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    Thread: Mindfulness - An Alternative Approach to ADA

    1. #26
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      Quote Originally Posted by Memm View Post
      it's a "I have just zoned out" effect
      Wow, never really thought of it that way. That sounds very cool, very interesting, and very possible. It also helps in viewing the sleep/wake cycle on a thinner continuum, which of course we as lucid dreamers are all about!

      Thanks for the insight and that thought will stay with me.

      (BTW I love the analogy)

    2. #27
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      @Memm; I think it's for the reasons you just listed that Puffin's technique may be more effective than Yoshi's - Short intensive episodes of awareness.

      I think at least one definition of mindfulness is the recognition that the mind has wandered, rather the act of continuous awareness - but I'll defer to Sisyphus on that one.
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    3. #28
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      Mindfulness usually has a object, which will be different depending on the context. In Vipassana meditation, the object of mindfulness is the mind itself. You could say that Vipassana is "to observe the activity of the mind." In that case, it's natural that the mind will wander and your task is to merely observe that activity. In doing so, the mind might return from distraction, but there should not be a forced effort to keep the mind focused. But mindfulness can have different object outside of meditation (mindful eating, mindful listening, etc).

      I think there's a few interesting and different ideas coming together here:

      1) Training a skill or several skills to increase opportunities for lucidity (awareness is surely one, may be others)
      2) Training whichever skill it is that triggers the moment of transition to lucidity (maybe critical reflection, maybe something else)
      3) Training whichever skill it is that maintains lucidity and avoids "zoning out" (I'd call this attention, but maybe described differently)

      There is some overlap among those, but we don't to muddle them all together. I think Vipassana can improve all of those indirectly. There might be other practices that more narrowly and directly train each one separately.
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      Quote Originally Posted by sisyphus View Post
      I think there's a few interesting and different ideas coming together here:

      1) Training a skill or several skills to increase opportunities for lucidity (awareness is surely one, may be others)
      2) Training whichever skill it is that triggers the moment of transition to lucidity (maybe critical reflection, maybe something else)
      3) Training whichever skill it is that maintains lucidity and avoids "zoning out" (I'd call this attention, but maybe described differently)

      There is some overlap among those, but we don't to muddle them all together.
      Great distinctions! I couldn't agree more, and they definitely help me in understanding the overall of this thread.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Memm View Post
      I'm not sure that "loss of self-reflection" is quite correct, at least in my dreams I have noticed that what I lose is mindfulness. Basically when you start talking to somebody and then 20 minutes later you "come back to your senses" and realise you've just zoned out for 20 minutes and lost track of what was going on in the outside and the inside world. Same with dreams, I have quite clear recall, often I even recall the very beginning of my dreams all the way to the end, when I wake up it's not that I've realised that "oh that was a dream" but more like "oh crap I got lost in a dream", it is exactly the same feeling as getting lost in thought, at least for me, but I doubt I'm any different from anybody else in that regard.

      Next time you wake up from a dream, try to really get the feeling of that dream, not what you did in the dream but what it felt like to be in a dream, the dream experience, I think you might find the same thing; it's a "I have just zoned out" effect, the same one you get while awake when you stop paying attention and just let your mind wander.
      Yes, this. When I experience a dream with vivid awareness, where I really feel like I was there, I will often wake confused, thinking, "wait, that was a dream!?". It is like coming back from a zoned-out moment, as you said.

      I believe dreams have more in common with the notion of daydreaming or being lost in thought than shutting down of brain parts during sleep, or at least they would be the same parts that are affected by not paying attention and wandering off into lala land while awake. So if you can learn to keep from losing yourself during mental wanderings then being lucid wouldn't be any different.

      I'm currently working on a specific training methods to not stay mindful all day long per se but rather I have this notion that what is important is to notice when you have lost awareness while it is actually happening, since afterwards it's too late, you've already woken up (in wakefulness or in sleep), I think concentrating on just this would be enough (and it seems to correlate with some high-frequency lucid dreamer's habits of, for example, asking "what was I just doing", which I'm theorising has more to do with them trying not to doze off during the day than anything else, same with those that become natural LDers because of nightmares, they don't want to lose awareness because they're afraid, so they become good at catching themselves in the act of losing themselves), anyway this is a quick theory of mine at the moment, will post more thorough info after I attain results, but if anybody wants more info you can PM me and I'll explain my training routine if you want to try it with me. =]
      Very well put. I had the idea recently that I need to be aware of my awareness . Since I think of dreaming much of the day, and almost never while dreaming, I just need to realize when I've stopped thinking about dreaming, and that means I'm probably dreaming! Generalizing that, being aware that I'm aware (or, as you say, being aware that I've lost awareness).

      Another way of thinking about this is do practice "slowing down." Take a moment, and just stop what you're doing, and just reflect for a moment about what you're doing, what you're thinking. Just a short pause. Doing this frequently enough I think would have a great impact on lucidity.
      Last edited by FryingMan; 06-23-2014 at 04:07 AM.
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    6. #31
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      Wow this thread comes pretty close to what I am trying out right now. Here is a part of my workbook:

      I decided I want to try being aware of my breathing at all times. That way I have an easy task, that I know I can accomplish. I have been trying this out a bit and I have noticed this also interrupts my dozing of. Every time I start mindlessly doing stuff I realize I am not aware of my breathing. And therefor stop dozing off. So it helps to keep me aware.
      This also gave me a good idea. Since I now have multiple times a day, where I realize I am not paying enough attention. They are the perfect time to do a RC.


      Indeed, the way you feel after snapping out of a state of non-awareness, feels a lot like waking up from a dream. So by training on catching yourself in the act, you might just do that in your dreams as well.

      But, even if it does not help. You still are making yourself more aware by stopping your dozing off. So it makes your day a more aware one in general. Plus, since it feels like you have just awoken from a dream, it is very easy to question reality. Making your RC's a lot more valuable. And lastly when you have a FA, the first thing you will do is RC since you again feel like you dozed off for a bit. So it will help you in all your FA's as well.

      In the end. If it doesn't help directly, it still helps indirectly. The side-affects are good enough for me, to practice this.

      I have only started this training in the last 5 days. So I guess I do need more time before I can confirm all this.
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    7. #32
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      Quote Originally Posted by MrPriority View Post
      Wow this thread comes pretty close to what I am trying out right now. Here is a part of my workbook:

      I decided I want to try being aware of my breathing at all times. That way I have an easy task, that I know I can accomplish. I have been trying this out a bit and I have noticed this also interrupts my dozing of. Every time I start mindlessly doing stuff I realize I am not aware of my breathing. And therefor stop dozing off. So it helps to keep me aware.
      This also gave me a good idea. Since I now have multiple times a day, where I realize I am not paying enough attention. They are the perfect time to do a RC.


      Indeed, the way you feel after snapping out of a state of non-awareness, feels a lot like waking up from a dream. So by training on catching yourself in the act, you might just do that in your dreams as well.

      But, even if it does not help. You still are making yourself more aware by stopping your dozing off. So it makes your day a more aware one in general. Plus, since it feels like you have just awoken from a dream, it is very easy to question reality. Making your RC's a lot more valuable. And lastly when you have a FA, the first thing you will do is RC since you again feel like you dozed off for a bit. So it will help you in all your FA's as well.

      In the end. If it doesn't help directly, it still helps indirectly. The side-affects are good enough for me, to practice this.

      I have only started this training in the last 5 days. So I guess I do need more time before I can confirm all this.
      Any mindfulness improves mindfulness, I think we can get faster results if we concentrate out efforts though; since several of us here seem to have the same notion that dreaming is just another state of mind (remembering, daydreaming, planning, spacing out, happy, sad, angry, sleepy, tired etc..), if we think of it as a state of mind then perhaps concentrating on mindfulness of our state of mind (more narrowly state of awareness) is worth paying the most attention to.

      Also I feel that there is a danger that if we get too used to "snapping back" to reality once we find ourselves zoned-out, we might do the same in a dream, effectively waking us up. We're only aiming to be mindful that we are zoned out in the present moment, that way we can then decide what we want to do now that we know where we are.

      So personally at the moment rather than mindfulness of breathing (which I do during meditation sessions) I'm doing all-day mindfulness of awareness (aiming to notice when I'm zoning out or am zoned out, since I reckon this is the same state of mind as dreaming).
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    8. #33
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      Quote Originally Posted by sisyphus View Post
      Mindfulness usually has a object, which will be different depending on the context. In Vipassana meditation, the object of mindfulness is the mind itself. You could say that Vipassana is "to observe the activity of the mind." In that case, it's natural that the mind will wander and your task is to merely observe that activity. In doing so, the mind might return from distraction, but there should not be a forced effort to keep the mind focused. But mindfulness can have different object outside of meditation (mindful eating, mindful listening, etc).

      I think there's a few interesting and different ideas coming together here:

      1) Training a skill or several skills to increase opportunities for lucidity (awareness is surely one, may be others)
      2) Training whichever skill it is that triggers the moment of transition to lucidity (maybe critical reflection, maybe something else)
      3) Training whichever skill it is that maintains lucidity and avoids "zoning out" (I'd call this attention, but maybe described differently)

      There is some overlap among those, but we don't to muddle them all together. I think Vipassana can improve all of those indirectly. There might be other practices that more narrowly and directly train each one separately.

      I am by no means an expert, but it is my understanding that to effectively practice vipassana, one must also have developed a fair amount of stability through shamatha (unless you are practicing through one of the modern Burmese schools that practices awareness first, in the belief that stability will naturally follow). What are your (all) opinions on this? I am currently involved in a practice of building stability (observing the breath), and then turning my attention from the breath to open presence. Or is it, as was said above, simply mindful activity in and of itself, that is ultimately helpful?

      Also, question: do any of you regularly meditate within the dream space? If so, what are your experiences?

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      I'm no expert but from my breathing meditation experience, it develops calmness because that is needed to really be mindful, but observing the breath is also being mindful which develops mindfulness since any mindfulness develops mindfulness. It's not really this or that first, you'll be developing mindfulness no matter what you're doing. It's just that focusing that mindfulness on certain things (since, after practice, you know what it is) is useful.

      Like if you're angry, without mindfulness you'll continue to be angry, if you are mindful you realise that you are in a state of anger and by watching it mindfully it'll actually dissipate, since instead of being the angry one, you're simply observing the phenomenon. From what I've read mindfulness is the basis for enlightenment because you can't understand or change something until you actually know it's happening, which makes sense really; can't lucid dream if you don't know you're dreaming. ;]

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      I have found that "snapping back" only really means: Becoming aware of your dozing off. It's not like you have a physical shock or something like that. I usually just have a thought that says: Hhmm I just dozed off again. I can't really imagine it waking me up. It's the shock when you realize you are in fact Lucid and the excitement about that, that you should be afraid of.

      Second I will agree that the goal here is to be aware of your state of awareness. But how does one do that? The problem is that when you doze off, you are no longer aware. How can you become aware of something you are not aware of? Now, you could just realize that after you became aware again. Or you could use a clever tool. Just like the RC is a tool, the breathing is my tool. Since you can very easily start being aware of your breathing right now. It is something that is very easy to start doing. And once you get used to it, you will start to notice really fast and easily when you doze off. You just notice something is not right, because you have been aware of breathing this entire time. It doesn't need to be breathing per se ofc. I just picked that, because it is easy to become aware of.

      It takes quite a bit for you to realize you are not aware of something. For me this is like, having a little light going off every time I doze off, since it changes how I breathe. It's enough for me to become aware again.

      That is my experience so far
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      I suppose the idea is that mindfulness can be mindful of itself, or so the concept goes.

      So when you are in a state of mind where you are concentrating intently or deep in thought (breaking down "zoning out" into separate concepts) you can be mindful of those states and eventually you notice as they begin to happen and feel what it's like to be in them and finally just have a state of uninterrupted awareness during those states of mind essentially eradicating unawareness during the times when you would normally zone out.

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      Lucid dream last night. In that dream, and the dreams running up to it, I've noticed really examining objects in detail.

      In my LD there was no real trigger, no eureka moment - I didn't even think 'I'm dreaming!' It was more like I really knew all along, and I remembered that I want to recognise this state.
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      Congrats on the LD!

      I had a completely opposite experience, before bed I had a very intense meditation session in which I got very deep into the mindfulness state and it persisted very well after I got up, for a while I had great concentration and everything was vivid and easy to notice, my mind was also completely clear.

      As I fell asleep though it seems I got the "sinking mind" phenomenon in which you just sink into that thoughtless state, as a result I woke up in the morning and... nothing. No dreams, not even a notion of dreams, just a completely unmindful, maybe even dreamless, sleep.

      Felt very good to be in that thoughtless sleep, I woke up extremely refreshed, but not what I wanted.

      So there's a danger of "tipping over" into a very deep, unmindful sleep if you "bliss out" from your meditation session.

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      just posting this interesting thread on ADA: ADA: Right or Wrong for Lucidity?
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      If being mindful improves mindfulness, like pumping a muscle; I would say ADA, which tries to be aware of as many senses as possible, of as many things as possible, all at once would be akin to pumping really, really quickly.

      It also means you get tired really quickly and then burn out for the rest of the day.

      So I suppose jog for 20 km or run like mad for 5 km.

      Normally slow and steady is better for your health in the long run, I wonder if ADA might have side effects.
      Last edited by Memm; 06-25-2014 at 03:24 PM.

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      Let me just say I think this is one of the most important and exciting threads I've seen in a while! At least, it resonates with me and where I am in my practice.

      (Just as a comment, I don't think I would have been ready for this thread when I started LD practice 10 months ago. I think one must experience at least a few hundred well-recalled dreams where you didn't get lucid to really understand the need for mindfulness/vigilance/critical reflection while waking -- the need to constantly catch that "zoned out" state and to tune back in.)

      I'm noticing some small improvements in my efforts to stay mindful during interpersonal interactions. Sometimes of course I do still zone out, but now I typically realize almost immediately afterwards that I had in fact zoned out. And I'm getting more RCs in during conversations, etc.

      Next step, work/deep concentration.

      I'm also starting to consider myself from other's perspective during RRCs, so Sageous should be happy about that
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      I agree, awesome thread!
      Really interesting to hear the theme of 'conversing with others' continually come up in regards to 'zoning out.' It seems like most of us relate on that one. I feel like that might say something about the personality types of frequent lucid dreamers. Do we like our subjective world so much that we get confused when it becomes increasingly objective? Just a speculative thought, don't take that seriously...

      And while I have the attention of some active ADA practicers, could I ask:
      How much does memory tracing play a role during your daily awareness or reflection upon 'zoning back in'? (i.e., asking yourself "How did I get to my current location?", or "Where was I a few hours ago?")

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      I just found a really, really good description on the difference between simple awareness and mindfulness.

      What is mindfulness? | Wildmind Buddhist Meditation

      I think everybody should read this.


      Also this is like a page out of a lucid dreaming guide.

      http://www.wildmind.org/applied/dail...lness-triggers

      The similarities are just too much.


      Also I love where it says "purposeful awareness", I used critical awareness before but purposeful might be an even better term. In a dream you can be aware of the dream and remember it when you wake up but when we become lucid we start making decisions rather than just going with the flow of the dream, we basically attain a purpose of being in a dream instead of mindless wandering through whatever comes up.
      Last edited by Memm; 06-25-2014 at 03:48 PM.
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      I do memory tracing sporadically. Usually my memory checks are closer in time, 5-15 minutes rather than hours (when doing the Sageous RRC). Sometimes I will do a full-day replay, but it takes usually 15-20 minutes so I don't do that very much. Usually my zone out periods are fairly short. My primary "ADA" focus for months was location, so I'm generally always aware of where I am and where I've been without having to think about it too hard.
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      Quote Originally Posted by Memm View Post
      I just found a really, really good description on the difference between simple awareness and mindfulness.

      What is mindfulness? | Wildmind Buddhist Meditation

      I think everybody should read this.


      Also this is like a page out of a lucid dreaming guide.

      Developing mindfulness triggers | Wildmind Buddhist Meditation

      The similarities are just too much.


      Also I love where it says "purposeful awareness", I used critical awareness before but purposeful might be an even better term. In a dream you can be aware of the dream and remember it when you wake up but when we become lucid we start making decisions rather than just going with the flow of the dream, we basically attain a purpose of being in a dream instead of mindless wandering through whatever comes up.
      Nice links, thanks, this thread is going on my browser's bookmark bar, there's so much good stuff here!
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    21. #46
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      Quote Originally Posted by Ctharlhie View Post
      Lucid dream last night. In that dream, and the dreams running up to it, I've noticed really examining objects in detail.

      In my LD there was no real trigger, no eureka moment - I didn't even think 'I'm dreaming!' It was more like I really knew all along, and I remembered that I want to recognise this state.
      That's interesting. This sounds more akin to semi-lucid experiences I've had, as opposed to LDs attained with clarity. In your estimation, how lucid were you? Just curious


      Quote Originally Posted by FryingMan View Post
      I do memory tracing sporadically. Usually my memory checks are closer in time, 5-15 minutes rather than hours (when doing the Sageous RRC). Sometimes I will do a full-day replay, but it takes usually 15-20 minutes so I don't do that very much. Usually my zone out periods are fairly short. My primary "ADA" focus for months was location, so I'm generally always aware of where I am and where I've been without having to think about it too hard.
      Sounds like you are doing a lot of good work. That's awesome! I try to do a "full day replay" at night, though I often allow the most pressing images to surface as they come. I then try to recognize that even these moments, in memory, are very dreamlike. I picked it up from Tibetan Yogas of Dream and Sleep. I do tend to dream about things that pop up during these moments. It's also a very nice way to relax before falling asleep.
      Last edited by ThreeCat; 06-25-2014 at 05:14 PM.

    22. #47
      Lucid Elder God Achievements:
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      I burnt out today, couldn't even bring myself to do my seated meditation (which has been a daily thing for me for like a month).

      @Threecat; Lucid enough to remember and attempt the advanced TotM

      @Memm; Great link, I'll be much more discerning in my usage of the terms awareness and mindfulness in the future, as I have a tendency to use the interchangeably.
      Last edited by Ctharlhie; 06-25-2014 at 10:49 PM.
      My Lucid Dreaming Articles/Tutorials:
      Mindfulness - An Alternative Approach to ADA
      Intent in Lucid Dreaming; Break that Dry-Spell, Escape the Technique Rut
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      Training in the Essentials of Lucid Dream Control

      Always, no sometimes think it's me,
      But you know I know when it's a dream
      I think I know I mean a yes
      But it's all wrong
      That is I think I disagree

      -John Lennon


    23. #48
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      Well I don't know if it was from my re-tuned vigilance or my "LD practice reboot" (relax, don't stress, build confidence, know I'm an awesome dreamer, be mindful, appreciate the detail of the waking world, realize that all experience comes from the brain, be it from sensory or memory input, etc.) or what but I just woke from a fabulous DILD, definitely in my all-time top 3. My last couple of LDs have been far superior to almost all the ones that came before: unbelievably vivid. Not the level of self-awareness or memory, but the experience of being there was totally convincing. An ultra-vivid dream, where I knew I was dreaming.
      In this one, I began by looking at a stable scene (I've found this is how many/most of my dreams begin: I find myself "standing still" observing a scene, and I start thinking about it, and then enter it) and my SC invented a funny backstory: that I was looking at the only photograph I had of my former home: it was of a lightbulb sitting on top of a long pole set in the ground, set against the backdrop of a pure blue sky, across the street from my former home (which was 'behind me'). So, I 'turned around', and found I had 'entered' into the scene of my photograph, and saw my former home there across the street. I started walking towards it and realized I *must* be dreaming. No nose pinch, I just *knew* it was a dream, while realizing I had no idea how I got here. And proceeded to just walk around (and picked up a cute DC along the way) and looked at the sights. It was mind-blowing. It included some before-my-eyes transformations: like a wipe-transition in Star Wars, the houses I was looking at suddenly had way more details and decorations. I could see on the left half the old version and on the right the decorated version (lots and lots of fancy lights and doo-dads hung all around the facade of the house) while the transformation took place. Wow.
      私はフラインマンです
      Continuously Vigilant . . . This is a dream . . . You must NEED it
      Goal: 50 LDs by 1 year anniversary 2014-08-22 MADE IT!!!
      Beware the Mushroom Bloodhounds! Book: "Dogs of War: Dachshunds"
      Dream poem: "There were purple bees, kissing in trees."
      "You don't want to run with the buffalo!"

    24. #49
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      Today I caught myself in a problem that might occur while trying to be "mindful" of the present moment; you can get too caught up in the concentration side, basically if you constantly feel "gotta be mindful, gotta be mindful, gotta be mindful" (not thinking that precisely, just really concerned / concentrating on it) you are in fact not being mindful, as I have observed.

      Getting so caught up in what you are doing currently means you are not using the most important part of mindfulness and that is memory.

      2009 – XVIII

      sustained voluntary attention (samadhi) is closely related to memory, because in order to deliberately sustain one’s attention upon a chosen object, one must continue to remember to do so from moment to moment, faithfully returning back to refocus on that object whenever the mind wanders away from it. Likewise, in Buddhism, the faculty of “mindfulness” (smrti) refers not only to moment-to-moment awareness of present events. Instead, the primary connotation of this Sanskrit term (and its corresponding Pali term sati) is recollection. This includes long-term, short-term, and working memory, non-forgetful, present-centered awareness, and also prospective memory, i.e., remembering to be aware of something or to do something at a designated time in the future.
      So basically, if you concentrate too hard on mindfulness you're not leaving any room for actual mindfulness.

      This may be one of the reasons you sometimes see the suggestion to forget about lucid dreaming for a while, take a break, actually helping to achieve lucidity.

      So while doing your daily ADA / mindfulness / prospective-memory etc... try and strike a balance between being mindful and concentration, if one is too extreme the other suffers.


      Take a step back, take some deep breaths, loosen up.
      Last edited by Memm; 06-26-2014 at 11:41 AM.
      Ctharlhie likes this.

    25. #50
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      That's great, so when we're doing it right, we're getting a workout in both self-awareness and memory, the LD foundations!

      The "relax" is really important. Stop and smell the flowers (and be mindful while you're doing it!). Before transitioning from one activity to another one, take 3 deep breaths and center yourself and (re)activate that mindfulness if it's slipped. I did this today just now after getting off the bus and before starting the walk to my destination.
      Ctharlhie likes this.
      私はフラインマンです
      Continuously Vigilant . . . This is a dream . . . You must NEED it
      Goal: 50 LDs by 1 year anniversary 2014-08-22 MADE IT!!!
      Beware the Mushroom Bloodhounds! Book: "Dogs of War: Dachshunds"
      Dream poem: "There were purple bees, kissing in trees."
      "You don't want to run with the buffalo!"

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