Author Topic: another duration question  (Read 1194 times)

Suited4Battle

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another duration question
« on: August 27, 2016, 09:47:57 PM »
hello,

If you were going to meditate for 100 minutes a day, do u think 2 50 minute sessions would be more beneficial than a 75 minute session early in the day and a 25 minute session later. I feel doing 75 minutes and 25minutes would be more beneficial bec I like doing longer sits but I'm wondering if this is an ego thing, although I def feel positive affects after longer sits. its also more practical bec I like getting a long sit over with early(and its a great way to start the day) and it makes the 25 min sit at the end of the day easier and its not on my mind that I have to sit for a long time at the end of the day when I want to have some free time and relax.

I was listening to allan watts the other day and I generally like his thoughts on meditation but he was saying in one talk that its silly to sit longer than 40-45 min bec this is when the body becomes uncomfortable. I recently travelled for a few days n didn't have my normal cushion so when I meditated for 1 hr, after about 45 min my legs were really killing me and if I moved slightly there was a lot of pain but I wanted to finish so I remained still n decided to bring my attention to the pain while following the breath at the same time and I got through it but this made me want to push myself further so after I got home I started meditating for 75 minutes instead of 60 and I have noticed some subtle results.

Watts was saying that meditation shouldn't be something that causes pain and was joking about ppl (zen Buddhists) that sit for "such unnecessary" periods of time that there legs become paralyzed with pain and they are proud of this. I was surprised to hear this from him. isn't there an inherent benefit from getting through the pain? or is it my ego?

I really feel there are positive benefits for longer sits and dealing with pain but am also concerned that it might be an ego thing.

What positive affects have people experienced from longer sits?

Laurent

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Re: another duration question
« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2016, 10:23:01 PM »
The more you meditate is the best. It is an instruction from Buddha to practice the more you can. Don't care about those stories of ego. If your ego loves meditation it is a good thing. It won't probably ever be.
The barometer is in daily life: patience with difficulties and unpleasant people, benevolence, calm, generosity. you can refer to the ten paramis. Your can't be fooled by ego if you see you are going to this direction, developping the paramis.

I' d prefer to do twice 50 minutes than making a long and short duration meditation, but both are good anyway, both will make you progress.
Meditate 100 minutes a day in 2 sessions regularly in daily life is a very good thing.
In my opinion, 2 sessions a day is an excellent way to maintain a good practice and get deep in meditation, and i'd love to add a 3rd in the day.

If you think your ego is addict to meditation or something like that, there are some humbling techniques in the dhamma that can help.

(sorry my english is not very good, i am not sure the words are well chosen here)

With metta.

stillpointdancer

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Re: another duration question
« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2016, 11:50:43 AM »
hello,

I was listening to allan watts the other day and I generally like his thoughts on meditation but he was saying in one talk that its silly to sit longer than 40-45 min bec this is when the body becomes uncomfortable. I recently travelled for a few days n didn't have my normal cushion so when I meditated for 1 hr, after about 45 min my legs were really killing me and if I moved slightly there was a lot of pain but I wanted to finish so I remained still n decided to bring my attention to the pain while following the breath at the same time and I got through it but this made me want to push myself further so after I got home I started meditating for 75 minutes instead of 60 and I have noticed some subtle results.

Watts was saying that meditation shouldn't be something that causes pain and was joking about ppl (zen Buddhists) that sit for "such unnecessary" periods of time that there legs become paralyzed with pain and they are proud of this. I was surprised to hear this from him. isn't there an inherent benefit from getting through the pain? or is it my ego?

I really feel there are positive benefits for longer sits and dealing with pain but am also concerned that it might be an ego thing.

What positive affects have people experienced from longer sits?

There are times when I needed longer sits and times when shorter, five minute sits were best. It really depends on what you need at the time. Unfortunately most of us have to find this out by trial and error, not having access to great teachers to advise us. I have experienced going through the 'pain barrier' at times. It's a bit like hitting your head against a brick wall- it's nice when it stops! Seriously, though, I think the potential health hazards of sitting for long periods, especially if it results in any cutting off the blood supply, far outweigh any benefits from the meditation, which would come about anyway from regular practice at shorter intervals.

Some years ago I used to do study meditations, lasting three or four hours, but these involved getting up and stretching at regular intervals, making a cup of tea, and so on. I would sit for twenty minutes, read a few paragraphs of some sutra, sip my tea, and then sit with the words for a while. This would be repeated, maybe for a whole morning. Of course, it's best done alone as it would disturb other meditators. And go easy on the tea, as comfort trips can be distracting too...
“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

Dharmic Tui

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Re: another duration question
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2016, 09:10:33 PM »
I get around discomfort by conducting my sittings in as comfy a chair as possible, usually with a cushion behind my back so I'm positioned semi-upright. That way my sittings are more about acceptance, letting go, etc than a pre-occupation with my seating and comfort arrangements.

Duration wise I average out at 40 mins, but usually require 20 to get deep enough.

Suited4Battle

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Re: another duration question
« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2016, 06:33:12 PM »
thanks for the replies, I don't think there's any physical risk as my legs don't fall asleep and as soon as I'm done meditating the pain instantly goes away by just uncrossing my legs,

maybe this is just how it goes for me,,,meditating for 20 min used to be a big challenge and I couldn't imagine doing much longer and this pattern repeated as I increased duration and noticed more n more benefits, sometimes a bit of "turbulence" as well but that's to be expected and I was advised by a teacher to "keep going into the storm" and that "theres no turning back"   ive been at an hour for almost a year and sometimes it would still be very challenging towards the end of the sit so I just thought this was a good maximum but I'm happy I had those uncomfortable sits while travelling last wk as it made me realize I can push my self further,,

right now I think theres some value in pushing myself a little and its only approx. the last 10-15 min that's quite challenging so that seems fine and it reinforces the concept of impermanence and how thought is the main obstacle when dealing with an unpleasant situation

I wonder if eventually 75 minutes will become painless and I can go further and further, sometimes it seems there would have to be a cutoff point but maybe not?(I recently thought my cutoof point was an hour) maybe this is how people can meditate for extreme periods of time,,,this is so interesting and confusing to me at the same time

 

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