How long do you meditate for?

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Yogavajra
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How long do you meditate for?

Post by Yogavajra » Tue Feb 16, 2016 9:51 am

Hello,

I am curious how long you spend on meditating? I come from a different tradition and we would normally sit for an hour or more. I have sat with some Tibetan schools and they seem to dedicate a lot less time to meditating. Why is that?

Kind regards,

Yogavajra

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Re: How long do you meditate for?

Post by Ayu » Tue Feb 16, 2016 11:31 am

Most probably because "meditating" must not be synonymous for "sitting". Practice could be done also while walking, traveling, working...
That's why I couldn't tell how long I meditate daily. Sometimes I sit twice a day for nearly one hour each - and spent only 10 minutes of this in real meditation. Or I'm busy the whole day but was quite present in my meditation. It depends on the blessing and the mindfulness, I think.
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Re: How long do you meditate for?

Post by Wayfarer » Tue Feb 16, 2016 11:52 am

Sit 30 min daily. Can do 45 at a stretch. 60 is out of range at this point.
Only practice with no gaining idea ~ Suzuki Roshi

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Re: How long do you meditate for?

Post by philji » Tue Feb 16, 2016 12:42 pm

1 min session repeated 60 times... Short times many times...This is as instructed by my teacher.

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Re: How long do you meditate for?

Post by heart » Tue Feb 16, 2016 1:06 pm

Yogavajra wrote:Hello,

I am curious how long you spend on meditating? I come from a different tradition and we would normally sit for an hour or more. I have sat with some Tibetan schools and they seem to dedicate a lot less time to meditating. Why is that?

Kind regards,

Yogavajra
About 3 hours in sitting meditation, but as others have mentioned practice should be something you try to do all day long (and night). In the Tibetan tradition doing sadhana and mantra recitation is also meditation and we do that a lot. :smile:

/magnus
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"The principal practice is Guruyoga. But we need to understand that any secondary practice combined with Guruyoga becomes a principal practice." ChNNR (Teachings on Thun and Ganapuja)

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Re: How long do you meditate for?

Post by ngodrup » Tue Feb 16, 2016 5:41 pm

Dungse Thinley Norbu Rinpoche put it so nicely.
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Re: How long do you meditate for?

Post by heart » Tue Feb 16, 2016 6:16 pm

ngodrup wrote:Dungse Thinley Norbu Rinpoche put it so nicely.
Should perhaps be put in contrast to the amount of practice (a lot I been told) his students actually did. :smile:

/magnus
"We are all here to help each other go through this thing, whatever it is."
~Kurt Vonnegut

"The principal practice is Guruyoga. But we need to understand that any secondary practice combined with Guruyoga becomes a principal practice." ChNNR (Teachings on Thun and Ganapuja)

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Re: How long do you meditate for?

Post by dzogchungpa » Tue Feb 16, 2016 6:37 pm

heart wrote:
ngodrup wrote:Dungse Thinley Norbu Rinpoche put it so nicely.
Should perhaps be put in contrast to the amount of practice (a lot I been told) his students actually did. :smile:

/magnus
For a little more context here's the preceding paragraph, from "Magic Dance":
We must meditate continuously without impatience and stubborn stupidity, with the guidance of a wisdom teacher or a compassionate spiritual friend who has natural wisdom power and experience about sublime spiritual qualities. We must meditate with skillful means by not hoping to liberate our conceptions immediately or to reach enlightenment immediately. It is also not necessary to hope that one day far in the future, through patience or intelligence in our meditation, we may reach enlightenment. We must not calculate future or immediate time in our meditation. This expectation only makes us hysterical. If we expect enlightenment right now, then enlightenment goes farther and farther away. If we assume that enlightenment is far away, then again we create far away conceptions and enlightenment goes farther and farther away. These calculations create distance, time and boundaries.
There is not only nothingness because there is always, and always can manifest. - Thinley Norbu Rinpoche

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Re: How long do you meditate for?

Post by conebeckham » Tue Feb 16, 2016 6:49 pm

In the Tibetan traditions there are many methods, and various methods of silent sitting may not be stressed, though there are a variety of techniques which could be called "silent sitting." Group practices don't usually involve a lot of silent sitting, at least in most lineages--this is more of a personal, solitary practice. Most Tibetan group practices are liturgical and ritual in nature, with only short moments of silent meditation. At many Kagyu centers, the center's daily Chenrezig Puja involves a period, say 10 minutes, of silent practice, and there are a variety of mental techniques employed during that period, but it will appear to an outsider that the remaining hour of that "service" is liturgical or ritual, prayer oriented, etc., in nature. In fact, it's all meditation.

There are some Tibetan tradition practitioners, however, who do maintain a silent sitting practice as their main method.
དམ་པའི་དོན་ནི་ཤེས་རབ་ཆེ་བ་དང་།
རྟོག་གེའི་ཡུལ་མིན་བླ་མའི་བྱིན་རླབས་དང་།
སྐལ་ལྡན་ལས་འཕྲོ་ཅན་གྱིས་རྟོགས་པ་སྟེ།
དེ་ནི་ཤེས་རབ་ལ་ནི་ལོ་རྟོག་སེལ།།


"Absolute Truth is not an object of analytical discourse or great discriminating wisdom,
It is realized through the blessing grace of the Guru and fortunate Karmic potential.
Like this, mistaken ideas of discriminating wisdom are clarified."
- (Kyabje Bokar Rinpoche, from his summary of "The Ocean of Definitive Meaning")

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Re: How long do you meditate for?

Post by Vasana » Tue Feb 16, 2016 7:04 pm

A session of twenty-four minutes is a good starting interval; for most people, it is neither too short nor too long ... and this is the session duration that the eighth-century Indian Buddhist contemplative Kamalashila recommended for begining meditators.

(Minding Closely: The Four Applications of Mindfulness By B. Alan Wallace p.33)

"Is there an established length of meditation sessions, specified in terms of “The mind is tied to the object and placed for just this long?” The major texts such as Śrāvaka Levels do not seem to clearly uphold an established length. However, in Stages of Meditation III it says:

Like that, gradually, you should sit for twenty-four minutes, one and a half hours, three hours, or as long as you can.

Apparently this was set forth in the context of the established length of meditation sessions for special insight meditation after calm abiding has already been accomplished, but in the context of initially practicing calm abiding it is evidently similar.

In the Lam Rim bring ba, Philip Quarcoo's footnotes specify:

Twenty-four minutes is one chu tshod, a unit based on traditional Indian time measurement and used in the Abhidharma. It is equivalent to one out of 60 parts of a day

One and a half hours, in Tibetan thun phyed, literally “half a night watch.”

Three hours, in Tibetan thun gcig, literally “one night watch”—common measure for a full meditation session.


source; http://buddhism.stackexchange.com/quest ... n-duration

"For example, the duration of a practice is called a tun (thun), which means "limited time". In all the traditions or schools ,when one does a personal retreat one does from 3 to 6 tuns a day. There are intervals between the tuns, to meet people, eat ,etc. Practice during retreat can consist of recitation of mantra, of shiné, of transformation into a deity, or of some kind of purification, or even of something higher such as contemplation*, but there is always the concept of tun, of limited period of practice. What a practitioner has to realize in Dzogchen is what is called "beyond tun" or the "great tun". "Great tun" refers to our whole life. Everything we do: eat, sleep,walk,talk etc, has to enter into the tun." - Chogyal Namkhai Norbu rinpoche
The concept of continuously sustained mindfulness/meditation is also present at the level of the sutra. Usually mentioned in relation to the four times of sitting,walking,laying down, eating.
“Again, bhikkhus, when walking, a bhikkhu is aware and knows: "the body is walking"; when standing, he is aware and knows: "the body is standing"; when sitting, he is aware and knows: "the body is sitting"; when lying down, he is aware and knows: "the body is lying down"; or he is aware and knows accordingly however his body is disposed. Again, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu is one who acts in full awareness when going forward and returning; who acts in full awareness when looking ahead and looking away; who acts in full awareness when flexing and extending his limbs; who acts in full awareness when wearing his robes and carrying his outer robe and bowl; who acts in full awareness when eating, drinking, consuming food, and tasting; who acts in full awareness when defecating and urinating; who acts in full
awareness when walking, standing, sitting, falling asleep, waking up, talking, and keeping silent. In this way he abides knowing and understanding the body as a body internally, externally, and both internally and externally . . . And he abides independent, not clinging to anything in the world. That is how a bhikkhu abides knowing and understanding the body as a body.”
-

From the "Satipatthana Sutta"
Sustaining mediation/awareness + lucidity during sleep and dream applies at the level of Vajrayana, however, anyone can aim to incorporate their sleep and dreams into meditative practice, since we're alseep for around a third of our lives.
'When alone, watch your mind. When with others, watch your speech'- Old Kadampa saying.

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Re: How long do you meditate for?

Post by Tigersnest » Wed Feb 17, 2016 9:05 am

Yes 24 minutes is the sweet spot :heart:

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Re: How long do you meditate for?

Post by Ivo » Wed Feb 17, 2016 5:01 pm

All the Dharma friends I know usually never do less than 2-3 hours of sitting practice per day, often more. I have never done less than that either, with long periods (spanning years) of 5+ hours/day, this is outside of retreat of course. In retreat 15+ hours/day sitting not counting he night practices. A 12 yo. boy I am taking care of now does consistently 5 hours of sitting sadhana practice per day, not counting the trulkhor sessions and the like, without anyone requiring him to do that. So it really depends on what one is accustomed to from the beginning. If one does 30 minutes, then an hour seems long. If one starts with several hours from the beginning, then 30 minutes seems like a joke. My teachers insisted on 5 hours of sitting practice from the moment I started practicing (I was still a teenager), and this was the norm for me for years, to the point that it became impossible to skip it. Habits...

Sitting practice is not indispensable but it is often excuses which get in the way, not actual inability to do that. I have seen people do 5 hours of ngondro practice per day while studying and working at two jobs. It's all about priorities really. One can of course just integrate without much sitting practice, but people with such capacity seem very, very rare. I remember H.H. Chogye Trichen Rinpoche while he was still alive, old and with fragile health, he used to do about 20 hours of sitting practice basically until he died. Sakya of course has it's unique requirements in this regard. But all the teachers I studied with do a lot of sitting practice every single day, many hours per day, and none of them really needs it. They are all Dzogchen practitioners. Dzogchen or no Dzogchen, sitting practice is a better way to spend your time. If Dzogchen is present, why would it be a problem? If Dzogchen is not present... well, some sitting practice can get you there :tongue:

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Re: How long do you meditate for?

Post by dzogchungpa » Wed Feb 17, 2016 7:06 pm

Ivo, I'm not sure that the OP would consider sadhana style practice to be "sitting practice" exactly.
There is not only nothingness because there is always, and always can manifest. - Thinley Norbu Rinpoche

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Re: How long do you meditate for?

Post by heart » Wed Feb 17, 2016 8:38 pm

dzogchungpa wrote:Ivo, I'm not sure that the OP would consider sadhana style practice to be "sitting practice" exactly.
Like I tried to say before, he is misstaken on that account.

/magnus
"We are all here to help each other go through this thing, whatever it is."
~Kurt Vonnegut

"The principal practice is Guruyoga. But we need to understand that any secondary practice combined with Guruyoga becomes a principal practice." ChNNR (Teachings on Thun and Ganapuja)

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Re: How long do you meditate for?

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Wed Feb 17, 2016 9:11 pm

Believing that only sitting is proof that meditation is going on, is to have a very limited idea of what meditation actually is.

People can sit forever without meditating anyway (and not in the good way)...I know I have,
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Re: How long do you meditate for?

Post by Ayu » Wed Feb 17, 2016 9:55 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:Believing that only sitting is proof that meditation is going on, is to have a very limited idea of what meditation actually is.

People can sit forever without meditating anyway (and not in the good way)...I know I have,
:good: Agreed.
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Re: How long do you meditate for?

Post by Ivo » Thu Feb 18, 2016 12:22 am

dzogchungpa wrote:Ivo, I'm not sure that the OP would consider sadhana style practice to be "sitting practice" exactly.
Oh... now I see :smile: :smile: Sorry for that. Conditioning and all... :smile:
Johnny Dangerous wrote:People can sit forever without meditating anyway (and not in the good way)...
:good:

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Re: How long do you meditate for?

Post by Yogavajra » Thu Feb 18, 2016 10:43 am

heart wrote:
dzogchungpa wrote:Ivo, I'm not sure that the OP would consider sadhana style practice to be "sitting practice" exactly.
Like I tried to say before, he is misstaken on that account.

/magnus
Well, I guess by 'meditation practice' I am referring to that introspective practice that involves sitting and turning your attention to that other than being stimulated. So whether its Vipassana (Goenka style maybe), Jhana, Anapanasati, Shikantaza, Mahamudra etc etc...

I don't suppose I do equate chanting and reciting sutras/pujas and so on as meditation - I'd consider them totally valid but not meditating.

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Re: How long do you meditate for?

Post by heart » Thu Feb 18, 2016 11:32 am

Yogavajra wrote:
heart wrote:
dzogchungpa wrote:Ivo, I'm not sure that the OP would consider sadhana style practice to be "sitting practice" exactly.
Like I tried to say before, he is misstaken on that account.

/magnus
Well, I guess by 'meditation practice' I am referring to that introspective practice that involves sitting and turning your attention to that other than being stimulated. So whether its Vipassana (Goenka style maybe), Jhana, Anapanasati, Shikantaza, Mahamudra etc etc...

I don't suppose I do equate chanting and reciting sutras/pujas and so on as meditation - I'd consider them totally valid but not meditating.
This is just because you don't have enough information on the subject, in many ways Tantric meditations are superior to "just sitting".

/magnus
"We are all here to help each other go through this thing, whatever it is."
~Kurt Vonnegut

"The principal practice is Guruyoga. But we need to understand that any secondary practice combined with Guruyoga becomes a principal practice." ChNNR (Teachings on Thun and Ganapuja)

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Re: How long do you meditate for?

Post by pothigai » Thu Feb 18, 2016 11:38 am

At the moment, far too little.

Generally I try to get into a routine of 30 minutes in the morning and evening.
ہستی اپنی حباب کی سی ہے
یہ نمائش سراب کی سی ہے

hasti apni habaab ki si hai
yeh numaaish saraab ki si hai

Like a bubble is your existence
This display is like an illusion

- Mir Taqi Mir (1725-1810)

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