Author Topic: Advice on number of daily sits  (Read 4973 times)

asphyx666

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Advice on number of daily sits
« on: September 03, 2008, 04:31:22 AM »
I have only recently started meditating (about 5 and a half months ago) and am looking to step up my practice, seeing as it has helped me so much with life's difficulties, but I still have a long way to go.  It used to be between 5 and 20 minutes, up to twice a day, at varying times - probably not the best practice.  As of now I am doing 20 full minutes at least twice a day.  I am looking to get up to five or six meditations daily.  Will this have any real benefit, or is it best to stick to the formula of twenty minutes twice a day, every day?  Will I cover more ground quicker this way, or is it a waste of time?

I have posted this message on other boards by the way, to ensure a variety of responses.

Jack

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Re: Advice on number of daily sits
« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2008, 01:02:41 PM »
 :) Congratulations on developing such a steady practice so soon!  For many new practitioners, this can be quite challenging.  I think that only you can answer your question, but I do have a few thoughts about it.  Ideally, the habits that we foster through our meditation on the cushion should feed our habits off the cushion.  Are we only mindful while sitting, or can we be mindful in other activities?  It has been said that walking meditation is a way to help bring mindfulness off the cushion and into our daily routines.  I do believe that, and, I try to anchor my sitting meditation with standing, walking and frankly meditating while doing routine daily tasks.

Recently, I have attended a few weekend silent retreats, where we meditated up to 7 times a day, in a combination of sitting, standing and walking meditation.  I find these to be of real benefit as they help me with deeper levels of concentration as well as awareness.  I look forward to attending these, as well as longer retreats.  Perhaps, you may find them useful as well.

So, to your specific question of will more sits have real benefit to you; the proof of it is in the practice.  Try it and find out.

In Peace - Jack

Matthew

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Re: Advice on number of daily sits
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2008, 08:48:15 AM »
I am looking to get up to five or six meditations daily.  Will this have any real benefit, or is it best to stick to the formula of twenty minutes twice a day, every day?  Will I cover more ground quicker this way, or is it a waste of time?

I have posted this message on other boards by the way, to ensure a variety of responses.

Dear Asphyx,

There are two aspects to the answer that I would like to offer you:

Firstly there is more benefit from meditation the more you put in to it. This is both in terms of the number of times per day you sit and the length of those sessions. You can experiment to find out what works best for you.

One thing I say to people with busy lives - especially those who work in offices is this: once an hour go and sit on the toilet and meditate for four or five minutes then return to your work. The other 55 minutes of the hour will be more beneficial to you and your employer. And in most offices the toilet is the only place you might find some peace.

Ten times five minute sessions per day will show great benefit for anyone. One times five minutes will show smaller benefit. Five times one hour sitting per day is very fruitful. It is important to find your own balance between length and frequency of sits.

The second aspect of the answer that I wish to offer you is this: The less benefit you seek from meditation the more you will find comes to you. When you are seeking benefit from meditation you are not meditating, you are thinking. Meditating is calming the mind and watching the mind and body, getting to know yourself and progressively remove the negative conditioning and traits that lead you to suffer. There are deeper levels but this is the fundamental ground, theory and practice of all meditation.

Finally I would back up what Jack has said: experiment. Try pushing the two sits to be longer would be my first advice. Five minutes twice a day is excellent, 20 minutes wonderful, one hour very fruitful. There may be problems that arise from sitting longer for you yet if there are then work through these in your meditation as those obstacles will arise again in another form if you do not.

If you can get two one hour sessions per day then add a third you will find yourself making rapid progress on this path with no goal.

In the Dhamma,

Matthew
« Last Edit: September 08, 2008, 08:49:42 AM by The Irreverent Buddhist »
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

Stefan

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Re: Advice on number of daily sits
« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2008, 08:26:01 PM »
I'd like to add: don't make it a competition!
anicca

Flipasso

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Re: Advice on number of daily sits
« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2008, 11:19:35 PM »
I'dd like to add: Don't make it an escape, i.e., don't overdo it...
« Last Edit: September 24, 2008, 12:20:47 AM by FlipAsso »

Stefan

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Re: Advice on number of daily sits
« Reply #5 on: October 28, 2008, 10:09:24 AM »
I'd like to add: don't make it a competition!

I'd like to add: Don't make it an escape, i.e., don't overdo it...

I'd like to add: don't make these quotes an excuse for being lazy ...   :-[
« Last Edit: October 28, 2008, 10:10:01 AM by stefan »
anicca

Jason

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Re: Advice on number of daily sits
« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2009, 12:45:42 AM »
hahhahaha......... ;D

Hazmatac

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Re: Advice on number of daily sits
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2009, 04:38:04 PM »
asphyx666,
in the book I have on meditation, it suggests that a beginner sit for no longer than 20 minutes once a day. As you are able to  sit for longer, I suggest you increase the time rather than add more sessions.

Rob

Ja192827

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Re: Advice on number of daily sits
« Reply #8 on: June 02, 2016, 11:54:48 AM »
asphyx666,
in the book I have on meditation, it suggests that a beginner sit for no longer than 20 minutes once a day. As you are able to  sit for longer, I suggest you increase the time rather than add more sessions.

Rob

Just curious why this might be? Maybe one could get burned out  or discouraged by doing too much initially?

rogp99

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Re: Advice on number of daily sits
« Reply #9 on: June 02, 2016, 12:17:28 PM »
asphyx666,
in the book I have on meditation, it suggests that a beginner sit for no longer than 20 minutes once a day. As you are able to  sit for longer, I suggest you increase the time rather than add more sessions.

Rob

Just curious why this might be? Maybe one could get burned out  or discouraged by doing too much initially?
Because it takes 30 mins for meditation to even start, so longer sessions are recommended.

About "20 mins at first": I think you should read the Matthew's reply up there.
« Last Edit: June 02, 2016, 12:23:26 PM by rogp99 »

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
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  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • KISS: Keep it simple stupid.
    • Getting nowhere slowly and enjoying every moment.
Re: Advice on number of daily sits
« Reply #10 on: June 02, 2016, 09:00:35 PM »
I started with four hours a day. It was highly productive. However, everyone is different, so a minimum of 20 minutes is recommended as it takes about ten minutes for the mind to settle into any activity. So if you start with 20 you'll probably be mediating for ten minutes of that, if you start with 30 then about 20 minutes will be good practice, and so on.
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

Ja192827

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Re: Advice on number of daily sits
« Reply #11 on: June 05, 2016, 12:12:13 PM »
I have consistently been doing 10 minutes but will step it up to 20 now. Thanks a lot.

stillpointdancer

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Re: Advice on number of daily sits
« Reply #12 on: June 25, 2016, 12:29:21 PM »
I think that any practice that results in you regularly meditating has to be good. As Matthew says, even a five minute meditation slotted into a busy day is better than no meditation. I found it easier to slip into a short meditation as time went by- maybe four or five years after starting a regular meditation practice.
“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” Franz Kafka

 

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