How many hours a week do you meditate?

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 many hours a week do you meditate?

Postby Tex » Mon Feb 09, 2009 2:10 am

Curious to hear how everyone practices.

On a weekday, I wake up and walk the dog while listening to a Dhamma talk on the I-Pod, then sit for either 20 or 30 minutes. I will meditate for another 20 or 30 minutes in the evening when I feel up to it, which is realistically only about half the time.

On Saturdays and Sundays I tend to have longer sittings of 45 or 60 minutes, sometimes two or three times per day.

So in an average week I'm putting in anywhere from 5 to 10 hours of meditation. Wow, that's not that much now that I add it up.

Anyway, what is your personal meditation routine?
"The serene and peaceful mind is the true epitome of human achievement."-- Ajahn Chah, Living Dhamma

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Re: How many hours a week do you meditate?

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Feb 09, 2009 2:17 am

Greetings,

In terms of actual sitting meditation I would say about on average 3 hours a week.... mostly lunchtimes during the week, plus I'll try squeezing in a sit if I'm home alone.

Metta,
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Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


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One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: How many hours a week do you meditate?

Postby bodom » Mon Feb 09, 2009 1:37 pm

An hour formally every morning split into a half hour of walking and then a half hour of sitting. I will then sit again for half an hour in the evening. So i guess that comes out to arround 10 or 11 hours of formal meditation a week.

:namaste:
Last edited by bodom on Mon Feb 09, 2009 5:05 pm, edited 2 times in total.
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: How many hours a week do you meditate?

Postby Prasadachitta » Mon Feb 09, 2009 1:42 pm

I sit with a group for 40 min every weekday morning. I will sit in the afternoons and weekends a bit more sporadically about 4 other 40 min sits during the week.
Thats about 5-6 hours a week.

Metta

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Re: How many hours a week do you meditate?

Postby clw_uk » Mon Feb 09, 2009 2:20 pm

I only do one 40 minute sitting in the evening at the moment so on average I do 4.6 hours a week.

Sometimes a bit extra on weekends

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Re: How many hours a week do you meditate?

Postby Rui Sousa » Mon Feb 09, 2009 4:59 pm

No discipline.

maybe 30 minutes a week...
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Re: How many hours a week do you meditate?

Postby bodom » Mon Feb 09, 2009 5:02 pm

Rui Sousa wrote:No discipline.

maybe 30 minutes a week...


Questions & Answers with Ajahn Chah

Q: Is it necessary to sit for very long stretches?

Answer: No, sitting for hours on end is not necessary. Some people think that the longer you can sit, the wiser you must be. I have seen chickens sit on their nests for days on end! Wisdom comes from being mindful in all postures. Your practice should begin as you awaken in the morning. It should continue until you fall asleep. Don't be concerned about how long you can sit. What is important is only that you keep watchful whether you are working or sitting or going to the bathroom. Each person has his own natural pace. Some of you will die at age fifty, some at age sixty-five, and some at age ninety. So, too, your practice will not be all identical. Don't think or worry about this. Try to be mindful and let things take their natural course. Then your mind will become quieter and quieter in any surroundings. It will become still like a clear forest pool. Then all kinds of wonderful and rare animals will come to drink at the pool. You will see clearly the nature of all things (sankharas) in the world. You will see many wonderful and strange things come and go. But you will be still. Problems will arise and you will see through them immediately. This is the happiness of the Buddha.

:namaste:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: How many hours a week do you meditate?

Postby Jechbi » Mon Feb 09, 2009 5:23 pm

I used to have a schedule that allowed me to maintain a steady commitment of an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening. I did that pretty regularly (ever day) for a year or so. Then life intruded. You know, job, kid, business, the whole nine yards.

I didn't develop to the stage where I could reduce the hours of sleep to accommodate meditation time. Plus, I have to admit, sometimes I'm still afflicted with laziness. Lately there have been days when I don't formally sit at all, which is pretty shocking for me, because in my mind I'm seriously committed to practice.

In the approach that works best for me (Goenka), it's recommended to meditate for an hour in the morning, and hour in the evening, plus a short period before getting out of bed and before going to sleep, plus whenever you've got some extra time. When I found that I was unable to maintain this, I began asking an assistant teacher about it. In fact, I asked more than one, because I struggled with the issue for some time.

A got a couple of answers that I find useful. One assistant teacher encouraged me to meet these life circumstances with equanimity, recognizing that things are always changing. Another said that even a shorter period of meditation time can be effective.

One AT told me that the recommended length of time is intended to ensure that there are at least some moments of good concentration in there. He said that even just a few minutes of good concentration can suffice. (Not that that's an excuse to sit for shorter periods, of course.)

I have found that short periods of meditation can be very effective, but when I keep up a regular regimen of longer periods, it's much more beneficial. The balance, of course, is still finding time to fullfill my responsibilities to my family, employer, my clients, my friends, and myself. I can't just drop out (nor would I want to at this stage).

The question posed in this thread, "How many hours a week do you meditate?" strikes me in a very personal way, like a wake-up call. Thanks for asking.

Metta
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Re: How many hours a week do you meditate?

Postby adeh » Mon Feb 09, 2009 5:31 pm

An hour every day.
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Re: How many hours a week do you meditate?

Postby Prasadachitta » Mon Feb 09, 2009 5:43 pm

bodom_bad_boy wrote:
Rui Sousa wrote:No discipline.

maybe 30 minutes a week...


Questions & Answers with Ajahn Chah

Q: Is it necessary to sit for very long stretches?

Answer: No, sitting for hours on end is not necessary. Some people think that the longer you can sit, the wiser you must be. I have seen chickens sit on their nests for days on end! Wisdom comes from being mindful in all postures. Your practice should begin as you awaken in the morning. It should continue until you fall asleep. Don't be concerned about how long you can sit. What is important is only that you keep watchful whether you are working or sitting or going to the bathroom. Each person has his own natural pace. Some of you will die at age fifty, some at age sixty-five, and some at age ninety. So, too, your practice will not be all identical. Don't think or worry about this. Try to be mindful and let things take their natural course. Then your mind will become quieter and quieter in any surroundings. It will become still like a clear forest pool. Then all kinds of wonderful and rare animals will come to drink at the pool. You will see clearly the nature of all things (sankharas) in the world. You will see many wonderful and strange things come and go. But you will be still. Problems will arise and you will see through them immediately. This is the happiness of the Buddha.

:namaste:


:heart: :bow:
"Beautifully taught is the Lord's Dhamma, immediately apparent, timeless, of the nature of a personal invitation, progressive, to be attained by the wise, each for himself." Anguttara Nikaya V.332
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Re: How many hours a week do you meditate?

Postby bodom » Mon Feb 09, 2009 5:45 pm

gabrielbranbury wrote:
bodom_bad_boy wrote:
Rui Sousa wrote:No discipline.

maybe 30 minutes a week...


Questions & Answers with Ajahn Chah

Q: Is it necessary to sit for very long stretches?

Answer: No, sitting for hours on end is not necessary. Some people think that the longer you can sit, the wiser you must be. I have seen chickens sit on their nests for days on end! Wisdom comes from being mindful in all postures. Your practice should begin as you awaken in the morning. It should continue until you fall asleep. Don't be concerned about how long you can sit. What is important is only that you keep watchful whether you are working or sitting or going to the bathroom. Each person has his own natural pace. Some of you will die at age fifty, some at age sixty-five, and some at age ninety. So, too, your practice will not be all identical. Don't think or worry about this. Try to be mindful and let things take their natural course. Then your mind will become quieter and quieter in any surroundings. It will become still like a clear forest pool. Then all kinds of wonderful and rare animals will come to drink at the pool. You will see clearly the nature of all things (sankharas) in the world. You will see many wonderful and strange things come and go. But you will be still. Problems will arise and you will see through them immediately. This is the happiness of the Buddha.

:namaste:


:heart: :bow:


Ajahn Chah :bow: :bow: :bow:

:namaste:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: How many hours a week do you meditate?

Postby Jechbi » Mon Feb 09, 2009 5:50 pm

I think there's a lot of wisdom in that quote from Ajahn Chah, but there's also some risk that people might take that as an excuse to exert minimal effort when it comes to formal sitting meditation. It's like physical exercise: You might think you're getting enough exercise by walking around the house while you vacuum and by walking out to get the mail, but it's better if you can set aside some time for formal physical exercise for your physical health.

There's no question that we can bring mindfulness to all activities in all postures, but I think we build up the ability to do that through formal sitting practice. You can't substitute one of the other. You need both.

Just my 2 cents ...

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Rain soddens what is kept wrapped up,
But never soddens what is open;
Uncover, then, what is concealed,
Lest it be soddened by the rain.
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Re: How many hours a week do you meditate?

Postby bodom » Mon Feb 09, 2009 5:51 pm

Jechbi wrote:I think there's a lot of wisdom in that quote from Ajahn Chah, but there's also some risk that people might take that as an excuse to exert minimal effort when it comes to formal sitting meditation. It's like physical exercise: You might think you're getting enough exercise by walking around the house while you vacuum and by walking out to get the mail, but it's better if you can set aside some time for formal physical exercise for your physical health.

There's no question that we can bring mindfulness to all activities in all postures, but I think we build up the ability to do that through formal sitting practice. You can't substitute one of the other. You need both.

Just my 2 cents ...

:buddha2:


Anyone who has ever read Ajahn Chah's teachings knows that there is no room for laziness in the practice of his teachings. Ajahn Chah was stating the importance of meditation off the cushion. If there is no meditation off the cushion there will be no meditation on the cushion. He did not say formal meditation is not important or that we can substitute one for the other. Far from it. For lay householders the majority of our time is spent off the cushion. We spend an hour or two a day in formal meditation if we are lucky enough to get that much time. Do the math. The practice off the cushion is just as important if not more important than sitting in meditation. We cannot spend all day sitting in samadhi with children to raise and bills to pay. While it is true that formal meditation is extremely important in developing mindfulness we also need to be aware of the limitations that are imposed on our practice by living the household life. The four foundations of mindfulness are not only to be cultivated on the cushion. As you said there must be both. I would certainly hope no one takes this advice to mean it ok to be lazy. I know i certainly did not.

:namaste:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: How many hours a week do you meditate?

Postby Prasadachitta » Mon Feb 09, 2009 6:15 pm

As one who sits regularly I am familiar with the tendency to be a bit self satisfied when my sitting practice is going well and Ive been on retreat allot. There is a tendency to allow myself to slide a bit. Not in terms of sila but in terms of watching and discerning my mental states(inward sila you might say). This is what I think Achaan Cha is guarding against. I think he is pointing out our tendency to let how much or how little we meditate undermine our effort to practice in all positions.

Metta

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Re: How many hours a week do you meditate?

Postby bodom » Mon Feb 09, 2009 6:18 pm

So keep doing it, don't stop. Don't follow your moods. Go against the grain. Practise when you feel lazy and practice when you feel diligent. Practice when you're sitting and practice when you're walking. - Ajahn Chah

So therefore, all of you, be sure to practice every day. Whether lazy or diligent, practice just the same. Practice of the Dhamma is not done by following your moods. If you practice following your moods then it's not Dhamma. Don't discriminate between day and night, whether the mind is peaceful or not... just practice. - Ajahn Chah

When we are lazy we should practice and not only when we feel energetic or in the mood. This is practicing according to the Buddha’s teaching. According to our own, we practice only when we’re feeling good. How are we going to get anywhere like that? When are we going to cut the stream of defilements when we practice only according to our whims like that? - Ajahn Chah

These words should counter balance anyone who might have mistakenly assumed Ajahn Chah was implying laziness or minimal effort.

:namaste:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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How many hours a week do you meditate?

Postby GrahamR » Mon Feb 09, 2009 6:26 pm

Tex wrote:Curious to hear how everyone practices.

On a weekday, I wake up and walk the dog while listening to a Dhamma talk on the I-Pod, then sit for either 20 or 30 minutes. I will meditate for another 20 or 30 minutes in the evening when I feel up to it, which is realistically only about half the time.

On Saturdays and Sundays I tend to have longer sittings of 45 or 60 minutes, sometimes two or three times per day.

So in an average week I'm putting in anywhere from 5 to 10 hours of meditation. Wow, that's not that much now that I add it up.

Anyway, what is your personal meditation routine?


Hi
I'm an engineer and work strange hours, so it's difficult to have a routine. Also I have a two year old daughter and a pregnant wife.
My best times are if I get woken up at night, then I meditate for at least 30 minutes, often more. In the mornings I try and do 15 mins. I don't always get much chance at weekends. In summer I go outside for 30 mins at lunchtime too.
with metta :bow:
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Re: How many hours a week do you meditate?

Postby mountain » Mon Feb 09, 2009 7:35 pm

4x1hr seven days a week. Not remarkable for a retired pre-old fogey. It also helps to rise at 4am and practice celibacy. I deeply respect those who have a family and serious responsibilities for whom finding time for meditation is not easy.
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Re: How many hours a week do you meditate?

Postby Rui Sousa » Wed Feb 11, 2009 10:05 am

bodom_bad_boy wrote:
Rui Sousa wrote:No discipline.

maybe 30 minutes a week...


Questions & Answers with Ajahn Chah

Q: Is it necessary to sit for very long stretches?

Answer: No, sitting for hours on end is not necessary.(...)

:namaste:


I guess I have many mindfull moments without doing any formal meditation or practice, when siting I observe the movement of the muscles and bones and tendons, in a meeting I observe frustration or excitement arising and going away, when reading the new I send Metta in all directions.

I used to sit and develop Samatha, but lately I have tried to develop my wise attention on everyday activities, trying to see things as they are :? :?
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Re: How many hours a week do you meditate?

Postby jcsuperstar » Wed Feb 11, 2009 10:45 am

i sit when i sit, i've let go of beating myslef up and feeling uilty if i dont sit everyday, that defeats the purpose of trying to end suffering....

when i sit i lite insense for however long it burns i sit
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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: How many hours a week do you meditate?

Postby Danny » Sat Feb 21, 2009 3:24 pm

30 to 45 minutes in the morning and the same in the evening, I try to keep them 12 hours apart.
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