: No, I don't close my eyes when I've been to dharma talks and didn't mean to imply that here. I simply meant dedicate a space; my alter area perhaps, sit on my cushion, with the right atmosphere, like they DO at dharma talks. I never mentioned closing my eyes, that would be rude. I just meant sit quietly and respectfully at my alter, listening. Adamantine
: Good advice, thank you. It's funny how you said "listen as though the teacher were there with me", that put it in a different perspective for me, thank you. I guess I must be visually oriented, because I would never dream of working at my computer and listening to a teacher in the background if he were actually HERE! LOL. Although now that I'm typing this, and actually visualizing listening, I think that may be why I subconsciously thought of doing this at my alter. I don't think it was so much wanting to "meditate" while listening, as much as it was me wanting to create a conducive atmosphere for proper listening. If I am out in my living room watching my cat jump on the furniture, or tending to the fire, etc., I think I would be distracted. So it was a good visual for me to think about listening to these talks in a spot where I am in a closed room, with my alter and dedicated space. Does that make sense?
So having said that, is there any bad etiquette to listening to these talks while sitting on my cushion at my alter?
NOT meditating, as you said Adamantine, but perhaps meditate first as you suggested, but then remain in that spot to listen to the talks, say, with a cup of tea as you said? I guess my mind must wander, because I just feel the need to be in a dedicated space in order to pay full attention. I feel peaceful and serene at my alter, and it's the one room that I can close off and really relax, while also focusing, if that makes sense.
Thanks for the input, it really helped give me clarity as to my own question!
PS: By the way, I am a massive night owl. I am at my best late at night; in the morning hours I am sluggish and not very attentive. That's why I'm thinking doing this in the evenings would be better for me, that is actually when I'm at my best.