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What's your practice routine?

Do you feel that it’s important to have one?

I’ve been trying to have a more consistent practice routine. Ideally, I’d like to have 30 minutes in the morning for meditation, and do some sutta reading in the evening before bed.

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I found myself early on in my practice—which happens to a lot of people, at least those I have spoke with—getting too caught up in meditation and focusing too much energy on it. Essentially failing hard at meditating lol. When I began studying and exploring sutras and then suttas (I started out studying Mahayana) was when my practice began to come together. Finally, applying the teachings in my life and trying to better myself through the practice (Noble Eightfold Path as a guide) … this is when I found joy in my practice and everything came together.

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This is a valuable insight! One of my teachers has advised me to “put down the books and just practice.” By practice, what I take this to mean is not only meditation but living the Dhamma. I have found that working on my meditation practice aids me in showing loving kindness to people with whom I interact. I have also found it very helpful to attend regular weekly services at my Wat as well as meditation practice with the monks and a small number of individuals who come weekly to practice.

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I don’t have a routine, never had, just did it most of the time … then one heard some ajahn say: If you haven’t cried, you haven’t started meditation …

I think it’s right, this crying game:slight_smile:

bad is good

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I’m usually a creature of habit, so currently I am trying not to be so routine. :yum:

It also depends what you mean by “practice”, since for me the really interesting stuff happens off the cushion these days.

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1 hour sitting in the morning (preferably adhitthana :slight_smile: )
1 hour in the evening (again, aiming for a adhitthana sitting )
I read suttas on my mobile on the go, whenever, wherever i find some free time.
That’s my practice routine.

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Interesting question:-) Evokes enthusiasm as I reflect on my daily practice and how it has changed my life.

Regarding the question, “What’s my practice routine?” Currently, it’s sutta study for about 15-30 minutes in the morning followed by about 1 hour of meditation starting or ending with the metta sutta. Then, in the evening I meditate for about 25-35 minutes with my wife. We also have occasional dharma discussions. Frequently, I get another 15-20 minutes of meditation somewhere in during the day. I also attend about one ten day or more silent meditation retreat per year in the US.

As mentioned by others, working to incorporate the dhamma into my daily life has been really helpful. The biggest challenge for me at this point usually is refining right speech.

Regarding the question, “Do I feel it’s important?” Since starting a daily practice about 9 years ago, my life has been completely transformed in profound ways. For example, in virtually every area, such as personal, health, finances, relationships, family, including parents and extended family, my life has dramatically improved because of practicing the dharma on a daily basis. I’m not exaggerating either. The only caveat I can think of is my life may have been more chaotic and in disarray than most when I started so the changes may seem more dramatic.

That said, it’s been a gradual process that goes more slowly than I’d like at times. I cannot imagine life without a daily practice…scares me to think about.

About 4 or 5 years ago, I added in regular sutta study, and that seems to have made a huge difference…it’s helping me gain independence of others with regards to the dhamma. Seems like you’ve got a good handle on that already.

Lastly, sutta central discussions are now a part of my practice. However, I typically only read and respond to ones that are immediately relevant to my practice and/or I think I have enough personal experience to share something useful. I usually don’t have time to read and/or respond to the more theoretical discussions, although there are some, if not many, that I’d like to.

One last thing about why a regular practice seems to be important: The power of habit! Perhaps though not everyone is like me: I tend to either do something almost everyday or hardly at all.

Also, seems like when the Buddha describes the mendicants daily routine, it involves meditation…lots of it. He even goes so far as to detail the nightly regimen for the mendicants.

Thus, sounds like the Buddha taught that a routine practice is important. For householders, specifically, the Piti Sutta comes to mind where he teaches the lay followers to periodically take time for seclusion and piti. Sounds like an instruction for regular practice…not sure how often periodically is though.

with metta,

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My daily routine looks like this:
Observing Sīla as much as possible throughout the whole day. Observing my actions and reactions in regard to the actual situations and circumstances, and adjusting my intentions, thoughts and behaviour. When I can not achieve this, because of not being observant at this moment, at least I try to notice that afterwards as fast as possible and review it in brief, making a decision to do better next time.
Furthermore, I meditate usually in the morning for one hour. Reading Suttas is an important part of my practice. I try to develop the N8P. Having a routine - or practising routinely is very important for me.

Regarding approaches like „just sitting“ or „let your inner guide you“ etc., I’m very sceptical of this. For myself, I have seen too much of self-bias. I think, there are beings able to guide themselves - but at least I’m not one of them. It is hard work to constantly review one’s own way of practice and possible progress, keep an open mind and be able to adjust, being able to drop and let go what one might consider worth keeping. Well, it’s hard for me - maybe it’s easy for others.

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Thank you for that sutta reference. Have never read that one!

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Dedication!!

Same with me. I manage a large staff in a school so believe me, right speech is certainly put to the test frequently there haha!

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A challenging practice indeed! I worked in a school for a while, and previously worked as a social worker.

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Here it is:-) AN 5.176 SuttaCentral

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Social work is very difficult. A good friend works in that field. :pray:

One reason I truly love Ajahn Brahm is because he talks about going to the basics and enjoying meditation and practice!

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My standard routine is to chant Daimoku and Gongyo in the morning and in the evening. It’s the same ritual except that in the morning I also thank the Shoten Zenjin for their protection. Then I read some Gosho passages or some encouragements from Sensei.
Lately I have been trying breath meditation as well as taught by EBT. The time I spend doing it varies, yesterday for example I lost track of time as it got very pleasant and I was seeing beautiful lights.

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Never had one. Just been studying the suttas. This inspires me to create one. Its kind of sad so many suttas i’ve read but i dont think i remember even 10% of them.

Verily, birds are able to fly with their two wings: even so, both work and knowledge together lead to the supreme goal of liberation.-yoga vasistha

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SN 16.13 may be helpful here. SuttaCentral
Meditation, also translated by others as concentration and immersion (Sujato), are listed as one of the five things that when neglected/disrespected lead to the waning of the dhamma.

On the other hand:

“But when monks and nuns, male and female lay followers behave respectfully and deferentially towards the Dhamma,… towards the Sangha,… towards the training,… towards meditation, then these five things conduce to the maintenance, the purity and the preservation of the true Dhamma.” --Walshe

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I had this problem, too. Reading just one sutta a day, or some of the smaller texts in the Khuddaka Nikaya, made retention less daunting.

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Well, imagine having to remember some of the Digha? You would need that “Ananda-esque” lol!

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