How often do you vary your meditation?

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.

How often do you vary your meditation?

Postby Tex » Sat Sep 19, 2009 2:54 am

Curious how much variety people use in their sitting practice.

Do you basically do the same type of meditation every day, or different types on different days, or do you have a routine daily practice that you'll sometimes take a break from and do another type for a day, a week, etc?

I sit anapanasati every morning, and on the weekends I'll have a second sit for metta bhavana (and some weeknights as well). Sometimes on the weekends I'll have a longer sit and meditate on all 4 brahma-viharas. I've been thinking recently that I need to branch out a little and start incorporating other types of meditation like Buddhanussati but haven't really done so yet. The vast majority of my practice is plain old attention on the breath.

What is your sitting routine, variations, etc?
"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 do you vary your meditation?

Postby Reductor » Sat Sep 19, 2009 7:12 am

Well, lately I've been more of a 'breath is best' kind of guy.

Usually though I will spend a little time at the start of each sitting and counter whatever hindrance has been predominate in my mind that day. It used to be lust, but now a days I feel little hindrance in anyway I used to be. Actually I think I'm hindered most by these forums, as of late. :thinking: Hmmm.

I am a firm believer that the Buddha didn't intend for us to stay with just one meditation. True, he was a big proponent of breath meditation, but he also exhorted his followers to cultivate other meditations. You would not think this from reading the forums out there. Where is the foulness? Where are the elements. Personally, one of the most important realizations I've had came from the second charnal ground contemplation.

In the greater discourse to Rahula the Buddha listed the different themes Rahula should develop, so to counter the hindrances.
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 do you vary your meditation?

Postby misterbull » Sat Sep 19, 2009 12:21 pm

Anapanasati is the usual start, but if I feel that I tend to try to "see breathing" rather than aware of breathing, I switch to sensation at abdomen. If the legs or feet start to hurt, sometimes I use that as meditation object.
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Re: How often do you vary your meditation?

Postby DontKnow » Thu Oct 22, 2009 7:14 am

thereductor wrote:Well, lately I've been more of a 'breath is best' kind of guy.

Usually though I will spend a little time at the start of each sitting and counter whatever hindrance has been predominate in my mind that day. It used to be lust, but now a days I feel little hindrance in anyway I used to be. Actually I think I'm hindered most by these forums, as of late. :thinking: Hmmm.

I am a firm believer that the Buddha didn't intend for us to stay with just one meditation. True, he was a big proponent of breath meditation, but he also exhorted his followers to cultivate other meditations. You would not think this from reading the forums out there. Where is the foulness? Where are the elements. Personally, one of the most important realizations I've had came from the second charnal ground contemplation.

In the greater discourse to Rahula the Buddha listed the different themes Rahula should develop, so to counter the hindrances.

The only routine I try to cling to is to be aware. So when I sit I let "awareness be aware" of whatever it wants to be aware of. Sometimes this is awareness of awareness itself, sometimes it's awareness of breathing, body position, pain, sound, environment, awareness of "being aware of awareness" :) No structure at all. Then I may get up and walk, being aware of feet touching the ground or breathing or being aware; Then I may stand for a while and do same thing; Then I will do prostrations, or chant in the mind "namo tasa bhagavato arahato sama sambudhasa" or something else. The only regular thing I follow is to do "formal" meditation daily at least 1 time (mostly 2 or 3 times). Then during driving, working, thinking, bathing and so on I become aware of those activities.
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