Meditation without timers

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.
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Dhammakid
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Meditation without timers

Post by Dhammakid »

Hey everyone,
Because I'm am currently without an audio device to use during sits, it's hard for me to know when my designated 15 or 30 minutes have elapsed. I have a computer at home but it's not mine, for one, and it's a desktop and it's located on the first floor in our office - so I can't bring it upstairs to my room where I practice.

I have an alarm clock, but I'm not looking forward to coming out of meditation with the harsh sounds of a buzzer (though I guess I could set it to sound NPR's classical music at a low volume...)

Any advice besides the alarm clock?

Thanks.

:anjali:
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Re: Meditation without timers

Post by Reductor »

?? You don't have a cell phone?? Every phone I've ever seen has an alarm clock with an adjustable ring.

Failing that, get an egg/kitchen timer. I don't know if you guys have dollar stores, but the local dollar store up here sells those things for a buck-fifty.
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Dhammakid
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Re: Meditation without timers

Post by Dhammakid »

I do believe there are a couple unused cell phones in the house, though I doubt they're charged. I'll have to see if I can find a charger.

The kitchen timer is a good idea.

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PaulGar
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Re: Meditation without timers

Post by PaulGar »

I know a lot of monks will meditate for the time it takes a joss stick to burn. This is probably an imprecise measurement tool, but it seems to work for a lot of people.
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Re: Meditation without timers

Post by unspoken »

PaulGar wrote:I know a lot of monks will meditate for the time it takes a joss stick to burn. This is probably an imprecise measurement tool, but it seems to work for a lot of people.
Actually... how do they know when the joss stick is finished burning when they close their eyes during meditation?
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bodom
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Re: Meditation without timers

Post by bodom »

unspoken wrote:
PaulGar wrote:I know a lot of monks will meditate for the time it takes a joss stick to burn. This is probably an imprecise measurement tool, but it seems to work for a lot of people.
Actually... how do they know when the joss stick is finished burning when they close their eyes during meditation?
Well not everyone closes there eyes during sitting meditation.

:namaste:
This is our foundation: to have sati, recollection, and sampajañña, self-awareness, whether standing, walking, sitting, or reclining. Whatever arises, just leave it be, don’t cling to it. Whether it’s like or dislike, happiness or suffering, doubt or certainty... Don’t try to label everything, just know it. See that all the things that arise in the mind are simply sensations. They are transient. They arise, exist and cease. That’s all there is to them, they have no self or being, they are neither ‘us’ nor ‘them’. None of them are worthy of clinging to.

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cooran
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Re: Meditation without timers

Post by cooran »

Hello all,

It would be a personal choice as to what is most useful and least disturbing to concentration.

I couldn't use the joss stick - even with eyes half open, I'd be continually glancing at it in an ''are we there yet? are we there yet?'' fashion. For others, this might not be a problem at all.

with metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
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Dhammakid
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Re: Meditation without timers

Post by Dhammakid »

Hmm... not sure what kind of distraction joss sticks would be for me. Guess I'll only know if I try. I usually meditate with eyes closed since I can't seem to actually keep them open when I try.

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Re: Meditation without timers

Post by mikenz66 »

Dhammakid wrote:Hmm... not sure what kind of distraction joss sticks would be for me.
For me it would be the smell, the possibly toxic fumes, and the worry that my house might burn down...

Personally, I prefer to only use incense in well-ventilated, open, non-flammable spaces. This sort of space can be found in some Asian houses, but my house isn't such a space so I only burn incense inside my house special occasions...

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Dhammakid
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Re: Meditation without timers

Post by Dhammakid »

mikenz66 wrote:
Dhammakid wrote:Hmm... not sure what kind of distraction joss sticks would be for me.
For me it would be the smell, the possibly toxic fumes, and the worry that my house might burn down...

Personally, I prefer to only use incense in well-ventilated, open, non-flammable spaces. This sort of space can be found in some Asian houses, but my house isn't such a space so I only burn incense inside my house special occasions...

:anjali:
Mike
Haha, yeah those are legitimate concerns. I would be so worried that I wouldn't really meditate.

Incense can be toxic?

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mikenz66
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Re: Meditation without timers

Post by mikenz66 »

Dhammakid wrote: Incense can be toxic?
Burning anything produces some toxic stuff. I don't see any reason why incense smoke would be less toxic than smoke from other plant material (such as tobacco). And I understand that cheap incense sticks can contain glues that are much worse than the incense itself.

None of which are a problem in the normal ways that incense is used in Asia, which is usually in quite open areas.

Image

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zavk
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Re: Meditation without timers

Post by zavk »

I don't use a timer these days, but I used to set an audio recording of a Burmese gong in the timer/alarm function of my cellphone. It was nice to end the session with a ring of mindfulness.
With metta,
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Dhammakid
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Re: Meditation without timers

Post by Dhammakid »

Mikenz: Ah, yes, you're right. I like incense whenever I can get a hold of it, but it does get a bit overwhelming if I burn it inside too much.

Zavk: Yeah, I have a cell phone, but I don't have service on it so I don't use it. And somehow I've misplaced my charger for it, so I couldn't even if I wanted. Although I guess I could use a family member's charger for it whenever they aren't using it.

How did you find the gong sound for your cellphone? Can you point me to a link to a download?

I think for now I'll just use my alarm clock - set it to the public radio station on low volume and hope it's not too startling when it goes off at the end of my session.

:anjali:
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Re: Meditation without timers

Post by Spiny O'Norman »

cooran wrote:I couldn't use the joss stick - even with eyes half open, I'd be continually glancing at it in an ''are we there yet? are we there yet?'' fashion. For others, this might not be a problem at all.
I meditate with eyes open and have a clock next to the shrine. But yes, clock watching is sometimes a problem. ;)

Spiny
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octathlon
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Re: Meditation without timers

Post by octathlon »

You can buy special meditation timers, but they seem to be quite expensive for such a simple thing.

I've used a simple digital kitchen timer when I need to time myself and don't want to turn on the computer just for that. I bought it for kitchen use, but it's fine for timing meditation as well. It is not a pleasant sound but it's one that isn't too jarring and is certainly a lot cheaper.
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