How often should I meditate?

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How often should I meditate?

Postby Claire » Wed Jun 16, 2010 11:55 am

I have another question. Im sorry if this seems a little silly but I am very new to all this. How often should a person meditate? ..... how often do you meditate? I tried this seriously for the first time yesterday and managed just short of 10 minutes... It’s a lot more difficult than I thought it would be, but then also easy at the same time.... if that makes sense?? :thinking: I didn’t feel very different afterwards although I did notice quite a difference this morning when I went for my run. I was much more able to focus and shave almost a minute of my regular 5k time. :woohoo:

Claire.
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Re: How often should I meditate?

Postby Anicca » Wed Jun 16, 2010 12:53 pm

How often for a beginner? As frequently as possible - daily is good- twice daily is good. Dedicate yourself to a routine and stick with it. Find spots in your daily rhythm that work. Even if it is only once a week that is better than never - but it would be like dieting one day out of seven - you won't lose much - and that is the reason to meditate - to lose our unskillful greed, anger and ignorance.

Eventually meditation is best 4-4-1 - any of four frames of reference [body - feelings - mind - mental qualities] - any of four positions [standing - walking - sitting - laying] - at any one time [always now!] ;) .

Since you can almost do ten minutes make ten minutes a goal to work up to each session - then fifteen - then twenty etc...

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Re: How often should I meditate?

Postby Tex » Wed Jun 16, 2010 5:17 pm

Hello, Claire, and welcome.

I think you'll get a variety of answers on how often and how long. For me, what is important is to do it every single day. Depending on my work/life schedule, I might only be able to sit for 10 or 15 minutes each morning, and at other times I'll sit for a half hour or longer and sometimes more than once a day. So the length of each session fluctuates a lot, but the "daily" part stays constant.
"The serene and peaceful mind is the true epitome of human achievement."-- Ajahn Chah, Living Dhamma

"To reach beyond fear and danger we must sharpen and widen our vision. We have to pierce through the deceptions that lull us into a comfortable complacency, to take a straight look down into the depths of our existence, without turning away uneasily or running after distractions." -- Bhikkhu Bodhi
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Re: How often should I meditate?

Postby Reductor » Wed Jun 16, 2010 5:39 pm

Tex wrote:Hello, Claire, and welcome.

I think you'll get a variety of answers on how often and how long. For me, what is important is to do it every single day. Depending on my work/life schedule, I might only be able to sit for 10 or 15 minutes each morning, and at other times I'll sit for a half hour or longer and sometimes more than once a day. So the length of each session fluctuates a lot, but the "daily" part stays constant.


I'm with Tex.

Just sit every day, however long being less important. As time goes by you will be able to sit longer and will enjoy it, but still life might make longer periods difficult; but daily periods should always be doable for any person in any life circumstance.

It only takes five minutes. Or ten, or however long you have.
Michael

The thoughts I've expressed in the above post are carefully considered and offered in good faith.

And friendliness towards the world is happiness for him who is forbearing with living beings. -- Ud. 2:1
To his own ruin the fool gains knowledge, for it cleaves his head and destroys his innate goodness. -- Dhp 72

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Re: How often should I meditate?

Postby Nibbida » Wed Jun 16, 2010 7:17 pm

10 minutes is a good starting point. That's where I started. It was like sitting on thumb tacks! I didn't know about equanimity at the time, which is having an impartial attitude of non-resistance toward whatever comes into awareness (and relaxation in the muscles). Without that, I was struggling against myself the whole way. Once you start to develop equanimity, you can tolerate longer sits.

You can increase gradually as you get more accustomed. There is no "should" in terms of how much/often. Daily is great. That's where you will notice the most benefits over time.

Also check out http://www.dharmaseed.org. You can find many guided meditations there (search "guided"). Those can help a person get into the experience.
"Dispositions of the mind, like limbs of the body, acquire strength by exercise." --Thomas Jefferson

Facebook Meditation Page: http://snurl.com/yoga9vipassana
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Re: How often should I meditate?

Postby Goedert » Wed Jun 16, 2010 8:15 pm

Friend, you can try the breath count technique.

In-breath count one;
Out-breath count one;
In-breath count two;
Out-breath count two;
In-breath count three;
Out-breath count three...

And so on...

This is a good way for a begginer know if his mind get lost and loose the focus during the meditation. If you count the breath wrong, them start over again. When your mind become focused you will feel that there is no more need of couting.

Of course, you can start with out couting.

Try meditate for 10 minutes every day in the first month. I personally like to meditation in early morning or afternoon. Then in the next month try to upgrade more 5-10 minutes in your routine.

Best wishes for you,
May you live in peace and happy.
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Re: How often should I meditate?

Postby jcsuperstar » Wed Jun 16, 2010 9:05 pm

once a day is fine, starting with maybe 20 mins, thats easy on the body and easy to get used to at first.
and i wouldn't worry too much about other people's practice either, seriously, you can meet some real jerks who meditate 4 hours a day, and some great people who never do, or do only on a train commute to work cause that's the time they have.
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat
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Re: How often should I meditate?

Postby Wind » Thu Jun 17, 2010 6:35 am

I think it's more important to focus on the quality of your meditation rather than the length of it. Even the Buddha had mentioned that whether someone meditated for a long time or a short time, they can reap the same great benefits.
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Re: How often should I meditate?

Postby zavk » Thu Jun 17, 2010 7:56 am

There's one helpful advice from Bhikkhu Bodhi which I've taken onboard. He mentions in one of his Dhamma talks that we should be careful that we do not adopt an overly instrumental attitude towards meditation. Mindfulness or equanimous awareness cannot be forced. It can only arise naturally. So what we need to do is to set the conditions for it to arise. Making a commitment to sit regularly would set those conditions. But he also pointed out that we should set those conditions through other means like practicing generosity, kindness, patience, etc, in our daily interactions. Reading/listening to the Dhamma also helps. And for me, I've found that other activities like keeping the place neat and tidy, doing chores, exercising, etc, help too. These are things are not 'formal meditation' but they could help set the conditions for mindfulness to arise and build the momentum for you to sit regularly.

All the best.
With metta,
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Re: How often should I meditate?

Postby Claire » Thu Jun 17, 2010 12:34 pm

Thanks for the great advice everyone. :thanks:

I watched the videos (recommended by Zom), and found these to be a lot of help as well as very interesting. I decided to start at the beginning and try the breath count technique. I felt great after my meditation this morning. :D I still only managed 10 minutes but it felt a lot more focused. I have found a couple of Buddhist centres within about 30 miles of where I live and a group which meets in the local Quaker House around the corner so I think I might go along to some of the meditation classes they run. :smile:

Thanks again.

:namaste:
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Re: How often should I meditate?

Postby Zom » Thu Jun 17, 2010 1:39 pm

I watched the videos (recommended by Zom), and found these to be a lot of help as well as very interesting.


Yes, Ajahn Jayasaro tells many helpful things -)
By the way there are more short videos with him, for example like this (and more in the right column) :reading:
http://www.youtube.com/watch#!v=3-yJIaZ ... re=related
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Re: How often should I meditate?

Postby jcsuperstar » Thu Jun 17, 2010 1:41 pm

yeah Ajahn Jayasaro is pretty cool
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat
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