Author Topic: Which is more beneficial, mindfulness off the cushion, or meditation?  (Read 872 times)

Ja192827

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I realize the answer is "both," but hypothetically speaking, if you only could choose btw 20-60 min/ day of meditation vs being mindful at several times throughout the day, which would you choose?

Laurent

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There is no doubt in my personal experience that everyday formal meditation is a must.
It is a training.
You will be able to come back to mindfulness a lot more easily and naturally if you practice very regularly, i suggest 2 sessions/day.
Practising only mindfulness is not even possible in our busy way of life. But even monks who are able to be mindful all along the day, practice meditation because it is necessary to deepen the experience of dhamma.

stillpointdancer

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I realize the answer is "both," but hypothetically speaking, if you only could choose btw 20-60 min/ day of meditation vs being mindful at several times throughout the day, which would you choose?
It depends on the individual, but meditation will have an effect, and you will find yourself being more mindful in everyday life anyway. The Metta Bhavana meditation is especially powerful for being out and about with others, but Mindfulness of Breathing also helps create a mindfulness 'gap' where you can think about what you are doing more easily, before your reactions kick in.
“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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Even though I meditate 20 min in the morning every day, I have found that throughout the day that I am not mindful. I think partly it is because I feel like I have done my duty with the meditation, so it is very hard to get myself to do both in the same day. I know this is the opposite of what should be happening. I guess I would liken it to if I exercise in the morning, I am less likely yo take the stairs at work later in the day  I will work on it. Thanks for your help.

Laurent

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The classic solution is to increase time you spend on the cushion, especially by adding a session. 24h is a too long duration without meditating and you can divide this duration by two by only adding a session at night.
I find that a period of 12h without meditating is already a limit, and adding a third session would be extremely beneficial, but unhappily, it is hard to hold in a normal working social life.
Even when you think you won't be able or don't have the time to meditate, just make the effort of sitting a few minutes. The simple fact of sitting and meditating just a few minutes should open possibilities.
Meditating is a cumulative process which trains itself, and one of the only way to improve meditation experience is to increase time and frequency.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2017, 04:27:22 PM by Laurent »

Ja192827

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Good to know, thank you, Laurent. I tend to not sit more than the morning session, as I was told that anything less than twenty minutes is not really that helpful.

BeHereNow

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One thing I would recommend to increase mindfulness in every day life is to do a few "micro-meditations" throughout the day.  This is not to replace your formal sitting time, but in addition to it. 

You could do them even with your eyes open, I tend to do them in front of my computer at work.  I look at the little clock on the corner and focus on my breath for 3 minutes.  When the mind wonders, return to the breath.

It is surprisingly difficult to do a 3 minute meditation within your busy day, and you may find yourself thinking you don't have enough time as you are doing your micro-meditation.  This is a thought, and will give you much insight into the habits that keep us from being fully present - it is only 3 minutes after all!

I always find I am much more productive after such a break, and it allows me to then be more present in other activities throughout the workday.

Best of luck!

Much metta,
Paula
"You are the Sky.  Everything else is just the weather." - Pema Chodron

Ja192827

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Paula, I took your advice today and did a three minute meditation and plan to do so daily. Thank you.

BeHereNow

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So glad to hear!  Enjoy :-)
"You are the Sky.  Everything else is just the weather." - Pema Chodron