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Preferred meditation position?


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#1 Salty117

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Posted 17 November 2021 - 10:45 PM

I'm looking to start a minimum of 1hr meditation sessions, at least once per day. Due to my inverted arches.. poorly constructed ankles.. and bowed shins... the 'Full Lotus' and 'Half Lotus' positions are bound to create a ton of physical discomfort from the hips down if I were to engage in such poses.

 

For those that practice, I would like to ask what your favorite/preferred mediation position(s) is/are? And what was your longest meditation session?


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#2 rockyfungus

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Posted 18 November 2021 - 12:36 AM

There’s no right or wrong way!
Do you currently practice? An hour is a huge goal honestly.
Find a comfortable position you won’t be disturbed and meditate.

Can't guide you with leg issues. I know the big thing in yoga is to bring the ground to you if you can't make it. Consider a block, pillow, something to support you.

I really enjoy sitting in cobbler's pose, maybe from all the stress from skating.

https://www.verywell...onasana-3567058

For me mediation only comes after I calm my body.
I first discovered meditation while being lost in music in various bands.

Then came running and finding the runners high. Moving mediation.

Then came yoga which took practice to not think of the movements. Deepest mediation after tiring the body and laying in corpse pose.
Literally lay back arms and legs spread comfortably.
https://www.verywell...avasana-3567112

 

Easiest way is jumping on a skateboard. Granted you need to get to a point where you are one with the board and automatic...

Keep it simple any comfortable place you can focus on the breath.
Or any repetitive motion you can get lost in.

Try for 10 minutes comfortably and keep adding 5-10 minutes. 

Longest session is an hour and that's rare. Yoga is 20 minutes, sitting is 10 minutes.

A skate session is an hour and may take 10 minutes to get zenned. 

I'll just throw up a yoga video too...Maybe look into yoga for your specific tight muscles.

[Direct Link]

[Direct Link]

focuses on the muscles associated with skating (lots of ankle, thigh, legs, etc...)

 

Edit: Sex, dancing, or spinning too...


Edited by rockyfungus, 18 November 2021 - 12:48 AM.

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#3 rockyfungus

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Posted 18 November 2021 - 01:02 AM

Sorry to double post. Trying chantix for smoking and I get wired from every med...

 

If you are going to try a moving meditation. Chopping veggies let's say.

Focus on the smells, the colors, the feel of the veggies, the knife, and sounds it makes.

If you play an instrument.
I never think about my two hands. I try and be more mindful of the string against my skin. The vibration of the wood. Easier with a repetitive song of course. Then once you're in the groove and are free. Listen to everything around you including the absence of sound...

 

Running.
Breath cycles with feet. 1 long cycle per 4 steps lets say.

The sounds, sights, and smells around you. The way you strike the pavement. The way the air rushes over you. The tastes that come. 

With any meditation thoughts will come instead of chasing them or allowing them to consume us. You have to let them wash over you. GOOD LUCK!

I've been seeing a lot of things saying to just physically ground yourself if you can't slow the thoughts. So use a fidget spinner and focus on that.

 

It's all about being one with a repetition for me. Meditation is even prayer...It's really any time you devote to a set practice. I tried it with art and my ego just yells, YOU SUCK!
Don't put a label on it. Devote something you enjoy and know to meditation. That is devote all your focus on that said activity. Don't be sitting down to relax and worry about the past or future essentially. 


Edited by rockyfungus, 18 November 2021 - 01:05 AM.

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#4 Salty117

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Posted 18 November 2021 - 01:46 AM

Lots of great info! Thank you, I have been periodically (as in a couple times a week) engaging in a 10~15 minute period of trying to sit in total silence and acheive a sort of "absence of thought" sort of state. I have a very busy mind that often feels like I cannot control things such as my focus due to intrusive thoughts that interrupt said focus.. then comes the repeating of information and it's just really frustrating to deal with especially considering I don't have access to my preferred medication.

 

I have gotten really close to holding this sort of state for what seemed like a few minutes at a time and focusing on my breathing and "Mudra" seems to help get me there. At times I find it difficult to keep my frustration reigned in, especially after the last few non-epilepsy related seizures I have had and I feel like spending more time in this absense of thought state will help me retain a sort of calm and peaceful demeanor in the moment of frustration which is why I'm choosing to try to spend so much time in meditation. That aside, I do have quite a bit of reflecting to do but I want to be sure I'm going to be able to tackle those things with the clearest mind and in the most productive ways.


I do play an instrument, bass guitar is my main axe of choice. I really should get back to plucking away on those strings.. Bootsy's Funk Formula makes a for a really groovy and more instinctually driven playing style  :biggrin:


Edited by Salty117, 18 November 2021 - 01:48 AM.

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#5 Skywatcher

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Posted 18 November 2021 - 10:17 AM

The best position IMO, is one where you feel very comfortable. I have long had knee and back issues, so mostly I use a chair with my feet flat on the ground.

If weather permits, I am barefoot. I do a Heart centered meditation at least every other day, which consists of a centering starting with grounding through the feet, and working up the Chakra's one by one, brightening and balancing the spin. After the Crown opening, I sometimes do a Violet Flame meditation, but usually I return to the Heart. If I feel inclined I will go into a deep state from there, with some Augary after, while I am still very calm and at rest.

I rarely go for much over 30 min. I have gone for over an hour a few times, but I have been doing a form of deep water and/ or reflection suspension meditation those times....................


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#6 rockyfungus

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Posted 18 November 2021 - 10:33 AM

Sorry to hear about the health issues and seizures.

As Skye mentioned the biggest thing is being comfortable.
I think a huge issue is actively trying to calm the thoughts. You can do active thought meditation like skye listed.

There’s loving-kindness meditation, forgetting the name. But you actively and love send kindness to people you love, hate, don’t care about etc.
I’m sending love and kindness to Salty. May he find the calmness he seeks.
I’m sending love to all those I’ve wronged and cheated.
I’m sending love to the ants in the hill in my yard.

Instead of getting lost in thought make an effort to bring thoughts to a set thought pattern or the breath.

Are you familiar with pranayama?

https://www.yogajour...w-to/pranayama/

https://www.artofliv...a-and-pranayama

 

There's various techniques to restrict the breath, or breathe through opposite nostrils that are suppose to ground us.

There's Wim Hof with extreme breathing (not a fan), way too active.

My preferred breathing style is Ujjayi Breath"

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ujjayi

Sorry can overload someone with this stuff. It's really up to you to find a calming posture that you can focus on stillness and breath


Edited by rockyfungus, 18 November 2021 - 10:53 AM.

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#7 Severian

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Posted 18 November 2021 - 10:45 AM

Moving

 

 

 

One thing I've learned through extensive sitting practice (living in a monastery, sitting for 10+ hours a day,  2-3 hours at a time), along with a serious physical-training practice, is that the sitting position is actually, physically demanding. 

 

Longest being 3ish hours, sitting on a rock in the jungle covered in ants.....

 

In my opinion, sitting meditation is taught WAY too soon for the majority of the population; being that the majority of people haven't yet developed the physical strength to hold themselves in an upright position for even 30 minutes at a time.... 

 

I've had a yoga practice for years, but since I've started a serious calisthenics strength training program, with the requiste core work involved, that finally, my ability to sit. still. is no longer a fight against my body, or finding the right posture, but merely a matter of turning my attention to the breathing.

 

This being the case, I highly recommend two things. One, find a movement meditation like qi gong to begin learning how to focus on 'gross' sensations, before attempting to artificially fix the awareness on subtle-sensations your body is in all seriousness most likely not  ready for and 

 

Two. start engaging with your body in a disciplined way, Calithestincs style bodyweight strength training does it for me; as the high-neural-intensity focus requirements of the isometeric holds are a meditation in themselves. 

 

 

 

 

One thing to keep in mind, is that the vast majority of the 'spiritual' wisdom we have available to us, comes to us in a package that is ripe for consuming- meaning it's advertised in a format that appeals to the desires/ideas of the consumer, ideas which in all likelihood have been transmitted to us because of their 'image' value and not necessarily because of their efficacy value-  Here, case in point, the idea of 'sitting meditation' in lotus posture, or some such.... The image appeals to our idea of 'spirituality' or whatever..... the idea of having to spend half a year or more of actually getting the body prepared for such meditation.... not so much....

 

I recall reading somewhere, (i could swear it was in iyengars light on yoga,a but ive seriosuly re-skimmed it a few times looking for this passage with no luck) that traditionally, sitting meditation was not taught until after asana was mastered. Not This asana, or that asana, but ASANA, that is the full body of traditional hatha yoga posture work. That's saying alot.

 

You say your intention is one hour a day of sitting meditation..... It's a (relatively) serious goal- But it hints at something else to me, which is sort of of the same nature as 'It's my intention to make 100,000 dollars' might be to a more specific, unstated intention which might be 'The land I wish to buy is 100,000 dollars, thus, the intention isn't actually making 100,000 dollars but instead its purchasing the land you love....

 

 

In this case. the question becomes, what does sitting for an hour a day bring you?

 

I see "

 

 

Lots of great info! Thank you, I have been periodically (as in a couple times a week) engaging in a 10~15 minute period of trying to sit in total silence and acheive a sort of "absence of thought" sort of state. I have a very busy mind that often feels like I cannot control things such as my focus due to intrusive thoughts that interrupt said focus.. then comes the repeating of information and it's just really frustrating to deal with especially considering I don't have access to my preferred medication.

 

 

Another thing to keep in mind.... And this is related a bit to what I said above.... Consider really, any hobby or activity you partake in- if you have the ability to focus on it for more than say an hour, you're likely to have realized that regardless of activity, there's a 'warm up period'.... meditation is no different. 10-15 minutes is never going to be outside of this warm up period- so attempting to get 'thoughtless' within that amount of time, is just, well It's not going to happen without years of experience learning how to work the gear shift of the mental-states. 

 

Recognizing this, and allowing for it creates some breathing room with the frustration; as it recognizes that entering into these deep-focus states is not a light switch thing, but rather a 'light gradually dawning' type of thing.

 

 

I'll one more time recommend physical activitty, though this time in light of specific sequencing of meditation practice- After a good exercise session, the body is READY to sink into a meditation; as the nerves have been rightly exhausted- it's far far easier to sit still after giving the system a good run-through. Again, calithestnics style training is especially great due to the nervous requirements of the isometrics- I am literally incapable after a good session of doing any high-level thinking; theres no space/energy left for chatter-brain to do any chattering. .... but really any good exercise should do this, runnning , swimming whatever your into.

 

 

Oh, also the holistic-naturopath me desires to point out that obviously, your diet has a huge influence on the relative state of your mind as well..... 


Edited by Severian, 18 November 2021 - 11:11 AM.

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#8 TVCasualty

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Posted 18 November 2021 - 11:13 AM

Reverse Cowgirl. Forward is also acceptable.


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#9 Severian

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Posted 18 November 2021 - 11:15 AM

Reverse Cowgirl. Forward is also acceptable.

got my gut-moving laugh in for the day, thanks for that.


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#10 Salty117

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Posted 18 November 2021 - 11:18 AM

Sorry to hear about the health issues and seizures.

As Skye mentioned the biggest thing is being comfortable.
I think a huge issue is actively trying to calm the thoughts. You can do active thought meditation like skye listed.

There’s loving-kindness meditation, forgetting the name. But you actively and love send kindness to people you love, hate, don’t care about etc.
I’m sending love and kindness to Salty. May he find the calmness he seeks.
I’m sending love to all those I’ve wronged and cheated.
I’m sending love to the ants in the hill in my yard.

Instead of getting lost in thought make an effort to bring thoughts to a set thought pattern or the breath.

Are you familiar with pranayama?

https://www.yogajour...w-to/pranayama/

https://www.artofliv...a-and-pranayama

 

There's various techniques to restrict the breath, or breathe through opposite nostrils that are suppose to ground us.

There's Wim Hof with extreme breathing (not a fan), way too active.

My preferred breathing style is Ujjayi Breath"

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ujjayi

Sorry can overload someone with this stuff. It's really up to you to find a calming posture that you can focus on stillness and breath

 

I welcome the bounty of information, I have only recently started studying Hinduism, as some of my deeper mushroom experiences tended to provide some sort of inclination to it's validation.

 

I have tried the "in through the nostrils, out through the mouth" breathing method where I take a slow deep breath in and pause for a moment before exhaling, but I'm going to look more into these other breathing exercises as I did not yet know that there were more methods that could be exercised in practice  :happy:



#11 rockyfungus

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Posted 18 November 2021 - 01:41 PM

Reverse Cowgirl. Forward is also acceptable.

He gets it! Your missing something that's a bit taboo..

 

Glad to see Severian bring up https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asana and developing the correct muscles before sitting meditation.
Skating and yoga has taught me one important thing. It's all about continuous short practice before you can go for the long one. I thought something like crow pose was unattainable. Only took 2 years to get up and maybe another few months to hold it. 3 years and maybe it's a decent pose now. Balance poses are the most important ones I've learned. They teach you to ground yourself and breathe properly. Chair, Tree, Eagle.

 

https://www.verywell...akasana-3567070

https://skill-yoga.b...ga-for-balance/

Seriously consider the Asana and focus on just movement and breath. Once you get that look into locks and explore that and SEX...

https://yogainternat...andha-root-lock


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#12 Severian

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Posted 18 November 2021 - 04:41 PM

 

 

Glad to see Severian bring up https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asana and developing the correct muscles before sitting meditation.
Skating and yoga has taught me one important thing. It's all about continuous short practice before you can go for the long one. I thought something like crow pose was unattainable. Only took 2 years to get up and maybe another few months to hold it. 3 years and maybe it's a decent pose now. Balance poses are the most important ones I've learned. They teach you to ground yourself and breathe properly. Chair, Tree, Eagle.

 

https://www.verywell...akasana-3567070

https://skill-yoga.b...ga-for-balance/

Seriously consider the Asana and focus on just movement and breath. Once you get that look into locks and explore that and SEX...

https://yogainternat...andha-root-lock

 

 

 

Cause of the gloss, we forget that meditation is a practice which involves a physical posture- and considering learning any physical pose/posture/exercise whatever... it's a matter of starting small and working up- No one would consider attempting to do 100 pushups from the very get go, or attempting to hold a plank position for 10 minutes without first working up to that; and at the same time, no one considers taking the proven effectiveness of 'progressive overload / specific adaptation to imposed demands ' from physical disciplines like gymnastics and applying it to meditation

 

basically, the nerves need time to recharge whether its a body thing or a 'mind focus...".... an effective way to go about it if your set on sitting practice is to take the set x rep mentality and apply it..... Say, 3 'sets' of 3 minutes each, with 2 minutes of resting, non concentration time between them.  This allows for reasonable initial goals to be set, as well as breaks down the nebulous, somewhat abstract idea of meditation into something that can be tangibly workshoped- and allows for easy tracking via journal in orde to see what kind of progress your making. 


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#13 rockyfungus

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Posted 18 November 2021 - 05:47 PM

Dang dude! Such a simple but powerful tool. Never heard of setting it up like an exercise. I'm partial to 5x5 for weights. May try something similar in mindfulness. 3 different practices for 5 minutes. 
One last pose and I'll hush. Mountain is powerful. Watch a longer tutorial on how much you can do just "standing". 


Edited by rockyfungus, 18 November 2021 - 05:50 PM.

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#14 ElPirana

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Posted 18 November 2021 - 05:55 PM

Lots of good info in this thread.

 

 

Severian, I have definitely read this same thing, although I cannot remember where either. 

 

I recall reading somewhere, (i could swear it was in iyengars light on yoga,a but ive seriosuly re-skimmed it a few times looking for this passage with no luck) that traditionally, sitting meditation was not taught until after asana was mastered. Not This asana, or that asana, but ASANA, that is the full body of traditional hatha yoga posture work. That's saying alot.

 

 

Salty, specifically regarding positions, I like to sit cross-legged.  No way I'll ever sit full lotus, but it's not necessary.  I have a lot of hip pain sitting cross legged, my body doesn't allow me to sit comfortably, but after years of continuing to sit like this anyway, I can usually stay in that position for a half hour.  I just ignore some of the pains that can arise.  I do like sitting directly on the floor or ground and the position feels more balanced to me.

 

But really, I would agree with some other comments here that there is no right position.  You can actually meditate all day long, every day.  For example, as the idea comes to you at ANY time, bring your attention to right now.  Pay attention to what you feel, the sensations in your body, the sounds, the sights, smells.  Anything, just pay attention to it without judgement.  Even thoughts, which will come up, you can pay attention to without following them.  For me, it was easier to practice one thing at a time.  I would spend days just bringing myself back to the present and pay attention to the sensations on my skin.  then I would spend days paying attention to sounds.  Doing this often, it becomes easier to be present and not be lost in thoughts.  Thoughts will slow on their own, you don't need to force them to stop.


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#15 Salty117

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Posted 18 November 2021 - 06:06 PM

I'm so thankful for everyone's input, even yours TVCasualty lol.

I'm looking forward to experimenting with some of these and see not only what works well, but to in time get something of a schedule of varying positions arranged.



#16 Salty117

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Posted 18 November 2021 - 06:32 PM

Also, I must have missed the larger part of your post earlier Severian, but I have just read through it. I see and understand your points on making physical activity a greater priority as the preparation for engaging in meditation, and I am going to do my best to commit to this.

 

You asked what does sitting for an hour a day bring me, and that is a good question that I should probably spend more time considering. For right now though, it means taking an adequate amount of time to spend as undisturbed by outside influences as possible in an attempt to settle down the general activity levels within my mind that make it difficult to stay focused on a single thing/task/person/anything long enough to give whatever it is that is to have my attention the attention that it needs or deserves.

 

If I am looking at this all wrong, or doing this for the wrong reason(s), then I suppose that this would be the time and place to make it known to me.

 

 

 

I often joke, that I have the attention span of a goldfish. The fact of reality is that would be insulting all the beautiful goldfish out there haha...


Edited by Salty117, 18 November 2021 - 06:52 PM.


#17 Severian

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Posted 18 November 2021 - 07:01 PM

rockyfungus, on 18 Nov 2021 - 4:47 PM, said:

Dang dude! Such a simple but powerful tool. Never heard of setting it up like an exercise. I'm partial to 5x5 for weights. May try something similar in mindfulness. 3 different practices for 5 minutes.
One last pose and I'll hush. Mountain is powerful. Watch a longer tutorial on how much you can do just "standing".

ElPirana, on 18 Nov 2021 - 4:55 PM, said:



Severian, I have definitely read this same thing, although I cannot remember where either.

Severian, on 18 Nov 2021 - 09:45 AM, said:


I recall reading somewhere, (i could swear it was in iyengars light on yoga,a but ive seriosuly re-skimmed it a few times looking for this passage with no luck) that traditionally, sitting meditation was not taught until after asana was mastered. Not This asana, or that asana, but ASANA, that is the full body of traditional hatha yoga posture work. That's saying alot.


Elpirana if you ever do remember where please message me, because i've been lowkey trying to find this reference for round abouts a year and a half for a project i'm working on.


Edit: Salty

I want to mention a few more things based on your comment

Quote

I often joke, that I have the attention span of a goldfish. The fact of reality is that would be insulting all the beautiful goldfish out there haha...


One. I donno what your background is, but given the topic of the thread I can hazard a pretty good guess.... And, this thread alone is enough to point out that your choices of meditation posture / type/ flavor are enough where you could concievably try a different one every day for the rest of your life and not have tried them all.

Goenka (the vipassana teacher) speaks to this, and I'll paraphrase "Say you want to dig a well, to find water. And you spend a day digging, digging digging, ten feet deep you go, still you dont hit water. But The next day, you decide that wasn't a very good place to dig and so you dig another hole, digging digging digging, ten feet deep you go and still you dont hit water. Sun rises next day, and you decide that wasnt a very good place to dig so.....

You get the picture. The 'Best' practice, is one that works for you, and one that you stick to. consistency is EVERYTHING. I'd venture to say that it's more important than even what type of meditation your doing.



Secondly; While it may not fall under the traditional heading of 'meditation', you might find the circus flow arts not only helpful in the direction of developing the ability to focus more, but also just a plain hell of alot of fun. The focus necessary to train the body to work on the various tricks, whether its with a staff (on fire optional), or juggling (I'm a juggler) or contact juggling or whatever.... You HAVE to concentrate in order to make the tricks work, and, cuz it's moving, and you can put on music... it's almost like tricking yourself into meditation..... Well, not really- For me anyway, my juggling is actually secondary- I picked up the practice specifically to attempt to re-wire my brain and develop better balance, reflexes and abidexterity and time-dilation..... the added bonus of figuring out tricks and having fun with the practice is secondary. Which is rather backwards from how I think most people approach it.

Lastly- on the topic of short attention spans- I'm not sure if you've read any of my other threads, but just to get an idea, head over to spirituality and mysticism sub-forum and just look at the length of my threads there. I would say I DONT have a short attention span; I can focus for hours. And, I attribute a considerable portion of this ability to the fact that I DONT have a smartphone, nor have I had a cellphone for years, nor do I have internet at my house..... It's my thought (as well as the topic of plenty of research) that screentime has a mega-detrimental effect on attention span.... something to consider....]

Edited by Severian, 18 November 2021 - 07:22 PM.

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#18 rockyfungus

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Posted 18 November 2021 - 10:30 PM

More importantly. Do we have a daily exercise practice in place already? 

When my natural intelligence failed me and I had to learn to study, exercise was the only fix. I needed at least 5k miles or to lift some weights.

Start an exercise routine first. Then focus on the mind. 


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#19 ElPirana

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Posted 19 November 2021 - 07:37 AM

Start an exercise routine first. Then focus on the mind.

I don’t know if I would go so far to suggest that, I think there other factors to consider. I don’t deny that physical exercise can be helpful but you can meditate any time of the day, in all sorts of situations, and it can be helpful regardless of whether or not someone is able to commit to an exercise routine.
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#20 rockyfungus

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Posted 19 November 2021 - 10:49 AM

Of course. I just know most of us are too sedentary. 
Only salty can decide the course of action. Lots to digest here.


Edited by rockyfungus, 19 November 2021 - 10:50 AM.

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