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videos of Dhamma Talks or study material can be very helpful in lieu of having a live Dhamma talk. If you choose to use these mediums, make as much effort as possible to listen or watch with your full attention from the beginning to its end. Do not listen while driving or doing other activities. Give your full attention to the dhamma.
On Home Retreat, study that supports practical aspects of practice is what will support you best. Leave abstract study and intellectual thinking for another time. Limit light reading or, better yet, eliminate it altogether. Do not read after a thought like, ‘Oh, maybe I could read a bit right now. I’ve got a few minutes before my appointment,’ or after you hear your internal voice say, ‘I need a break, and reading the Dhamma is more wholesome than some other activity.’ This type of reading is more about distraction and less about practice. Giving in to
this type of thought/action conditions the mind more towards preference than towards the material to be read. When these types of thoughts arise, whether it is about reading or exercising, checking email or offering yourself some entertainment, try to sit for a couple of minutes, watch the boredom/restlessness, no matter how subtle, and see what happens to the thoughts/sensations. Do they increase/decrease/stay the same? Our job is simply to observe and be present for whatever changes occur. If patient observation is not appropriate in the situation, try to do a few moments of metta. Then carry on with your schedule.
      Tip: Staying on topic gives the mind a chance to have a mental anchor (like the breath does in the body, physically) which gives perspective when preferences and/or boredom arise.
On Home Retreat, study that supports practical aspects of practice is what will support you best. Leave abstract study and intellectual thinking for another time. Limit light reading or, better yet, eliminate it altogether. Do not read after a thought like, ‘Oh, maybe I could read a bit right now. I’ve got a few minutes before my appointment,’ or after you hear your internal voice say, ‘I need a break, and reading the Dhamma is more wholesome than some other activity.’ This type of reading is more about distraction and less about practice. Giving in to
this type of thought/action conditions the mind more towards preference than towards the material to be read. When these types of thoughts arise, whether it is about reading or exercising, checking email or offering yourself some entertainment, try to sit for a couple of minutes, watch the boredom/restlessness, no matter how subtle, and see what happens to the thoughts/sensations. Do they increase/decrease/stay the same? Our job is simply to observe and be present for whatever changes occur. If patient observation is not appropriate in the situation, try to do a few moments of metta. Then carry on with your schedule.
      Tip: Staying on topic gives the mind a chance to have a mental anchor (like the breath does in the body, physically) which gives perspective when preferences and/or boredom arise.
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