However I am not an absolute
beginner and at that point I had been sitting every day for over two weeks and the sits were both enjoyable and fruitful.
I was well into the groove and my problem was actually that I live next to a semi busy road and I was wondering if this might be inhibiting me from reaching jhana easily. So no problems with the practice itself so far.
However i feel that one of the reasons i now find it so easy to discipline myself every day is because of how much i enjoyed and benefited from a few of the longer sits i did in that period. Longer as in 30-50 mins. Those times i did those i didnt actually plan to, but i just kept sitting past the 20 mins and found that for about every 10 mins longer that i would sit i would always be at a deeper and more pleasant level than 10 mins ago.
I want to do this again. I almost feel like a half-ass now for only sitting 20 mins haha.
Anyway I was curious as to your thoughts
if i dont recieve any decent criticism then im going to resume the occasional longer sits.
There's absolutely nothing wrong with pursuit of longer sits (that is, longer than 20 minutes) as a beginner. When I was first learning meditation with a meditation teacher some 33 years ago, he recommended sits of, at the very least, 30 minutes each, and anything more was icing in the cake. In the beginning I found that sometimes challenging, but I stuck with it.
When, during our subsequent discussions, he mentioned that "the more meditation you do, the more karma you burn up" I became almost fanatical about sitting for at least 45 minutes to an hour or more. (I was going through a difficult time, dealing with depression and such.) I would often do 1 1/4 hour to 1 1/2 hour sits (although I wouldn't necessarily recommend that others do this — that is, unless they are motivated, like I was — an hour sit is plenty of time in most cases). There was the incentive to "burn up karma," and so far everything that this teacher had taught be seemed to be working just as he had said it would. So, I was developing confidence not only in my meditation practice, but also in what was being taught me. I must admit that it took me a few years to figure out what he meant by that comment on "burning karma" — so many other things were going on at that time in my life that contemplation on the finer points of practice took a back seat to other more pressing practical problems that were facing me.
You will find, though, that if you aspire to practice dhyana
(jhana) meditation (absorption) that hour sits are par for the course, and sometime even longer. Dhyana
helps one to increase concentration levels, which in turn assists in lengthening off-the-cushion mindfulness practice in waking consciousness. For several years, my practice consisted of nothing less than at least an hour a sit, two and three times a day. Especially in the mornings before starting my day and in the evenings, as a fitting end and reevaluation of my day. I found this to be a very fruitful approach.
The only thing I might add is: to bring reading of the discourses into your practice if you aren't already doing so now. Reading and contemplating a passage from a sutta before sitting can often yield unexpected insight into that sutta. The appreciation you will experience for having done so cannot be bought at any price!
In addition, it brings an added dimension to the practice by providing you with added material for contemplation such that you begin to look forward to sitting practice. In other words, you never become bored by practice.
"The gift of truth exceeds all other gifts" — Dhammapada, v. 354 Craving XXIV