New to practise, a few questions.

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.
Snufkin
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Joined: Sat May 12, 2012 11:53 am
Location: United Kingdom

New to practise, a few questions.

Postby Snufkin » Sat May 12, 2012 12:06 pm

Hello everyone, I've been practising meditation for just over a week, I've been doing this daily and try to fit in two sittings a day when possible. I am just wondering about the length of time I should be practising for, initially I started off with doing it for about 10 mins, and now my sittings are almost 20 minutes and progressing a little each time,

I have a couple of queries, my first one is should I try to aim sit for longer, or just naturally allow time to increase? And also, should I put a timer on my sitting so I know how long to aim for?

Thanks in advance!

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bodom
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Re: New to practise, a few questions.

Postby bodom » Sat May 12, 2012 12:18 pm

Hi Snufkin and welcome too the forum!

I highly recommend reading this short chapter entitled Structuring Your Meditation from Mindfulness in Plain English a classic best selling manual on meditation:

Structuring Your Meditation
http://www.vipassana.com/meditation/min ... ish_10.php

I hope this answers all your questions and more.

:anjali:
To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With mindfulness immersed in the body
well established, restrained
with regard to the six media of contact,
always centered, the monk
can know Unbinding for himself.

- Ud 3.5


https://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html
http://www.ajahnchah.org/

Snufkin
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat May 12, 2012 11:53 am
Location: United Kingdom

Re: New to practise, a few questions.

Postby Snufkin » Sat May 12, 2012 12:36 pm


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LonesomeYogurt
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Location: America

Re: New to practise, a few questions.

Postby LonesomeYogurt » Sat May 12, 2012 4:03 pm

Haha don't worry! It's always good to ask. Congratulations on starting down the path!

I think it's probably best to let the time organically grow, but do be sure to push yourself slightly so you don't get stuck in one spot. A timer is a good idea if you find yourself wanting to peak at the clock; it can help you to be determined and say, "I will sit until this bell rings no matter what." Otherwise that chapter is a really good resource, as is the entire book. Good to see you reading it!

May your practice be successful!
Gain and loss, status and disgrace,
censure and praise, pleasure and pain:
these conditions among human beings are inconstant,
impermanent, subject to change.

Knowing this, the wise person, mindful,
ponders these changing conditions.
Desirable things don’t charm the mind,
undesirable ones bring no resistance.

His welcoming and rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
- Lokavipatti Sutta


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Cittasanto
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Re: New to practise, a few questions.

Postby Cittasanto » Sat May 12, 2012 4:56 pm



He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

Snufkin
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat May 12, 2012 11:53 am
Location: United Kingdom

Re: New to practise, a few questions.

Postby Snufkin » Mon May 21, 2012 2:27 pm

I definitely had trouble with wanting to get up after a short amount of time, but I've started to let these thoughts go. My main aim is just to increase the length of time I'm sitting for really, so I can have a better quality of meditation. I'm starting to sit for about 25 minutes now.

I've started to encounter something else that may or not be an issue. After I follow my breath for awhile, and thoughts begin to settle down and my concentration becomes deeper. Nothing else happens, I just follow my breath, discarding the odd thought that pops up until I end my sitting. No insights arise, no emotions, nothing, just a calm concentration.

Am I doing something wrong? In my mind it feels more like my idea of what Samatha meditation is, as opposed to Vipassana.

Thanks for the kind replies.

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LonesomeYogurt
Posts: 900
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2012 4:24 pm
Location: America

Re: New to practise, a few questions.

Postby LonesomeYogurt » Mon May 21, 2012 3:03 pm

Gain and loss, status and disgrace,
censure and praise, pleasure and pain:
these conditions among human beings are inconstant,
impermanent, subject to change.

Knowing this, the wise person, mindful,
ponders these changing conditions.
Desirable things don’t charm the mind,
undesirable ones bring no resistance.

His welcoming and rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
- Lokavipatti Sutta


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marc108
Posts: 464
Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2012 10:10 pm

Re: New to practise, a few questions.

Postby marc108 » Mon May 21, 2012 6:25 pm

"It's easy for us to connect with what's wrong with us... and not so easy to feel into, or to allow us, to connect with what's right and what's good in us."

Snufkin
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat May 12, 2012 11:53 am
Location: United Kingdom

Re: New to practise, a few questions.

Postby Snufkin » Mon May 21, 2012 7:55 pm


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marc108
Posts: 464
Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2012 10:10 pm

Re: New to practise, a few questions.

Postby marc108 » Mon May 21, 2012 9:13 pm

"It's easy for us to connect with what's wrong with us... and not so easy to feel into, or to allow us, to connect with what's right and what's good in us."

Snufkin
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat May 12, 2012 11:53 am
Location: United Kingdom

Re: New to practise, a few questions.

Postby Snufkin » Mon May 21, 2012 9:52 pm

Thank you so much for such a comprehensive post. And thanks to everyone else. I feared I was getting very much ahead of myself but it's difficult when there doesn't seem like anything to measure progress. I'll get started on the reading material and continue to increase my sitting times.

Snufkin
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat May 12, 2012 11:53 am
Location: United Kingdom

Re: New to practise, a few questions.

Postby Snufkin » Mon May 28, 2012 10:03 am

More physical problems have started to rise, the chief one being towards the end of my sit, one sit of my neck becomes quite stiff and achey, it becomes harder to focus on anything else. My legs also seem to be going to sleep more often these days. Could these issues be something to do with the cushion I'm using?

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marc108
Posts: 464
Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2012 10:10 pm

Re: New to practise, a few questions.

Postby marc108 » Mon May 28, 2012 5:14 pm

"It's easy for us to connect with what's wrong with us... and not so easy to feel into, or to allow us, to connect with what's right and what's good in us."


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