In the past few days, I have had a surge of viriya, and I have decided to truly commit myself to Dhamma after a hiatus (if it is possible to have a hiatus before you've really gotten off the ground, that is.) It has happened so suddenly, but I feel more confidence in the Dhamma than I ever have before. I find I am able to meditate multiple times a day for longer periods of time (samatha variant of anapanasati). I'm also going to be moving to Portland, OR from rural Arkansas, which I find encouraging because my opportunities for group practice and teachings will be dramatically expanded. I'm also going to use the move to formally Take Refuge with a bhikkhu/teacher.
This brings me to my question. Although I have been practicing anapanasati 2-3 times per day, I feel some confusion about how to approach the world and myself in amindful manner. Specifically, it seems that there is so much to be mindful of that I sometimes don't know where to start, whether I should jump from object of awareness to object of awareness, or if I should just focus on my breath at all times. Does anyone have any advice about effectively cultivating sati? Also, is mindfulness a faculty which is gradually strengthened? Even when I feel I am being mindful (most noticably after meditation sessions) I eventually begin to lapse in and out of awareness. Also, I would appreciate any general advice for strengthening my practice in this stage, regardless of whether it is related to the subject of mindfulness.
I do not want my house to be walled in on sides and my windows to be stuffed. I want the cultures of all the lands to be blown about my house as freely as possible. But I refuse to be blown off my feet by any.- Gandhi
With persistence aroused for the highest goal's attainment, with mind unsmeared, not lazy in action, firm in effort, with steadfastness & strength arisen, wander alone like a rhinoceros.
Not neglecting seclusion, absorption, constantly living the Dhamma in line with the Dhamma, comprehending the danger in states of becoming, wander alone like a rhinoceros.- Snp. 1.3