Author Topic: Timing sitting sessions  (Read 2963 times)


Timing sitting sessions
« on: January 03, 2010, 12:35:26 AM »
So, after many months of intentions to start sitting, I'm going to actually -do- something about the question I've been using as an excuse to not start.  I found this forum a while back, and I'm finally asking about it! 

How do you time your sessions?  I would put on an alarm, or a timer... but I don't like the idea that such a calming and still mindset will be so abruptly interrupted.  (I can't have incense due to allergies to the fragrance.)

How do you each time your sessions?


Re: Timing sitting sessions
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2010, 01:08:28 AM »
I use my cell phone alarm due to convenience. It doesn't have to be loud. If you are mindful of your senses you can notice it softly beeping from under a blanket or something. There are also computer programs that play Zen-style bells at intervals, but I would be distracted by the sound and thought ("I should really be conserving power...") of my computer running so I keep it turned off. I like Jack Kornfield's instructions on ending a session in a way that maintains continuity, so you carry that peace with you when you get up and leave. I don't remember exactly what he said, but I would gently note the alarm, "beeping, beeping," then note the intention to get up, etc. Hopefully someone here with more experience can elaborate on what I've said.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2010, 03:52:54 AM by sylvanhart »


Re: Timing sitting sessions
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2010, 02:11:58 PM »
Here's a page with various high-tech options for download:


  • The Irreverent Buddhist
  • Member
  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • Buddhism is a practical psychology and philosophy, not a religion.
    • If you cling to view, you must know this limits your potential.
Re: Timing sitting sessions
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2010, 09:35:08 PM »

Welcome to the forums. Personally I use the alarm on my phone for timed sessions, set to a very quiet ring and with calls turned off. Also the suggestion of purtting it under a blanket is a good one.

Also you can simply leave a clock or watch on the floor in front of you (preferably one that does not make a ticking sound) and simply look at it from time to time.

In the Dhamma,

~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~


Re: Timing sitting sessions
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2010, 10:41:27 PM »
Thank you!  I hope to have some progress to share soon.


Re: Timing sitting sessions
« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2010, 02:23:18 AM »
Hello redperphexion, it is excellent to read of your intension to practice meditation daily.  I found a great deal of success in a daily practice of meditation; whereas I know a lot of people, who may have been practicing meditation for decades, but have gotten nothing out of it, because they do not practice every day.

I have practiced meditation at least twice a day for nearly 40 years.  I found meditating just after rising in the morning and just before bed each night worked best for me, because those were times that I had the most time to devote to the practice and it was when I also had the most privacy.

I never used a timing device, because I did not want to hear the tick-tick of a clock, nor did I want to be startled by an abrupt alarm.  So, I just sat until my mind stilled, then I would enjoy that silence for as long as I felt I had time for.  Later, when I went on a 6-year retreat, I sat in meditation as long as I felt I was getting something out of the session.  Those sessions often lasted from an hour to three hours. You may find reading the following essay on this subject of interest to you.

A Practice Regimen (Magga) That Can Lead To Enlightenment (Phala) In This Very Lifetime

Best regards, Jeffrey


Re: Timing sitting sessions
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2010, 11:27:34 AM »
Jhananda, thank you.  I read the link you suggested.  It would be lovely to be able to sit for an undetermined period of time, unfortunately my lay-woman's commitments do not presently permit me to sit for longer than about 20 or 30 minutes a day.  I'm sure, though, as I'm getting more out of my sessions, and more importantly develop patience!!!, I will be more willing to give up other daily commitments to give my practice more time.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2010, 11:33:01 AM by redperphexion »


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