Author Topic: The pros and cons of many mini meditations vs one longer one  (Read 2659 times)

Ja192827

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The pros and cons of many mini meditations vs one longer one
« on: February 11, 2017, 12:23:33 PM »
I know that the advantage of longer sessions is that one has more time to go deeper, but I find that I get more and more antsy as time passes, and I have been meditating for 1-2 hours for the past 4-5 months now.   Instead of one longer session, I thought it might be more beneficial to do many mini meditations throughout the day.  So instead of meditating for 30 minutes in one sitting, maybe sitting for 6 different 5 meditation sessions throughout the day.  Does anyone have any thoughts on why you might advise for or against this method?  Thanks in advance.

stillpointdancer

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Re: The pros and cons of many mini meditations vs one longer one
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2017, 12:28:50 PM »
Hi. I went through a stage where I was very busy, going to work early and bringing work home to be done for the next day. I found that one five minute meditation a day was fine, providing I put in one or two longer ones of a weekend. It took me a bit of practice to find the right meditation for the five minute sessions, but I got there eventually.
“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

Goofaholix

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Re: The pros and cons of many mini meditations vs one longer one
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2017, 09:19:09 PM »
The advantage of longer sessions is that you get the chance to observe antiseness.  It's just a manifestation of aversion which is one of the defilements we are supposed to uproot.  You uproot it by observing it, understanding it, and letting it go.

Ja192827

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Re: The pros and cons of many mini meditations vs one longer one
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2017, 11:43:17 PM »
Stillpointdancer, thanks for sharing. Goofaholix, it seems you sre saying that one gains more from meditation when it is more difficult to let go of thoughts. If that is the case, do you think it is best to meditate at night? I find it very difficult to focus because of all the baggage of the day vs the morning, but maybe I stand to grow more as a result.

TheJourney

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Re: The pros and cons of many mini meditations vs one longer one
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2017, 02:13:38 AM »
You might want to read his book The Mind Illuminated. He talks about different stages of meditation. For example, 1st stage - the mind wanders all the time.

He answers your question

https://youtu.be/fUljMNc4fII

He is Dr Yates, neuron scientist.

Goofaholix

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Re: The pros and cons of many mini meditations vs one longer one
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2017, 07:36:05 AM »
Thoughts and antsyness are two different things.

If you want to learn to let go of thoughts then yes you need to be experiencing thought in order to do that, thought is always happening it's just that we don't need to be fooled or fascinated by them.

Ja192827

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Re: The pros and cons of many mini meditations vs one longer one
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2017, 09:14:35 PM »
You might want to read his book The Mind Illuminated. He talks about different stages of meditation. For example, 1st stage - the mind wanders all the time.

He answers your question

https://youtu.be/fUljMNc4fII

He is Dr Yates, neuron scientist.

Thanks for the great video.  I have the Mind Illuminated on my reading list, so I look forward to reading it.

Ja192827

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Re: The pros and cons of many mini meditations vs one longer one
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2017, 09:16:32 PM »
Thoughts and antsyness are two different things.

If you want to learn to let go of thoughts then yes you need to be experiencing thought in order to do that, thought is always happening it's just that we don't need to be fooled or fascinated by them.

I was mistaken; I don't really get antsy so much as the thoughts start firing more as time goes on.  You said that thought is always happening.  After one meditates for several months to a year or longer, doesn't the frequency of thoughts tend to decrease?

TheJourney

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Re: The pros and cons of many mini meditations vs one longer one
« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2017, 12:29:41 AM »
No. You can meditate for a lifetime and still have as many thoughts as you began.

It is not a matter of how long you meditate, but a matter of several factors such as applying the right effort.

You will get your answer from the book.

He tells you the different stages of meditation. At stage 4, you have will achieved consistency of not being overcome by gross distractions and dullness. You still have subtle distraction.

You have to practice to work at  developing peripheral awareness while you meditate. With maintenence of peripheral awareness and development of strong mindfulness, you can see distraction and quickly avoid distraction from overtaking you.

At stage 4, thoughts can exist but it is in background. You are still maintaining awareness of knowing.

During stage 1 through 3, you are working on peripheral awareness and on awareness of thoughts popping up but without being overcome by the thoughts.

There is certain balance of effort that needs to be learned so that your effort is the right effort. You cannot shut down thoughts nor can you let daydream take over while you meditate. Your effort is the balance of the 2 extremes.

I heard the book is very detailed for beginners. I watched his video. It is very good.

Goofaholix

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Re: The pros and cons of many mini meditations vs one longer one
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2017, 01:09:34 AM »
I was mistaken; I don't really get antsy so much as the thoughts start firing more as time goes on.  You said that thought is always happening.  After one meditates for several months to a year or longer, doesn't the frequency of thoughts tend to decrease?

The frequency and length of time one gets lost in thought reduces.  Thought becomes background mental activity, arising and passing away, rather than a major annoyance or stumbling block to what one regards as an ideal meditation.

Just observe them firing without reacting or getting involved in the content.

Ja192827

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Re: The pros and cons of many mini meditations vs one longer one
« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2017, 09:14:46 AM »
I bumped the book to the top of my list, so I will start it soon. I have found it virtually impossible to let go of a thought once it enters my mind. Usually what I do is to let it takes its course for about 10-15 seconds, then I go back to the breath. I will try harder. Thank you.

stillpointdancer

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Re: The pros and cons of many mini meditations vs one longer one
« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2017, 10:32:50 AM »
I bumped the book to the top of my list, so I will start it soon. I have found it virtually impossible to let go of a thought once it enters my mind. Usually what I do is to let it takes its course for about 10-15 seconds, then I go back to the breath. I will try harder. Thank you.

Yes. It's not the thoughts, which always crop up, but how you deal with them. The swinging gate meditation is useful if you are good at visualizing. It's the one where you visualize a path with a gate that swings. As ideas crop up, you 'see' them move along the path and through the gate, which opens then closes behind them. Looking for the next thought, the last one tends to disappear from your mind.

There are other meditations like that, so they may be worth checking out.
“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

Ja192827

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Re: The pros and cons of many mini meditations vs one longer one
« Reply #12 on: February 13, 2017, 01:50:31 PM »
I like the awinging gate idea and will give it a shot. Thank you.

 

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