What is your morning routine?
My morning routine starts off at my workplace with 108 simple prostrations. You may have seen Tibetans prostrating from their hometown to the city of Lhasa in full prostrations on pilgrimage; it’s quite similar to that.
You can treat it as a kind of physical exercise, but done with mindfulness and focus; and on a spiritual level, prostrations benefit my mind, bringing about a kind of powerful cleansing and purification effect.
After these, I proceed to the temple where I work. I also do VA (virtual assistant) work for another temple, with all work being done digitally, regardless of location.
When all is quiet at the temple, I tend to start to doodle and sketch on my iPad. I usually sketch at random, without following any rules.
How long have you stuck with this routine so far?
Approximately ten months.
How has your morning routine changed over recent years?
I used to go to the beach for all my physical and breathing exercises, including meditations. It’s nice to be at the beach, facing the sea; to be close to nature.
What time do you go to sleep?
Do you use an alarm to wake you up in the morning, and if so do you ever hit the snooze button?
I don’t use an alarm clock, I have a natural clock inside my body. I usually wake up at my desired time by telling my mind and body the night before.
How soon after waking up do you have breakfast, and what do you typically have?
I have the habit of practising lucid dreaming the night before, so when I wake up I usually lie in bed for a while to try to recall my dreams and jot them down or sketch them in my journals.
Do you have a morning workout routine?
The prostrations are my main workout. Sometimes I combine a short, quick, customized CrossFit routine.
How about morning meditation?
For morning meditations I do a combination of both Taoist and Buddhist styles.
The Taoist method usually has many health benefits, one of which is called six healing sounds. The Buddhist method trains you in mindfulness and clarity, and I particularly love the Korean zen methods.
Do you see to email first thing in the morning or leave it until later in the day?
First thing in the morning, after my prostrations and meditations.
As I handle online projects for temples and private clients I have to check emails for any urgent requests or instructions. If the work can be done immediately I usually won’t delay. All of my tasks are usually completely within the day if possible.
What are your most important tasks in the morning?
Prostrations and meditations, or my workout.
If I do these first, I become balanced and grounded. I find I’m able to focus 100% on any work tasks when needed, and relax completely when it’s time to relax.
What and when is your first drink in the morning?
Milk and plain water.
On days you’re not settled in your home, are you able to adapt your routine to fit in with a different environment?
If you are trained in CrossFit techniques you will know how to adapt when you are in different environment and have limited access to tools and resources. And meditations can be done anywhere, any time. I find prostrations to be more suited to an appropriate environment.
The key is to stick to your routine daily, no matter where you are. Find out what works for you. If you have a good routine you will likely be able to tackle any challenges that come your way!
What do you do if you fail to follow your routine, and how does this influence the rest of your day?
I usually try not to skip my routine. If I do fail to follow my routine there must be a justified reason.
My routine has become part of my life, part of myself, it should not be something I have to deliberately set aside time for. When it is part of you, you will naturally be in the flow of it.
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