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Awake Network Members' Practice 13 Sep 2019 07:02 #111571

Zachary wrote:
I've also been doing Zhan Zhuang standing meditation as my primary practice, and have been since the beginning of the year. I've limited it to just the first two postures, "Standing Like a Tree" and "Holding the Balloon"

That's cool, I also basically only do the holding the balloon one. I also find it really beneficial to do some other exercises afterwards to maintain and carry the "energy" into movement, like this walking one: (can't find an English video, sorry :blush: ), in which you imagine pushing a wall or walking upstream submerged in a river. I usually have my hands a bit lower than the guy in the video though.
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Awake Network Members' Practice 13 Sep 2019 12:40 #111575

That looks wonderful, but unfortunately I wouldn’t be able to do it at this point because my feet wouldn’t take it. Maybe if i could lose about 50 pounds . . .
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Awake Network Members' Practice 13 Sep 2019 12:42 #111576

These days my practice has been a gentle focus on the breath as an anchor, returning to it when I feel my mind beginning to wander. I will also move my awareness out to encompass my surroundings, or focus on bodily sensations, although I tend to prefer “feeling out” and “hearing out” to feeling or hearing in. It has the right balance between effort and relaxation, which is crucial for me at present.
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Awake Network Members' Practice 13 Sep 2019 16:07 #111578

Laurel Carrington wrote:
That looks wonderful, but unfortunately I wouldn’t be able to do it at this point because my feet wouldn’t take it. Maybe if i could lose about 50 pounds . . .

Weight loss is part of my practice, too, I guess. Forgot to mention that... :silly:
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