marc108 wrote:Also relevant to this metaphor is that doctors must regularly relearn current medical & scientific advances. a 20 year old medical degree is fairly worthless in the scope of medicine as it is today. My personal opinion, and my understanding of the Buddha's teachings is that regular meditation is a must for the entire lifetime. I believe the Buddha continued to meditate daily even after his awakening. I believe, that unless we are awakened, there is still more to learn in meditation. I agree a lot with what you're saying about the 'off the cushion' aspects of the practice... I know for myself personally that area has been very important and is often overlooked in meditation centered practices. But I also believe firmly that the foundation of the entire practice is life long daily meditation... I only know of one Western Lay Dhamma teacher who doesnt sit regularly, and I know of no Ajahn's who don't meditate regularly. I look at the 2 Ajahns who have been most helpful to my own practice, Thanissaro Bhikku & Bhante G, and see that they still continue formal meditation practice even after 40 someodd and 60 someodd years of regular practice respectively... and these are meditation masters of the highest caliber!
There you go again separating meditation from day to day activities. I think doing so indicates (jhana aside) a misunderstanding of what cushion time is supposed to achieve, if one can maintain the same quality of mind off the cushion as on then to me that's progress.
Yes I agree most western advanced practitioners continue to meditate but I believe they are much less reliant on intensive meditation retreats compared to when they were younger, especially as most have teaching, travel, and administrative responsibilities.
From what I've observed many asian teachers and senior monks do sitting meditation very little, at least in public.