• To “close out” this thread, here is the advice I would give to myself of almost two years ago. (Since then, progress has been slow, but I’m now working in Stages 4-5 mostly, and I do feel I’ve learned some definite skills along the way.)

    1. A more solid understanding of attention versus awareness will come with time, much in the same way as an…[Read more]

  • Hi Sasha,

    I thought it might be useful to you to relay my own experience overcoming morning grogginess.

    My usual practice time is 5:30 AM, and I do my best to get enough sleep the night before. A couple of months back, however, I was getting frustrated as it often happened when I sat down to meditate, 10 minutes after waking up, my mind felt…[Read more]

  • Hi moln1,

    Like a lot of meditators, I have found the routine of getting up an hour earlier to practice, before anyone else in the household has awoken, works very well. I don’t feel like I’m “robbing” time from my young family, I can be reasonably assured of not being interrupted, and it doesn’t feel too tightly time-boxed (it doesn’t feel that…[Read more]

  • I think I do now understand what checking-in means. I practiced it earlier today with my new understanding — actually, the understanding came to me while practicing, but the concepts I read on this forum triggered it, I’m fairly sure — and it definitely was not what I had originally understood and tried out for. What I actually had been doing…[Read more]

  • Thanks for your input, Ted. Your theory sounds entirely plausible to me. I was thinking I could test it by trying to hold the intention to check in *more regularly* (i.e., almost to a beat) but I am also aware of the caution in The Mind Illuminated not to actually count the breaths between check-ins. My thinking goes that if check-ins are more…[Read more]

  • Blake,

    I really appreciate your feedback. My understanding of attention and awareness has for sure increased. I’m now fairly certain I can simultaneously both pay full attention to the breath and hold background sounds in the practice room in conscious awareness. When it’s happening well, it really does feel different from alternating attention.…[Read more]

  • Thanks, Blake. As you say, it will take me more time before I am confident I can distinguish between attention and awareness. I do feel I am moving forward again, however: I have been paying (closer) attention to the breath while simultaneously holding the (strong) intention to be aware of background noises within and outside the room I am using…[Read more]

  • Thanks Jacques. I will read the Fifth Interlude also as you suggest. I have already copped that The Mind Illuminated is the kind of book which needs to be studied more than just read through once. It has a *lot* content.

    More experimentation (with a smidgen of theory to make some sense of observations) is definitely the way to go for me, which I…[Read more]

  • Thanks Jacques. That does sort of help. If I were walking down the street thinking about work and suddenly all the background noise were to go away, I am confident I would be aware of that strange happening, and in the next few moments my attention would move away from my thoughts of work and onto the absence of street noise. I can understand…[Read more]

  • Blake,

    Thank you for making the time and effort to respond to my question. I really appreciate it and will heed your advice to spend more time doing the practices in Stage 3 until, as you say, the concepts become clearer to me through direct experience.

    The subtle distinction between alternating attention and peripheral awareness definitely…[Read more]

  • I’ve been practising mindfulness of breathing, and occasionally cultivating the Brahmavihara, for the past eight months or so. Prior to that, I’d been practising a more secular style of mindfulness meditation. About a month ago I became interested in Culadasa’s teachings—which I happened upon via Matthew Immergut’s YouTube video—and now I’m wor…[Read more]

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