Giulio B. practice journal

  • Giulio B.
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7 years 6 months ago #94329 by Giulio B.
Giulio B. practice journal was created by Giulio B.
[u:2o43x4qq]My position as of now[/u:2o43x4qq]: nana -1 (FU).
[u:2o43x4qq]Hindrances[/u:2o43x4qq]: a condition of chronic pain of the back, so that I cannot (or can hardly) meditate upright but have to lie down or recline. This kind of pain activates with stillness of the body, so that is why I can study for hours (although "turbulently") but not sit still in meditation for more than a few minutes. The same goes for walking meditation: the movements that keep the pain at bay are torsions and extensions of the spine, re-alignments of the neck and overall a regular mobilization of the spine; moving the legs doesn't do anything (actually that's one part that could be happily kept still). In this way walking meditation would pretty much turn into "dancing meditation". Lying down or significantly reclining does the job, although there are problems with the supine positions after 20-30 minutes (I still sleep well, by lying on the side). In the case somebody's reading, you may appreciate why I've dropped from practice many times. [u:2o43x4qq]EDIT: I've found the perfect routine and positions in formal med.; no more of these problems.[/u:2o43x4qq]
[u:2o43x4qq]Practices[/u:2o43x4qq]: choiceless noting up to now.
[u:2o43x4qq]Other things[/u:2o43x4qq]: I understand that maintaining a good physical shape is crucial, as well as a good mental shape to the extent to which this can be done.

[b:2o43x4qq]Intro[/b:2o43x4qq]: This is a re-start of practice and supporting collateral activities, which ended 40 days ago with the last post in my previous diary (Giulio B. pre-practice journal). I will also make commitments.

I used to live in Italy, my home country until the end of September when I moved to a campus in the western midlands, UK, to continue my studies. This was accompanied by pre and post issue-solving periods that lasted roughly 40 days combined, in which every practice stopped. I am now settled and able start again.
I perceive the matters of happiness/suffering and death very seriously, and this perception has never withered since when it started to grow, several years ago, despite a general feeling of pessimism and discouragement.
I have found that the buddha-dharma (or whatever other name one may want to call it) is, as far as I know, the only real solution to the fundamental problems of the human psyche at disposal by humans. I don't know if a technical approach is best for me, but offers some guarantees and is akin to how my personality is.

Commitments:
For the first week 15 minutes of choiceless noting in the morning and 15 of breath counting in the evening before dinner. It is not a lot of time so they would even fit busy or emergency periods. Dedicated physical exercising 2-3 times/week is a requirement.
I'll update when that time has passed.

Just a further comment: I believe I'll have to accept a reduced, but steady practice schedule instead of a heavier (and riskier) one. Also I think I'll have to heavily rely on daily, whatever posture practice. Though I've had some (mental) difficulties with it so for now to re-start, formal practice can go...

Thank you,

Giulio
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  • Giulio B.
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7 years 6 months ago #94330 by Giulio B.
Replied by Giulio B. on topic Re: Giulio B. practice journal
In-itinere update. Very good up to now, but I just need a little help with timing. So now Noting starts at 7:45 in the morning and concentration at 23:45 at night. Due to lack of facilities, places et c. I can't manage to do it before dinner.
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  • Giulio B.
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7 years 6 months ago #94331 by Giulio B.
Replied by Giulio B. on topic Re: Giulio B. practice journal
Nice success this week. Although timing was messy, i did exacly the meditation time i planned to do. Now that I'm ok with quantity, the upcoming week (starting tomorrow morning), the objective is to bring more order (in a timely fashion) and quality to it. The ideal schedule is, noting early in the morning and concentration evening/night. Always 15 minutes each. If this week will go well, then I'll probably consider myself ready to expand in practice off-cushion. At that time I'm probably going to be asking Kenneth again, because i feel sort of lost in that regard, and previous attempts with off-cushion practice have been quite disastrous lol.
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  • Ona
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7 years 6 months ago #94332 by Ona
Replied by Ona on topic Re: Giulio B. practice journal
Glad to see you restarting, and congrats on the move!
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  • Giulio B.
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7 years 6 months ago #94333 by Giulio B.
Replied by Giulio B. on topic Re: Giulio B. practice journal
TY. This week I continued to respect quantity (15min noting + 15 min breath counting /day), but not timing. It would be silly to add anything else to the schedule if I'm not able to cut 15 minutes out before breakfast. So this week will be dedicated to that. Tomorrow morning the wake up bell will be at 7:00 and noting will start at 7:30.
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  • Pejn
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7 years 5 months ago #94334 by Pejn
Replied by Pejn on topic Re: Giulio B. practice journal

"Giulio B.":2ir7ocl4 wrote: ...This kind of pain activates with stillness of the body, so that is why I can study for hours (although "turbulently") but not sit still in meditation for more than a few minutes. The same goes for walking meditation: the movements that keep the pain at bay are torsions and extensions of the spine, re-alignments of the neck and overall a regular mobilization of the spine;... [/quote:2ir7ocl4]

Hi Giulio, When I read this I wonder if you have tried to do these pain relieving motions as a "moving meditation"?
Walking has no monopoly on being the only meditation in motion. (Yoga and Tai Chi being two other).
I have in periods of strong discomfort found that breaking up longer sits with some moving meditation (Tai Chi) does not disturb much. If done slowly and "mindfully" it actually enhances the continued session.

"Giulio B.":2ir7ocl4 wrote: In this way walking meditation would pretty much turn into "dancing meditation".[/quote:2ir7ocl4]
What's wrong with that? <!-- s:) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_smile.gif" alt=":)" title="Smile" /><!-- s:) -->

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  • Giulio B.
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7 years 5 months ago #94335 by Giulio B.
Replied by Giulio B. on topic Re: Giulio B. practice journal

&quot;Pejn&quot;:1ga4xp52 wrote:

&quot;Giulio B.&quot;:1ga4xp52 wrote: ...This kind of pain activates with stillness of the body, so that is why I can study for hours (although &quot;turbulently&quot;) but not sit still in meditation for more than a few minutes. The same goes for walking meditation: the movements that keep the pain at bay are torsions and extensions of the spine, re-alignments of the neck and overall a regular mobilization of the spine;... [/quote:1ga4xp52]

Hi Giulio, When I read this I wonder if you have tried to do these pain relieving motions as a &quot;moving meditation&quot;?
Walking has no monopoly on being the only meditation in motion. (Yoga and Tai Chi being two other).
I have in periods of strong discomfort found that breaking up longer sits with some moving meditation (Tai Chi) does not disturb much. If done slowly and &quot;mindfully&quot; it actually enhances the continued session.

&quot;Giulio B.&quot;:1ga4xp52 wrote: In this way walking meditation would pretty much turn into &quot;dancing meditation&quot;.[/quote:1ga4xp52]
What's wrong with that? <!-- s:) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_smile.gif" alt=":)" title="Smile" /><!-- s:) -->[/quote:1ga4xp52]
Got it all. This is definitely doable in my case, and I didn't consider it before. Thank you. Goes in the tool box for the moment, because yesterday I've seen that I can be still for 45 minutes if I carefully craft the right position. Though it will only last a few weeks knowing myself. Then the only problem would be to learn the basics of Yoga or (more interestingly) Tai Chi. I've looked at some movements of the latter and the thing seems worth doing.

I've been missing from meditation for 15 days. I was in England to study, and was more or less collapsing, so I asked for a temporary withdrawal period to prepare myself thoroughly, and then return. Now I'm in the best conditions I've ever been in: at home, with 10 months of complete liberty where my only duty is to study what I like the most (Chemistry). Things have changed radically in other ways too. Practice has suddenly intensified. In these 10 months I will breakthrough.

Today's noting session: 45 minutes lying (on the carpet). Predominant mind states were:
&quot;seeking&quot;
&quot;aversion&quot;
&quot;fear&quot; (most of the time of failing the exercise, that is taken by the brain as an indication of failing on the long run)
&quot;wanting&quot; (to abandon myself in a particularly attractive thought chain),
&quot;guilt&quot; (for the previous and various other things)
&quot;emotion&quot; (uncommon ones difficult to classify, i would describe their shared quality as &quot;recalling about how sad or beautiful or meaningful one's and other's lives, sufferings and bodies are&quot;)
&quot;aching&quot; (mild to mild-to-moderate)
common phenomena coming from sense gates, such as &quot;hearing&quot; and &quot;pressure&quot;
&quot;determination&quot;
&quot;distress&quot;
&quot;judging/correcting/second guessing&quot;.

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  • Giulio B.
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7 years 5 months ago #94336 by Giulio B.
Replied by Giulio B. on topic Re: Giulio B. practice journal
Things are proceeding well. Today I am very late (around 1 am) and still have to do the 45 minutes of noting. I'm writing it here that I'm going to do them with full performance, just to be sure that I'll not give up to the temptation of getting up and going to bed.
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  • Giulio B.
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7 years 5 months ago #94337 by Giulio B.
Replied by Giulio B. on topic Re: Giulio B. practice journal
Things are proceeding in a quite devastatingly dreadful way; I skipped two sessions. I had a genius idea though.

From now on It is mandatory that minutes BEFORE every meditation session, I report here the fact that I'm about to do it. Since I always do it at home it is always possible. ALSO: the only accepted time for beginning is 21:30 o'clock, so my brain should come here to deliver the message from 21:00 to 21:15. If you don't hear me say anything, it means that that day I have done NOTHING, with 100% accuracy. The meditation format will be communicated time by time, though a standard would be 20 minutes of noting (lying) + 10 minutes of noting (while doing stretching exercises) + 20 minutes of noting (lying), total about 50 minutes. Single periods length may change, though the sandwich pattern looks very good.
This is a completely unavoidable self-attack. I don't know how something like this didn't come in mind before, anyway, I guess it's only one of the many advantages of being a genius. That was sarcasm.

If this goes on for one or two weeks, I can take a step forward.
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  • Giulio B.
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7 years 5 months ago #94338 by Giulio B.
Replied by Giulio B. on topic Re: Giulio B. practice journal
About to do 20 lying + 10 stretching + 15 lying noting.
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  • Giulio B.
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7 years 5 months ago #94358 by Giulio B.
Replied by Giulio B. on topic Re: Giulio B. practice journal
About to do 20 lying + 10 stretching + 15 lying noting.
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  • Giulio B.
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7 years 5 months ago #94359 by Giulio B.
Replied by Giulio B. on topic Re: Giulio B. practice journal
Done 20 lying + 10 stretching + 15 lying noting. The site was down at the time so I couldn't post it. This thing is working anyway: no sore throat or whatever pain, and a good framework for a little discipline to exist.
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  • Giulio B.
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7 years 5 months ago #94360 by Giulio B.
Replied by Giulio B. on topic Re: Giulio B. practice journal
About to do 20 lying + 10 stretching + 15 lying noting.
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  • Giulio B.
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7 years 5 months ago #94361 by Giulio B.
Replied by Giulio B. on topic Re: Giulio B. practice journal
Forgot to post, done 20 min. lying + 10 stretching + 15 lying noting. Two days still and I'll have completed a week. The next step will be to start getting up early (enough) in the morning, so I will be able to add another period in the morning, probably concentration.
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  • Giulio B.
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7 years 5 months ago #94362 by Giulio B.
Replied by Giulio B. on topic Re: Giulio B. practice journal
About to do 20 lying + 10 stretching + 15 lying noting.
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  • Giulio B.
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7 years 5 months ago #94363 by Giulio B.
Replied by Giulio B. on topic Re: Giulio B. practice journal
About to do 20 lying + 10 stretching + 15 lying noting. 7 Days done after this. Tomorrow morning second objective, get up at 8.00 am. A week of that and if successful another at 7 am. After that, I'll be ready to add another period of practice in the morning. Dealing with uncontrollable machines is hard...
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  • Giulio B.
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7 years 5 months ago #94364 by Giulio B.
Replied by Giulio B. on topic Re: Giulio B. practice journal
Failed+Failed yesterday. I consider a single day/week acceptable though. About to do 20 lying + 10 stretching + 15 lying noting. For the rest, the same program.
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  • Giulio B.
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7 years 5 months ago #94365 by Giulio B.
Replied by Giulio B. on topic Re: Giulio B. practice journal
About to do 20 lying + 10 stretching + 15 lying noting. Still can't get up at an acceptable time. I'm just going to keep trying every morning until it's done, and from there 7 days to make the further step.
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  • Giulio B.
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7 years 5 months ago #94366 by Giulio B.
Replied by Giulio B. on topic Re: Giulio B. practice journal
About to do 20 lying + 10 stretching + 15 lying noting. I'm rather upset because I can't categorize or identify precisely what is going on, most of the times I can't pick up the right notes.
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  • Giulio B.
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7 years 5 months ago #94367 by Giulio B.
Replied by Giulio B. on topic Re: Giulio B. practice journal
Practice done correctly (forgot to post beforehand). This morning I was at a hair's lenght to get up at 8, but fallen back into bed. I'll retry tomorrow morning.
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  • Giulio B.
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7 years 4 months ago #94368 by Giulio B.
Replied by Giulio B. on topic Re: Giulio B. practice journal
About to do 20 lying + 10 stretching + 15 lying noting. This system of mandatory posting beforehand is exceptional, I almost never fail. About the wake-up time, still not able to get up at 8, but I'm getting closer. Will retry tomorrow morning.
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  • Giulio B.
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7 years 4 months ago #94369 by Giulio B.
Replied by Giulio B. on topic Re: Giulio B. practice journal
About to do 20 lying + 10 stretching + 15 lying noting.
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  • Giulio B.
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7 years 4 months ago #94370 by Giulio B.
Replied by Giulio B. on topic Re: Giulio B. practice journal
Missed my appointment yesterday. Total until now, 16 days of new regime with 14 done and 2 missed (1/8 on average). About to do 20 lying + 10 stretching + 15 lying noting.
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  • Giulio B.
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7 years 4 months ago #94371 by Giulio B.
Replied by Giulio B. on topic Re: Giulio B. practice journal
A little late. About to do 20 lying + 10 stretching + 15 lying noting.
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  • Giulio B.
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7 years 4 months ago #94372 by Giulio B.
Replied by Giulio B. on topic Re: Giulio B. practice journal
Forgot to post. Practice done correctly. I'm still not able to get up by 8 a.m. though. Now that the practice routine is stabilized, I plan on making getting up by 8 a.m. mandatory in order to practice the evening, starting on Monday 16/12. This means that if my skin touches the bed or the sofa any time after 7:59:59 a.m. in the morning, I will not practice at the evening. Success probability is like 70%, though if the first 2-3 days go well, the rest will be easy.
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