18 October 2010

Togetherness Meditation - Day 89

Hello Dear Crew!

Already today there have been numerous impromptu shout-outs to Stop (what you are doing!). Drop (to the cushion, chair, pavement, mat). MEDITATE! (share in practice with the CREW for 15 minutes - more or less!), as well as scheduled meditative meetups in the Morning and at Midday (11:30am PDT/2:30pm EDT). Later today, the Evening Crew will come together to share in practice (usually between 6-8pm PDT/9-11pm EDT) and more shout-outs from CREWmembers far and wide will flow!

The community-fostering question of the day is:

What is/are your meditative practice(s)? And why?

Namaste! _/|\_ Breathe in the day!


  1. ok - i feel so happy because i got up at 5:30am this morning so I could catch the @ZenOutlaw shoutout! Yay!

    I work with metta practice - may i be safe, may i have mental happiness, may i have physical happiness, may i live with ease. And then I widen the practice to include particular people, and then say "may he be safe" etc. Then this morning I also did "may the OMCru be safe" etc... that was fun! I tried to recall the avatars of as many people as I could think of.

    sometimes I just sit and observe the breath as well.

    Thanks for the question! @spacecadet31

  2. After yoga practice, I do mantra meditation using the thought 'I AM'. Practicing twice daily for 10 min, sometimes followed by Samyama, depending how meditation goes. Meditating on the thought mantra 'I AM' is the simplest meditation technique I know--the one I feel most comfortable with.

    Great question btw! Thx. Looking forward to reading the answers.

    Namaste to everyone at OMCru. @espritrelax

  3. I could go with, I just sit, but that's too Zen. Shikantaza is the practice, though I have done Koans through a teacher. Sit with the breathe, though the posture changes depending where I am.

    The only expectation I try to have is to have no expectations, then it's a bit easier to see the leaning mind. But that's the fun part of Zazen, the mind is always sprouting expectations, its only the ones I follow like a cat chases a shoestring that I find some benefit in.

  4. I usually do basic mindfulness meditation for my early-morning shout-outs, mantra whenever @HanumanDass shouts out for it during the day, and mantra in the evening cuz i'll fall asleep otherwise. Sometimes in the morning i will do metta or tonglen or work with pain, depending on what's alive. Mantra is a devotional practice that helps me foster an open heart. I also do yoga a few times a week as a way of loving my body and being with it mindfully. Fundamentally my goal with all of this is to build my mindfulness muscle so I can bring it to everything I do - in my personal life, and professionally as a counsellor (in training), teaching yoga and nonviolent communication and as a Focusing guide and teacher.

  5. I just sit.

    (and a special shout out to my favorite squirrel)


  6. My Teacher made me very busy with lots of daily practice. I have a commitment to do 4 Yidam practices daily. As part of those practices I usually do analytical meditation. I also try to do Tonglen everyday. I make sure I read something to do with Dharma every day & I say mantras while I’m going about my business. It sounds a lot, but they all sort of blend into each other & as long as I put the time aside, it’s easily completed. I should be doing daily water offerings, but I have let that drop due to laziness. I also do Soor regularly (fire puja for the dead). @_karmadorje

  7. I just sit.

    Why? Because meditation is metal. \m/

  8. I started out meditating as a way to help me cope with chronic pain. I do not take any pain meds for my arthritis. With arthritis management, it is important to establish a routine. I do my stretch exercises right before our OMCru 'sits'. I sit in a chair and focus on my breathing and quieting my mind. At first I could only do this a few minutes but now I can remain still 15 minutes. I know it is not traditional, but listening and reciting along with recordings of mantras help me relax. My pain has been less and my spirits have lifted. I feel meditating with the OMCru has done more than just help my pain. I am happier. Thanks for your help. :)

  9. I'm no expert. All I know is that's it's good for me.

    The practices I've chosen:

    Prayer. As in a set time to be focused on good with mental intent

    Stillness meditation: to quiet my ever busy mind. To know I can if needed
    Being in nature: seeing the miracles of nature and feeling that oneness with nature

    Now I just need to increase frequency & consistency of these practices :)

  10. I only started a meditation practice when I joined the crew, so I'm really new at this, and I don't yet have a practice routine. I try to sit quietly and still my mind. I'm working on focusing on my breath, and not following my thoughts as they start wandering all over the place. I think I'm making progress, but who knows?

    I'm very interested in seeing what others are doing, and learning more about the different styles that are out there as I move forward on this path.

  11. Although my practice has evolved greatly over the years, metta (also known as loving-kindness) practice has always featured prominently. I use a mala (made by the nuns from the Tibetan Nuns Project) to both keep my focus, as well as a beat, and I sit on a zafu. I start off with a basic focus on the breath - an exercise in mindful awareness. Breathe in, breathe out.

    Then I begin:

    First, an extension of loving-kindness towards self: May I feel safe. May I feel strong. May I feel happy. May I live with ease. Around the mala.

    Then, metta to those who I hold in my heart: May you feel safe. May you feel strong. May you feel happy. May you live with ease. Around the mala. Visualization if possible. Focus on the breath and the beat.

    Metta to neutral folks: May you feel safe. May you feel strong. May you feel happy. May you live with ease.

    Then, loving-kindness to those who I have felt wronged by or for whom I harbor ill feelings: May you feel safe. May you feel strong. May you feel happy. May you live with ease. Focus on the breath deepens. Around the mala.

    Lastly, metta to those I have yet to meet or simply do not know personally - a more global extension of loving-kindness: May you feel safe. May you feel strong. May you feel happy. May you live with ease.

    My practice focuses on cultivating openness, genuineness, compassion, and a tender-heart - towards self and others.

    Namaste _/|\_

  12. My main formal practice is Shikantaza, the watching of the breath, which I sometimes try to combine it with some analytical practice.

    When time or circumstances don't allow for formal practice I try to flow like a river in whatever activity I am currently involved in, being aware of everything but attaching to nothing.

    As time goes by I have, little by little, shed most of the ritual formality and be more natural and simple.

    I just try to be here and now, as it is.

    _/|\_ \m/

  13. I'm reluctant to bring this up, but I lived in a Buddhist center for six months when I went back to CA in 2005. So I learned traditional Tibetan pujas there. I thought about becoming a nun, but decided I was more suited for civilian life :)

    When I first moved back to VA, I continued my practice by doing hour-long pujas at home. I brought back many books and texts with me to facilitate that. I set up an altar and so on.

    Naturally, I've become closer to my father as a result of living near him again. Since my mother died, he has become involved with a very religious Christian woman. They are not at all comfortable with Buddhism. In fact, a lot of the more sheltered people around here have never even heard of it. So I stopped actively practicing pujas in order to avoid generating "religious pride" which could create problems.

    Also, I have heard it is healthy to allow yourself to have doubt about any set of beliefs, and to let yourself seriously consider those for awhile, rather than blindly follow something just for security. So that's another reason I stopped doing the big production. I was just burnt out on it.

    I continued my practice in a small way, by saying Om Mani Padme Hum for roadkill, and also trying to liberate any insects that were trapped in the house. I also worked on having a Mahayana motivation when waking up in the morning ("for the benefit of all sentient beings").

    Now, I'm glad to be taking part in the Online Meditation Crew, I feel like this a better fit for me. As a Gen Xer, I can identify much more with the Western flavor of seeking an "alternative" alternative path :) I think it's important not to ape another culture (becoming someone you're not), or to try to rid yourself of personality features and group identities which help make you who you are (interdependently arising as, that is).

    So lately, I have been doing short periods of sitting meditation, mantra chanting and visualization. I also think of hiking and singing as part of my practice. I agree with many others that any activity, if done with enough awareness, can be considered meditative, especially if done with the proper motivation.

    Setting a workable motivation is a big one for me now, trying to find a goal to work towards that seems reasonable and not overly burdensome.

    Thanks for the opportunity. _/|\_

  14. I chant Nam Myho Renge Kyo 2x a day. I also chant Om Mani Padme Hum on Uposatha days. I would like to integrate the metta practice and the "just sitting" into my day.