Author Topic: Advise on long sitting sessions  (Read 3580 times)

soma

  • Guest
Advise on long sitting sessions
« on: January 17, 2010, 09:42:17 AM »
Hi all !

I'm attending my first ten day course at one of the famous/infamous S.N Goenka centres in a few days and I must admit I feel a little bit nervous about the long sitting sessions, almost eleven hours a day and if I'm not mistaken there is at least one three hour sitting.
I have been meditating two hours a day ( 1 + 1) for about a month and I feel comfortable with sitting for one hour in one sitting but when I try to sit longer than that there is something in me resisting. I feel no pain in my body so there really should not be any problem sitting longer but I cant put my finger on what the problem is; some kind of restlessness. Since it takes almost one hour for me to really calm down, real meditation really starts then.
I would be very grateful for any advise or personal experiences you want to share of longer sitting sessions or these ten day courses in general.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2010, 09:46:36 AM by soma »

mik1e

  • Guest
Re: Advise on long sitting sessions
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2010, 11:34:18 AM »
1) Try to keep your solar plexus and stomach relaxed.
2) Let your nervousness ans tension to "flow down" from your belly to your legs.

soma

  • Guest
Re: Advise on long sitting sessions
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2010, 11:59:11 AM »
Thank you Mik1e !
That is really practical and useful advise - I'll try that.

Crystal Palace

  • Member
  • "Move on Bhikkus, Move On" - Buddha
    • Thai Forest Tradition
Re: Advise on long sitting sessions
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2010, 04:07:21 PM »

if I'm not mistaken there is at least one three hour sitting.


Dear soma,

There are actually 3 separate one hour sits everyday, day 4 onwards.

As far as sitting for longer sessions is concerned, just keep the following points in mind:

1. Sit in a position that is comfortable to you.
2. Keep your spine and neck straight, and straighten them whenever you realize you've arched them.
3. Keep a cushion under your hips so in such a way that the elevation provided makes your knees touch the floor (They will provide you a cushion for elevation...double fold it if you feel the elevation is not enough)
4. And last but not the least - stay equanimous!  ;)

This is what Matthew the site's administrator has written in one of the threads about sitting posture. This is also sound advice.


Sit on the floor on two or three blankets folded to soften the surface for your knees. Under your bum you want 6 solid inches or so of blankets or cushions. Breath in deep and let the breath out naturally for a while when you sit. Your knees should be on the floor without strain and your pelvis gently tilted forward, letting your spinal muscles relax as the spine is well supported in this position.

Just breathe and let go of everything, centre awareness in the physical process and sensations of breathing. Relax but sit upright without tension and develop deep and relaxed yet clear and strong attention on the breath. Embody yourself.


I do hope your 10 day retreat proves to be very fruitful. For me it was a life changing experience.

Warmly  :)
Crystal Palace
"Abstain from unwholesome actions,
Perform wholesome actions,
Purify your mind"

Buddha

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
  • Staff
  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • KISS: Keep it simple stupid.
    • Getting nowhere slowly and enjoying every moment.
Re: Advise on long sitting sessions
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2010, 09:14:36 PM »
soma,

14 hours a day for thirty days is the longest retreat I have personally undertaken. We did have some very long sessions. However, have no fear, just relax into the whole thing. It's not a race. Keep your eyes open and your mind aware and enjoy it, relax into it - even the painful parts - most importantly perhaps the painful parts. Be gentle with yourself without being lazy.

Crystal Palace has given you some good practical tips and repeated my advice on sitting: If you are uncomfortable sitting make sure you have enough height under your backside such that your knees are naturally resting on the floor forming a firm base and strong support for your back.

Welcome to the forums - and congratulations on making the leap to undertake a retreat. Don't believe that which you do not find you can validate with experience.

Warmly, in the Dhamma,

Matthew
« Last Edit: January 17, 2010, 09:17:44 PM by The Irreverent Buddhist »
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

soma

  • Guest
Re: Advise on long sitting sessions
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2010, 10:22:46 PM »
Thank you, Crystal Palace for your kind advise and suggestions.
I still have some ten days to practise all of this before I leave.



Quote
For me it was a life changing experience.



Yes, I can feel it coming - maybe that's why I'm so nervous  :)


soma

  • Guest
Re: Advise on long sitting sessions
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2010, 10:37:44 PM »
Thanks Matthew ! You posted while I made a reply so I missed it.

Quote
Don't believe that which you do not find you can validate with experience.

Can you please explain this in a few words - I don't quite understand (I have to practice my english some more as well)


Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
  • Staff
  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • KISS: Keep it simple stupid.
    • Getting nowhere slowly and enjoying every moment.
Re: Advise on long sitting sessions
« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2010, 11:37:31 PM »
Thanks Matthew ! You posted while I made a reply so I missed it.

Quote
Don't believe that which you do not find you can validate with experience.

Can you please explain this in a few words - I don't quite understand (I have to practice my english some more as well)


Dear soma,

It means do not believe things you are told, unless, with your own experience, you can discover them to be true. This is a core teaching of the Buddha. He said don't believe the scriptures, don't believe things because other people say they are true and don't believe the priests.

He even said don't believe him! ... but find out for yourself what is true and what is not true by meditation and through your own intelligence.

I hope that is clearer but do not be afraid of asking for more clarification. Language is no barrier to understanding and I am happy to try and re-phrase things as often as you need to reach understanding.

Warmly, in the Dhamma,

Matthew
« Last Edit: January 17, 2010, 11:38:23 PM by The Irreverent Buddhist »
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

soma

  • Guest
Re: Advise on long sitting sessions
« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2010, 12:10:10 AM »
Now it's all crystal clear.
I've read all the different stories on the internet and it actually make things more interesting. Now that I've read it I can forget it and just go.
And for me personally, it really does not matter what is true or not because it does not really concern me - I go to meditate, thats it. Right?

Thanks again for very practical and useful advice  :)

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
  • Staff
  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • KISS: Keep it simple stupid.
    • Getting nowhere slowly and enjoying every moment.
Re: Advise on long sitting sessions
« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2010, 01:07:22 PM »
And for me personally, it really does not matter what is true or not because it does not really concern me - I go to meditate, thats it. Right?

100% :)
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

 

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