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[Living Buddhism] Day 3 - Morning and midday report all rolled into one!

Last night I tried to do some more meditation before going to bed. I found that the first 3 minutes just dripped by slowly and my back really felt tight. After the first few minutes though, I notice my back relaxed a little and I started to get into a more meditative state of mind. My thoughts are still drifting quite a bit but I'm starting to notice it more and am able to pull it back to focusing on my breathing.

This morning I woke up at 4:30 as I've noticed that the 3:30 start might have been a bit overly ambitious. I meditated for about 20 minutes (almost falling asleep in a seated position a few times) and found that I was able to get into it much more easily and the time went by faster. I'm assuming that with continued practice, I'll be able to sit in meditation for longer periods of time. That being said, I promptly lowered myself down onto my side and fell right back asleep until 6:30.

Due to the fact that I'm struggling so much with the schedule, I've decided that I will have to switch to a slightly less extreme regimen. I will be changing my schedule to be more like that of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. I figure, if he can get 7 hours of sleep then I can too without worrying that I won't get the full experience. It will just be a different experience. Although he still wakes up at 3:30am, he actually goes to bed at 8:30pm. I think that I'll just shift it so that I'm going to sleep at around 10-11:00pm and waking up around 5:00am. The idea here is not to exhaust myself to death afterall, it's to get a bit of a glimpse into the monastic lifestyle (albeit a very surface glimpse but a glimpse nonetheless).

I was asked today if I feel hungry in the evenings. The answer is no. I still allow myself liquids in the evenings (milk, tea or juice) which is more than most monks would consume after noon. The Dalai Lama, for example, seems to only have tea after noon, as far as I could tell from the information that I've read about him.

Usually, the restriction on eating after noon is not one of the things that a layperson would follow. It is one of the ten precepts that only the monks and nuns would have taken (and in some traditions they are still followed). The laity follow only five. Of course there are 227 more rules for monks (350 for nuns) that would be followed in addition to these precepts. Naturally, I can't take this experience to that length but I am still fascinated by it and the discipline that would be needed to follow it.

I have more to add but I think I'll post it as a separate entry since this is already getting quite long!
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Something else to consider is behaviour. If you meditate in your bedroom, where your mind associates with sleeping, it is going to be more challenging to remain focused. If you don't already, I suggest you meditate in another room. One not associated with sleep, inactivity, or darkness.

That's actually something that I hadn't considered. The only problem is, I'm only renting a room and there literally is nowhere else that I could meditate (except perhaps the washroom or kitchen, neither of which I think are appropriate). Maybe when it gets warmer (hopefully soon) I can go to the local park and sit on one of the benches!
I agree with Shawn, but I know you're restricted space wise. I'd say definitely don't try to meditate on your bed though if that's what you're doing, maybe on the floor in the middle of the room or something so the connection to 'sleep' is more distant.

I'm glad that you're tweaking things to make them fit better for you, and finding that things are getting easier!
Yeah, I have a yoga mat that I should probably pull out to sit on. It just provides that little bit of extra cushioning for the rump and I could set it up pretty much anywhere in the room.
Though I applaud your zealousness, I did think that your original strict schedule start was aking to jumping naked into Lake Ontario in the winter after taking a hot bath. Jolting for your whole system.

I'm glad to see you have allowed yourself a change in the schedule that will allow you to still feel as though you are part of the monk lifestyle. I'm very interested to hear more about your meditations in the morning. I've often thought, if I could just get myself out of bed, it would be an ideal time for me to meditate, considering my dream-like state I wander around in for an hour after waking.

I did think that your original strict schedule start was aking to jumping naked into Lake Ontario in the winter after taking a hot bath.

Okay, that made my laugh out loud! At work!! ;)

I find the mornings to be a very relaxing time. It's so quiet and peaceful. It's the actual getting up part that is the challenge! I'm going to keep posting even after my paper is done so that everyone who's interested can stay updated.
You're amazing
I was thinking of taking up a monastic lifesyle as well... until someone pointed out that Miroku isn't exactly the best role-model. ;)

But seriously, I think what you are doing is amazing, and I've been following your updates avidly.

Keep up the good work!
And keep sharing, you're a total inspiration!
Re: You're amazing
I'm so glad that people are enjoying it! I know that I am, despite the struggles I've been having. Thanks so much for letting me know!

I had to look up Miroku... Lustful Priest eh? LoL I can see the attraction but I can see why someone might think that he's not the best role-model! haha