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    Thread: Easy All-Day Awareness Exercise

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      Easy All-Day Awareness Exercise

      No, I do not mean the ADA technique. Sorry if my title misled. I realized after posting that the title could have been better worded.

      I read in the forum about people always asking what they can do to be more aware. What can they do to acquire mental focus to more easily use the LD techniques. Well, here is one that I practice with good results. Mileage will vary, depending on dedication to execution.

      This exercise has at its core martial training, the inner aspect of martial arts, that can directly help move you closer to all-day lucidity.

      At its core is the interaction with, or focus on, the 1st Tantien (yes, many different English transliterations), or Hara in Japanese. It is your body's built-in gyroscope. It is the center of your physical/energetic being, your balance point. You can use it as your point of mental balance as well.

      This exercise is very similar to Walking Vipassana Meditation. But, I don't want to get caught up in all the religious connotations. I simply bring it up so no one would feel compelled to go off-point in an attempt to discuss it.

      So, what do you do?

      Before you start your walk, stand still a moment and take a few deep breaths to physically and mentally relax. Get your mind into a calm, relaxed place. Bring your focus to your 1st Tantien, which is approximately 2" below your naval, or about the location of your 2nd Chakra for those into Chakras. This point is internal, not sitting on your skin staring up at you. Visualize a pool of energy at this point. You don't have to get a tape measure for precision. Wing it. The visualization will give your mind something to focus on rather than have an amorphous locale that is easy to lose track of.

      Start walking, keeping your attention on the Tantien. As you start to walk, feel your arms and legs go in motion. Feel the natural rhythm, the back and forth movement of their relaxed swing. Allow the rhythm to pick up energy all the while retaining focus on the Tantien. Remember it is your mental focus and your physical focus of balance. Feel your upper and lower body halves naturally orient around the Tantien, without effort. Use your mental energy simply observing, feeling your body in motion. If you do this in a relaxed manner, you will very quickly drop into a meditative, trance-like altered state. You will be very much in the moment. And by giving your mind something easy to focus on, you are much less likely to drift off into stray thoughts. If you do, so what. Just refocus and continue on.

      Mechanically speaking, this exercise builds a very strong foundation for your awareness practice, for your practice of being in the moment. You can easily add to this exercise once you become not just accustomed to it but once it becomes second nature. You will find that this exercise will seep its way into your daily routines, which is what you are actually after long term. Don't be in a rush.

      This exercise, along with daily seated meditation, will give you a great foundation of awareness, the stepping stone for lucid dreams, and lucid wakefulness.
      Last edited by madmagus; 07-20-2016 at 03:12 AM.
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      Will try this out tomorrow. One question (and this is completely exploratory considering I've not even tried it), but does this remove some of the attention to your sensory and emotional environment?

      I like to practise emptiness awareness when I remember to--i.e. noticing that everything I experience, every sense, every emotion, is fabricated by my mind, and is thus empty of inherent existence. It's the Buddhist concept of emptiness, which I have a feeling you'll know about. It relies, at least at the stage I've taken it to, on concentrating on what's happening within and without the mind; is focussing on this Tantien a single-point of concentration?
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      I hear you saying emptiness, but the description you give seems more akin to the concept of illusion, coming to grips with the fact that what we experience is a self-generated reality, another form of dream. Just my interpretation of your statement.

      I have read others, here and elsewhere, discussing the idea of viewing our waking world as a dream, as illusion, hoping that this daily practice would translate to the dreaming mind, causing us to look for illusion in the dream as well. I only practice it sporadically, so my observations carry no weight. Good luck with it.

      Quote Originally Posted by moSh View Post
      is focussing on this Tantien a single-point of concentration?
      For the walking exercise, no, not as I think you mean it. It's more a point of general focus in that you still experience your body flowing around the Tantien, so to speak; you know you are moving through your environment, interacting with it. To treat it as a single focus, as in single-point meditation, would actually be quite dangerous if even possible to do, because having single focus would mean that you had no awareness of anything else. Otherwise, it's not single focus in the meditative sense.

      What you are becoming aware of is how your body functions, how it connects, interacts with this built-in gyroscope, and even the immediate environment around you. You should not notice how many kids are staring out the window at you as you walk by a friend's house. Save the expanded awareness for later, after you are comfortable with the basic practice. This practice has multiple layers, multiple benefits as you get better and better at it.

      Physically/psychologically speaking, it creates a sense of great balance in body and mind. You learn to naturally move from a condition of physical stability and calm mind.

      But these are side benefits, in the sense that this post is re helping to achieve a greater level of 'self' awareness that translates to lucid awareness.

      The more self-control you naturally exercise in your daily life, the less random your thoughts, and the greater the chance of remaining lucid throughout the day and night.

      If you believe that self-awareness is the key to lucidity, then this exercise will be highly beneficial.

      Hope that helped clarify.
      Last edited by madmagus; 07-21-2016 at 07:22 AM.

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      Quote Originally Posted by madmagus View Post
      I hear you saying emptiness, but the description you give seems more akin to the concept of illusion, coming to grips with the fact that what we experience is a self-generated reality, another form of dream. Just my interpretation of your statement.
      I think the two are the same, yes. The emptiness of all things that we experience is what is masked by the illusion of our conceptual minds.

      It's more a point of general focus in that you still experience your body flowing around the Tantien, so to speak; you know you are moving through your environment, interacting with it. To treat it as a single focus, as in single-point meditation, would actually be quite dangerous if even possible to do, because having single focus would mean that you had no awareness of anything else. Otherwise, it's not single focus in the meditative sense.
      This is what I was thinking, it would be pretty dangerous if it were single-pointed! At least the bus would hit you when you're at your most peaceful! But yes, so what you're saying is that you are aware of yourself, and the minimum external information necessary, while everything that leads to unnecessary and distracting thoughts is disregarded. Correct?

      I do indeed believe self-awareness is the key to lucidity, but also to overall contentment, so I'll be sure to give this a go later today on the way to the pub
      GOALS - GLORY FOR TEAM INSTINCT
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      Listen to my favourite record [ ] /// Jump down two flights of steps without breaking the old kneecaps [ ] /// Smoke a fatty [ ]

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      Well done. One must always be in a focused, relaxed state of mind before tipping back a pint. It saves all the potential bruising that can come from drunken disharmony, lol.

      And yes to the other thought as well. You can eventually expand this practice to take in your full surroundings, as far as martial practice is concerned, because you would want to take in all possible threats scenarios. You extend your calm, focused mind in an observational manner, essentially expanding your awareness to include everything you are and could interact with.

      But for the purposes of the initial effort, keep it simple. Focus on your physical nature as it interacts with your immediate surroundings. Re LDing, the Tantien is just an easy reference point that has the added benefits listed above. Get connected with you, with your 'self' as you walk down the road. Somewhere in my reading I've come across an interesting way to look at it. Once you know your 'self,' how you feel, how you think, how you interact with the world, you are far more capable of detecting when something is out of sorts, whether with yourself or your environment. This growth of intrinsic understanding of 'self' is what leads to lucidity, and lucidity in dreams (however you wish to define dreams).

      From my perspective, it's also important to 'feel' your body in motion. Don't intellectualize and start naming what you feel. Just experience it. It should feel natural.

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      Well done. One must always be in a focused, relaxed state of mind before tipping back a pint. It saves all the potential bruising that can come from drunken disharmony, lol.

      And yes to the other thought as well. You can eventually expand this practice to take in your full surroundings, as far as martial practice is concerned, because you would want to take in all possible threats scenarios. You extend your calm, focused mind in an observational manner, essentially expanding your awareness to include everything you are and could interact with.

      But for the purposes of the initial effort, keep it simple. Focus on your physical nature as it interacts with your immediate surroundings. Re LDing, the Tantien is just an easy reference point that has the added benefits listed above. Get connected with you, with your 'self' as you walk down the road. Somewhere in my reading I've come across an interesting way to look at it. Once you know your 'self,' how you feel, how you think, how you interact with the world, you are far more capable of detecting when something is out of sorts, whether with yourself or your environment. This growth of intrinsic understanding of 'self' is what leads to lucidity, and lucidity in dreams (however you wish to define dreams).

      From my perspective, it's also important to 'feel' your body in motion. Don't intellectualize and start naming what you feel. Just experience it. It should feel natural.

    7. #7
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      moSh it sounds like what you're talking about is the dream yoga practice of illusory body (speech, mind). For an extensive discussion on this I'd suggest the book I recommend here:

      http://www.dreamviews.com/general-lu...ml#post2198801

      I find the illusory body practice invaluable. The dream yoga / mindfulness approach really clicks with me. I'm on a big roll of LDs after a really long dry spell after I started reading that book and doing the practices.

      magus, thanks for the post, looks like an interesting take on walking meditation.

      Easy All-Day Awareness Exercise
      No, I do not mean the ADA technique. Sorry if my title misled. I realized after posting that the title could have been better worded.
      I seriously think our community needs a new term. I've been using AAD: "Awareness -- All Day" in my head for a while.
      Last edited by FryingMan; 07-23-2016 at 10:30 AM.
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    8. #8
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      Quote Originally Posted by madmagus View Post
      But for the purposes of the initial effort, keep it simple. Focus on your physical nature as it interacts with your immediate surroundings. Re LDing, the Tantien is just an easy reference point that has the added benefits listed above. Get connected with you, with your 'self' as you walk down the road. Somewhere in my reading I've come across an interesting way to look at it. Once you know your 'self,' how you feel, how you think, how you interact with the world, you are far more capable of detecting when something is out of sorts, whether with yourself or your environment. This growth of intrinsic understanding of 'self' is what leads to lucidity, and lucidity in dreams (however you wish to define dreams).
      I must say, every time I've tried this has led to an instant sense of self-awareness. I was wondering whether the Tantien would just be an arbitrary point in the body to focus on, but it's just about noticeable that it has an increased effect. It's a great feeling, as before my awareness while walking down the street (or otherwise) was generally localised to my mind. Definitely going to do it as often as I can. It was also helpful in bringing awareness to just how often I look at other people as I pass them, often with thoughts of who they are and who they might think I am--unnecessary throw-away thoughts that are likely to be wildly inaccurate anyway.

      Quote Originally Posted by FryingMan View Post
      moSh it sounds like what you're talking about is the dream yoga practice of illusory body (speech, mind). For an extensive discussion on this I'd suggest the book I recommend here:

      http://www.dreamviews.com/general-lu...ml#post2198801

      I find the illusory body practice invaluable. The dream yoga / mindfulness approach really clicks with me. I'm on a big roll of LDs after a really long dry spell after I started reading that book and doing the practices.
      It has certainly been partly influenced by my reading of Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche's TYoDaS, yes, as well as from my intention to really get 'good' at emptiness meditation in my sitting practice.

      Thanks for the recommendation. I know you've read TYoDaS (being part of your signature), is the one you recommended a more broad account of dream yoga? And is it more Western-focussed as well, considering it has lucid dreaming in the title (and sounds just a little self-help-y...)?
      GOALS - GLORY FOR TEAM INSTINCT
      DILD [ ] /// Chain a Lucid Dream [ ] /// Stabilise [ ] /// Ask someone what the time is [ ]
      Turn on a computer and jump into it [ ] /// Fly out the Earth's atmosphere [ ] /// Telekinesis [ ] /// Jump through door [ ]
      Listen to my favourite record [ ] /// Jump down two flights of steps without breaking the old kneecaps [ ] /// Smoke a fatty [ ]

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      Quote Originally Posted by moSh View Post
      Thanks for the recommendation. I know you've read TYoDaS (being part of your signature), is the one you recommended a more broad account of dream yoga? And is it more Western-focused as well, considering it has lucid dreaming in the title (and sounds just a little self-help-y...)?
      It's a great book, I think it's a fantastic addition to TYoDaS, and a lot more approachable for westerners. But it is solidly in the Buddhist tradition and not at all self-help-y. I think ETWOLD is the ideal western beginner book and Holecek's book is the ideal intermediate follow-on for those who've been practicing a while, have a full DJ, have gotten lucid a number of times, and are looking to take practice to the next level. Probably for those who have started to think more about mindfulness, but it's not strictly necessary as a prerequisite. Certainly it's more focused on awareness, mindfulness, and the layers of mind. Lots of practices to do and work on. An amazing addition to our community.
      Last edited by FryingMan; 07-23-2016 at 09:32 PM.
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      FryingMan's Unified Theory of Lucid Dreaming: Pay Attention, Reflect, Recall -- Both Day and Night[link]
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      “No amount of security is worth the suffering of a mediocre life chained to a routine that has killed your dreams.”
      "...develop stability in awareness and your dreams will change in extraordinary ways" -- TYoDaS

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      Thanks guys for your responses. I'm glad you are having good success Mosh. I suppose it's a matter of belief to a degree, but the Chinese have been functioning within their energy medicine traditions for thousands of years. So rather than question the position of the 1st Tantien as a random focal point, I just run with it. It is supposed to be one of your three Chi accumulation centers (the others located at approximately the heart (2nd) and center of the head (3rd). So you are generating, or at least putting into flow, a greater amount of Chi from that point of concentration.

      And Flyingman, I agree with the nomenclature issue. I feel like I have to defend myself if ever I bring ADA up. All these various practices have benefits to lucidity. Some just have a higher degree of viability. 'Awareness -- All Day' is a good conversational alternative.

      The practice I describe above, even if martially oriented, is for me a more Westernized version of Mindfulness practice. Sort of like getting people acclimatized a bit at a time. I use it whether walking or sitting. Essentially, I'm just maintaining contact with my physical senses through the monitoring of my tactile input. It has many benefits, to include making you more graceful on your feet, lol. It may not be as highly focused from a Buddhist perspective as would true Mindfulness walking meditation, but it carries its own rewards, to include greater mindfulness. Sometimes just terminology is enough to scare people away from an otherwise beneficial practice. Continued success with your approach.

      Let us know, Mosh, if you have further results of you own.

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