OP here, I left a lot of things unclarified so I decided to come back to review Week 1 in retrospect. Keep in mind that I'm allowed to break one ascetic rule each Sunday so I decided on "nonessential internet use." The program strongly discourages relaxing any technology-related discipline, but as I am using this to write a review (this is the only thread I'm visiting on /mlpol/) and to research what exactly makes Chan culture superior to other website cultures, it isn't for pleasure. Note that this is atypical and usually you agree on discipline relaxation with your fraternity; for this reason I don't know if I will provide further updates on progress.
I am highly satisfied so far as I feel like I've made progress, albeit a small amount, since I've started. The hard restriction on entertainment has freed up my time to be used productively and I have been able to catch up on sleep as well as use my waking hours to get things done I wanted to finish months ago. I've been able to work out three hours every two days and already I feel more invigorated. I recommend using workout articles on ArtOfManliness as a reference (this counts as "essential" internet use), eating lots of protein on exercise days and having your "off" days align with fast days, going rucking on those days instead. One hard aspect is the lack of music; with its absence in my ears my mind always recollects tunes I've listened to before the program. Also, without the ability to vent as I usually do on Youtube or /mlpol/ I found myself fuming the first couple of days whenever politics entered my head. Prayer has helped in regards to that. The first few days will always be tough, particularly if you aren't used to cold showers (I am so that wasn't a problem), hunger between meals and on fast days will be rough if you're used to snacking, and you'll be tempted with lewd thoughts if you weren't already doing nofap. If you're an Applefag then get the "SelfControl" app which will allow you to set a blacklist of sites that you can't (easily) bypass.
Of course the question, "why have an app if technology is prohibited" has been raised. It's simply the easiest means by which to give you the information you need (including Bible passages, guides and questions to ask yourself), and checking it for a couple a minutes a day is quite different from browsing the internet; you'll also get helpful periodicals via email and I'd wager that email is an essential function. Unfortunately I have a Chink phone which can't install the app but using app.exodus90.com works just fine.
As for fraternity, you'll have a group of upwards half a dozen people whom you can rely on for support just as they'll rely on you. Keeping in contact with them is acceptable electronic usage as long as you aren't chatting about inane things for hours on end. Exodus90 is spread by word of mouth so most people, even in most parishes have never heard of it. If you belong to a parish I recommend bringing it up and going together since the program has everything you need. If there's an existing fraternity it may not be too late to join, as one member of mine joined four days late; alternatively, you could start at a different time. One other member of your fraternity will be your "anchor" and vice versa with whom you can discuss your daily progress. You should meet your fraternity every week with a good time being Thursday evening for dinner. If you're lucky a priest may become your spiritual director and you ought to plan for group outings such as hikes.
The three core aspects of Exodus90 are asceticism, prayer, and fraternity. All of them are essential and lean on each other as the program is a holistic healing and strengthening of body, mind, and soul; you cannot dispense with any of them. The virtues of asceticism are obvious and the next post is a statement on it from the program. Prayer draws you closer to God. Every day you're expected to pray for an hour every day (at the very least twenty minutes of silent meditation if you're absolutely pressed for time). This is structured in the following way: five minutes introduction praising God, fifteen minutes reading the daily passage + provided notes and reflecting on it, twenty minutes of silent meditation, fifteen minutes of petition and intercession, and five minutes of thanksgiving. There are side benefits to each section, in particular: reflection on how the message of a Bible passage applies to your own life increases your spiritual self-awareness; silent meditation tests your attention and ability to focus (which I've found myself in need of improving); intercession helps you understand what you truly want and what others in your life need; and thanksgiving helps you to be grateful for the good things you have.
Fraternity is essential because it is a means of mutual reinforcement; it is a form of community which provides encouragement and accountability. We all know it's easier to follow through on something if you have people behind you (the magic of friendship and all). Knowing your fraternity helps you realize that everyone is imperfect in a different way yet we can help each other improve. They will answer your questions and help you up when you stumble.>>2086>naming yourself Silver (dunno if you're actually Silver Spoon or not)
Good sentiment, but the app is genuinely helpful as it provides day-to-day advice and verses to read.>>2087
Music that lifts the soul. Generally hymns, Gregorian chant, Palästinalied
, etc. Music to avoid is anything that lacks religious meaning, and certainly anything debauched.