Author Topic: Does meditating for longer make a difference?  (Read 250 times)

milco

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Does meditating for longer make a difference?
« on: October 17, 2020, 11:28:16 AM »
What do you consider normal for the duration of your mediation sessions? Are you flexible about this? Do you feel any benefits from sometimes extending your sessions....if so, what are the benefits?

Do you find the quality of your mediation improves as the session progresses or do you sometimes 'lose focus'?

Are there any drawbacks in mediating for 'too long'.

Feel free to dip in an answer as few or many of these questions as you please...


stillpointdancer

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Re: Does meditating for longer make a difference?
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2020, 11:32:05 AM »
It depends whether I am 'in the groove' or not. I've had 5 minute meditations which were 'better' than much longer ones. The longest I feel comfortable with are two forty-minute sessions, with a ten minute comfort break in between.
“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

Siddharth

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Re: Does meditating for longer make a difference?
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2020, 08:19:01 PM »
During and after my 2nd goenka retreat, I started to go for the depth of longer meditation sessions, primarily because I felt that it took the first 5-30 minutes depending on my lifestyle and state of mind, to settle into a relaxed state.
so for 3 months, I did 2 one hour sessions every day, often extending the 1-hour sessions to up to 2 hours.

although that was in January 2018. since then I have mostly stuck with shorter sessions, 25-40 minutes, sometimes even 2-5 minutes. partly because I have not been able to find that much time but also because my outlook on meditation has evolved since then. (I also have been lazy many times)

What I have felt is it is not just the length of the meditation session, but also how consistently I meditate. for eg: 20 minutes sessions feel much valuable to me when I have been meditating regularly for a month, while at times when I have not sat down for a couple of months, even an hour-long session does not feel good, rather at times painful.

I have learned over time to listen to my body better, understand the difference between when I am being tyrannical to myself vs when I am just being lazy. It's like hitting the gym. you can overdo and injure yourself by not listening to your body, but you can also be lazy and not work-out well.

ultimately for me, there was a time when longer meditation worked wonderfully, but regular practice has been more valuable than longer sessions.

assuming you already have a regular practice, if your body allows, I would encourage you to try a longer session once a week or something, because persistent and deliberate practice does have its merit on the path.
And what is good, Phædrus,
And what is not good...
Need we ask anyone to tell us these things?

Thanisaro85

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Re: Does meditating for longer make a difference?
« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2020, 03:21:19 PM »
One important aspect in meditation is-  need to have awareness thru out. a 20 to 50 mins session daily allow one to form the habit of mindfulness of the body, feelings, thoughts, sensation even during daily activities. If lack of time, even 5 min is good.


 :-*
A Mind Unshaken, when touches by worldy matter, sorrowless, secure and dustless, this is the ultimate great blessing~ Mangala Sutta

running

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Re: Does meditating for longer make a difference?
« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2020, 03:47:11 AM »
Being consistent is most important to me. Just like i eat and sleep everyday i look at meditation the same. Of course i can miss a day and its not like missing a day without food. But i look at it as something of value to me that i try not to miss.

Longer can be better. But the system can only grow as quickly as it can. I have often times found i meditated longer than i maybe should have. Resulting in some discomforts by opening things up a little faster than i should. There is a feeling about it. An hour in the morning is what i do. i have up to five hours a day but that was on weekends when i was working nights and couldn't sleep during the day and meditating made it worse. So i tried to go all out on weekends.
American Trucker

milco

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Re: Does meditating for longer make a difference?
« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2020, 10:50:38 AM »
Thanks for all your interesting and thoughtful replies. They are much appreciated.

In answer to my own question, I tend to elongate my meditation session if I feel it is taking me longer than usual to settle into the groove and achieve at least a measure of stillness.

Last night our Worcester 28i Junior central heating boiler packed in. Again. The thing is a an abomination and has caused us nothing but trouble, along with endless call-outs to service engineers, over the last fifteen years. I know every widget...every bolt and sprocket of its internal workings, due to the fact that it has gone wrong so many times. ::)

I spent the usual unsuccessful half-an-hour fiddling with it either side of midnight before settling down to fitful sleep in a stone-cold bed. I slept poorly and woke up frustrated, agitated and gently fuming to myself.

Why am I telling you all this? Well, as a consequence, my morning meditation session started with a succession of intrusive, angry thoughts, almost entirely directed towards my central heating boiler, along with a febrile, scrolling menu of options regarding who I was going to ring to come and fix it and how long I should hold out before I rang them. Sometimes sitting there with your eyes closed to no great purpose just invites this kind of introspection and analysis.

I have, however, leant to be patient and not 'write off' a meditation session. If I keep applying myself gently to the idea of calming the mind, eventually it will start to happen. It may take a couple of indifferent and rather distracted body scans, but it always seems to happen that eventually I start to settle, gain focus and calm down.

The whole, lousy central-heating dilemma didn't go away, it just 'dialled down' in intensity until it became distant, disconnected, shapeless...somehow separate. The stillness was the stillness and my Worcester 28i Junior central heating boiler existed in its own parallel universe. I had total respite from the negative thoughts which it produced and the feelings which accompanied it...

...so this morning I mediated for 30 minutes instead of the usual 15-20 because I needed to. I ended up in the same place; it just took a little longer.

« Last Edit: October 26, 2020, 10:53:43 AM by milco »

stillpointdancer

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Re: Does meditating for longer make a difference?
« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2020, 01:58:37 PM »
Hi milco. 15 years? You are lucky to still be able to get the parts. Time to meditate, thank it for being there for you when it was and to move on with a new boiler I think. We just had to do the same thing.
“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

Whoami

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Re: Does meditating for longer make a difference?
« Reply #7 on: October 26, 2020, 03:28:02 PM »
Two of my most profound experiences happend at 20 min session and a 45 min session.
It was so profound that was in a state of shock afterwards. So, no you dont have to sit a long time to make progress.
I have found that what matters is how able you are to spend continous focus/observations on your breath (for example) without disruptions.
5 min continous focused meditation without disturbances is much more rewarding than a forceful/jittery 3 hour session for me.

 

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