People often complain that they’re able to get in deep states during formal practice but are not able to maintain those states in daily life. There’s a lot to be said about this but one suggestion I have is to work smart by creating for yourself “challenge sequences.”
The idea is simple. Take any meditation technique you relate to and attempt to maintain it through a sequence of progressively more challenging activities. Stay with each stage for however long it takes you to get as deep as you were in the previous stage.
Here’s an example.
- Lying down
- Seated eyes closed
- Seated eyes open
- Slow walking
- Faster walking
- Walking in a sensorily impactful environment
- Simple exercise
- More complicated exercise
- Washing dishes
- Cooking a simple meal
- Cooking a more complicated meal
- Carrying on a vacuous conversation
- Watching low-impact tv
- Watching high impact tv
- Carrying on a substantive conversation
- Carrying on an emotionally charged substantive conversation
Your goal is to maintain the deepest state you can experience in #1 while in #17. It’s like weight training, you build it up gradually. It may seem like an awful big homework assignment but you have the rest of your life to turn it in!