purple planet wrote:how do we know where is the line - on how much effort to put forth ?
The answer for this is built in to the definition of right effort. If it gives rise to unwholesome mental states or causes them to continue, then it is not right effort. If it gives rise to wholesome mental states or causes them to continue, then it is.
SN 45.8: Magga-vibhanga Sutta wrote:
And what, monks, is right effort?
(i) There is the case where a monk generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the sake of the non-arising of evil, unskillful qualities that have not yet arisen.
(ii) He generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the sake of the abandonment of evil, unskillful qualities that have arisen.
(iii) He generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the sake of the arising of skillful qualities that have not yet arisen.
(iv) He generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the maintenance, non-confusion, increase, plenitude, development, & culmination of skillful qualities that have arisen:
This, monks, is called right effort.
purple planet wrote:for example sleeping how much sleep is actually needed ? how can i really know how much sleep is to much or to little and be sure he got it right
If sleepiness overwhelms awareness and clarity of mind, then more sleep may be beneficial. If craving grows for the sensual pleasure of lying in bed or mental torpor grows from the habit of lying in bed without alertness, then it is harmful.
purple planet wrote: or sometimes i hear that if someone might try to meditate a lot for instance 6 hours in a day he might get frustrated and stop meditating after a few days like that - instead of continuing for a long time - so its better for him to meditate 1 hour each day for a long time than meditate 6 hours a day for a few days - how is he suppose to know when he is over-meditating and is polling the string to "tight" and when he is to relaxed and should put courageous effort ?
When frustration begins to arise, see if something can be done mentally to let go of the cause of the frustration. If the capability of letting go of the frustration is not available and the frustration continues to grow, then stopping the activity that is giving rise to frustration is beneficial. If aversion to meditation is growing, then by being aware of that aversion it may be possible to understand that the aversion is a product of pushing too hard. This is similar to the idea of how to know when to stop with any exercise. Through paying attention to how it feels, it's possible to learn when effort is insufficient for progress, sufficient for progress, or excessive and harmful.
MN 61: Ambalatthika-rahulovada Sutta wrote:
While you are doing a mental action, you should reflect on it: 'This mental action I am doing — is it leading to self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both? Is it an unskillful mental action, with painful consequences, painful results?' If, on reflection, you know that it is leading to self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both... you should give it up. But if on reflection you know that it is not... you may continue with it.