Today I’ve woken up at to get some practice in before breakfast. Reminding myself why I’m here and practicing bodhichitta should be enough to keep me awake until I zonk out after prayers.
Khenpo loves talking, but I think it’s time for me to practice silence. I think I’m going to try out earplugs and no talking. Silence and vegetarianism… looks like I’m going this one alone.
I’m not sure yet if caffeine is a crutch. Buddhism says tea is fine (even good). It does help me focus. And presumably some skills I learn while on caffeine (mindfulness, introspection) will stay even when the caffeine goes.
One subtle obstacle I’ve found is trying to immediately regain my level of focus immediately after a largish distraction. I can go on for minutes fruitlessly trying to vividly attend to a fine sensation at the nostril for minutes, but never finding it. Instead, I find it best to begin with general relaxation and watching the breath as a whole, and quickly it becomes refined.