I'm wondering if you'd like to share what practice you do between the sits?
Some people might be working on a koan and bringing it up as often as they can or keeping a constant doubt in some manner or another.
Some people might be easing into silent illumination/shikantaza kind of practice, an open inclusive equanimous awareness.
Some people might be focusing on the breath to stay centred and mindful.
Some work on the Paramita, like giving yourself 100% to what you do, practicing kindness and patience..
Some might turn back from objects to the inner radiance of the mind.
Some might be recalling the teachings.
Some might prefer not to have preferences and not do any special practice, just dropping the mind as much as possible.
And so on.
I think it would be interesting to hear what Zen (Chan/Seon) practitioners do, from beginner to master. I've probably done all of the above at various times but mostly perfected the practice of getting swept up by the comings and goings, losing sight of host and just going on autopilot.
That said continuous practice have been extremely useful! I started from breath awareness, returning the mind to the breath as often as I can about 11 years ago and it is still a damn good practice, the breath is just always a bit there. The most natural practice for me is silent illumination, but I know that it doesn't quite cut through in my case. I've done some work with koans and it's been most effective, and the last teaching I got was to observe the unreality/emptiness of everything (dissolving it into mental processes) and develop great doubt. I recall having a great deal of existential doubt as a little kid ("why am I me?" type of thing) and it is all feeding into it.
Very happy to hear other stories and from teachers to set me straight.