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Monday, 01 June 2009

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with this 108 day exercise, i am "just sitting" every day. i do other practices as usual, but i add in at least 20 minutes of silent sitting to those (unless i just can't for some reason). that was kind of my goal in joining you: to focus more on simple breath meditation.

in the tibetan tradition there are lots of visualization practices, a kind of invocation and identification with different buddhas and bodhisattvas, and i practice those when i can on their respectively appropriate days of the lunar month, or when circumstances in my life and the lives of others around me call for it. i am also working on the preliminary accumulations (100,000 repetitions of four different practices/mantras), although that's on the back burner for now.

i do a weekly metta practice, too, called tonglen, or giving and taking. it is a simple practice of using the breath to cultivate lovingkindness. you imagine each outbreath as cleansing light shone on another (friend, enemy, self, or anyone who may be suffering), and each inbreath inhaling another's obscurations into your centre, where the ego is thus destroyed. this is gradually extended to all sentient beings by the end of the practice. i find that it can be a very powerful antidote to anger and it can really open the heart. i don't usually add in the silent sitting to this, since it is just a silent breath meditation slightly elaborated.

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