Working Smart

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.

  1. Lying down
  2. Seated eyes closed
  3. Seated eyes open
  4. Standing
  5. Slow walking
  6. Faster walking
  7. Walking in a sensorily impactful environment
  8. Simple exercise
  9. More complicated exercise
  10. Washing dishes
  11. Cooking a simple meal
  12. Cooking a more complicated meal
  13. Carrying on a vacuous conversation
  14. Watching low-impact tv
  15. Watching high impact tv
  16. Carrying on a substantive conversation
  17. 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!