Timing 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.

Timing Meditation

Postby oceanmen » Sun Apr 11, 2010 5:30 am

in the beginning i used alarms, then i just go with the flow and stop when i m bored
now i decide how long and do not use alarms but think/decide the time in my mind before starting
so if thinking/deciding 30 min or 25 min, somehow i open my eyes at the exact time (1-2 min deviation)
is this common? or should it be avoided since it can be an ego trap? and how do you people set the timing?
sometimes in groups we follow the lead who has a bell , he rings in the start of the session
and rings it at the end, so we dont need to think of timing...feedback appreciated

lots of metta
:namaste:
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Re: Timing Meditation

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Apr 11, 2010 5:48 am

oceanmen wrote:in the beginning i used alarms, then i just go with the flow and stop when i m bored
now i decide how long and do not use alarms but think/decide the time in my mind before starting
so if thinking/deciding 30 min or 25 min, somehow i open my eyes at the exact time (1-2 min deviation)
is this common? or should it be avoided since it can be an ego trap? and how do you people set the timing?
sometimes in groups we follow the lead who has a bell , he rings in the start of the session
and rings it at the end, so we dont need to think of timing...feedback appreciated

lots of metta
Being bored is an important part of meditation, not a reason to stop, but it would also help if you gave some idea of what sort of practice you are doing.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Timing Meditation

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Sun Apr 11, 2010 6:09 am

If sitting in a group, you have to consider that people have things to do or appointments to keep after the meeting, so a fixed time is best — though it doesn't have to be done by the clock. As you discovered, it is quite easy to know when the time is up without using a clock. Watching the clock can be a big distraction.

When sitting on your own, don't set any time limit. Just sit as long as you can, mindfully noting pain if it arises after some time. Gradually extend the period that you sit up to gain deeper concentration. The same goes for walking too — and don't neglect walking meditation. It is not very difficult to walk for two hours without a break, whereas it might be hard for most meditators to sit for two hours without changing their posture.

If you have only one hour to spare, then do at least fifteen minutes of walking meditation before sitting for 45 minutes. If you have the whole day to spare for meditation, walk and sit alternately for the whole day, gradually extending the periods of practice — maybe starting with half hour sessions and working up gradually to one or two hour sessions.

Venerable Ānanda gained Arahantship after practising continuous walking meditation for the entire night. Don't expect signficant results without any signficant effort.

The ability to sit or walk for long periods is not, in itself, indicative of spiritual progress, but deep concentration is needed to gain insight, and short sessions of meditation interspersed with long periods of unmindfulness don't lead to deep concentration.

If you're getting bored, then you're not making enough effort.
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Re: Timing Meditation

Postby oceanmen » Sun Apr 11, 2010 6:46 am

tiltbillings wrote:
oceanmen wrote:in the beginning i used alarms, then i just go with the flow and stop when i m bored
now i decide how long and do not use alarms but think/decide the time in my mind before starting
so if thinking/deciding 30 min or 25 min, somehow i open my eyes at the exact time (1-2 min deviation)
is this common? or should it be avoided since it can be an ego trap? and how do you people set the timing?
sometimes in groups we follow the lead who has a bell , he rings in the start of the session
and rings it at the end, so we dont need to think of timing...feedback appreciated

lots of metta
Being bored is an important part of meditation, not a reason to stop, but it would also help if you gave some idea of what sort of practice you are doing.



its what is called vipassana meditation or insight meditation
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Re: Timing Meditation

Postby oceanmen » Sun Apr 11, 2010 6:47 am

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:If sitting in a group, you have to consider that people have things to do or appointments to keep after the meeting, so a fixed time is best — though it doesn't have to be done by the clock. As you discovered, it is quite easy to know when the time is up without using a clock. Watching the clock can be a big distraction.

When sitting on your own, don't set any time limit. Just sit as long as you can, mindfully noting pain if it arises after some time. Gradually extend the period that you sit up to gain deeper concentration. The same goes for walking too — and don't neglect walking meditation. It is not very difficult to walk for two hours without a break, whereas it might be hard for most meditators to sit for two hours without changing their posture.

If you have only one hour to spare, then do at least fifteen minutes of walking meditation before sitting for 45 minutes. If you have the whole day to spare for meditation, walk and sit alternately for the whole day, gradually extending the periods of practice — maybe starting with half hour sessions and working up gradually to one or two hour sessions.

Venerable Ānanda gained Arahantship after practising continuous walking meditation for the entire night. Don't expect signficant results without any signficant effort.

The ability to sit or walk for long periods is not, in itself, indicative of spiritual progress, but deep concentration is needed to gain insight, and short sessions of meditation interspersed with long periods of unmindfulness don't lead to deep concentration.

If you're getting bored, then you're not making enough effort.



thank you for your answer
will read more about walking meditation
if there is a link here let me know

lots of metta
:namaste:
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Re: Timing Meditation

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Apr 11, 2010 6:54 am

oceanmen wrote:
its what is called vipassana meditation or insight meditation

Good. You get bored, that is just more stuff to mindfully watch.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Timing Meditation

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Sun Apr 11, 2010 7:30 am

oceanmen wrote:will read more about walking meditation
if there is a link here let me know

The Benefits of Walking Meditation (Sayādaw U Sīlānanda)
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Re: Timing Meditation

Postby oceanmen » Sun Apr 11, 2010 7:56 am

tiltbillings wrote:
oceanmen wrote:
its what is called vipassana meditation or insight meditation

Good. You get bored, that is just more stuff to mindfully watch.



good tip. :D :thumbsup:
the mind is another world huh

metta :namaste:
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Re: Timing Meditation

Postby Ben » Sun Apr 11, 2010 7:58 am

Hi oceanmen
Because you've got some excellent feedback regarding other aspects of your practice, I'll address the following...
oceanmen wrote:how do you people set the timing?


Usually, I play an sound file of U Ba Khin or my teacher, SN Goenka, chanting. They help to provide a good meditative ambience while, if played through ear-plugs, reduce distracting background noise while also acting as a convenient time-piece.
kind regards

Ben
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Re: Timing Meditation

Postby oceanmen » Sun Apr 11, 2010 8:02 am

thank you Ben, i appreciate it
will look for goenka chantings on the net

lots of respect
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Re: Timing Meditation

Postby jcsuperstar » Sun Apr 11, 2010 8:18 am

Ben wrote:Hi oceanmen
Because you've got some excellent feedback regarding other aspects of your practice, I'll address the following...
oceanmen wrote:how do you people set the timing?


Usually, I play an sound file of U Ba Khin or my teacher, SN Goenka, chanting. They help to provide a good meditative ambience while, if played through ear-plugs, reduce distracting background noise while also acting as a convenient time-piece.
kind regards

Ben

thats interesting

i use a timed bell recording on my laptop since i sit before work and well, i cant just keep sitting or else i'd lose my job and my wife would beat me
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: Timing Meditation

Postby Ben » Sun Apr 11, 2010 8:58 am

Hi Oceanmen

To be honest with you, I'm not sure whether they are restricted to students of SN Goenka and Mother Sayamagyi. But you could check at www.pariyatti.org or www.dhammabooks.com. Alternatively, you could use audio files of other teachers reciting suttas. In fact, if you're not a student of SN Goenka, I wouldn't recommend them - for no other reason being that they are not easy to listen to. But for students of SN Goenka who have done multiple ten-day courses and have remember his sonorous chants from the 4.30AM-6.30AM sessions, they can be very evocative.

Hi JC

Your wife will beat you?? You better not lose your job then!
I've been using chant sound files for years now.
kind regards

Ben
"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

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Re: Timing Meditation

Postby jcsuperstar » Sun Apr 11, 2010 9:38 am

well it's just an assumption.. but i'm not willing to test it out :tongue:
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: Timing Meditation

Postby oceanmen » Sun Apr 11, 2010 5:00 pm

@BEn: i used to listen and read the Chinnabanchon but i dont understand the meaning
perhaps it would make a difference if i understand what i m chanting...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DHogPVqLmmI
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