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Difficulty jumping to multi-hour sitting - Dhamma Wheel

Difficulty jumping to multi-hour sitting

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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logidelic
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Location: Montreal

Difficulty jumping to multi-hour sitting

Postby logidelic » Tue May 10, 2011 2:31 pm

Hi all,

I've been meditating (breath-based) daily for about a year now. I started off small and gradually increased to 30 minutes, 45 minutes, and finally one hour sitting sessions every day, for about the past month. (Sometimes augmented with 30 minutes more when my wife gets home from work.) These sessions have been good. As I've increased the time of the sitting, I feel that I've been able to go deeper (calmer mind, greater mindfulness, funky feelings (piti?), etc.)

This past weekend I decided that I wanted to try sitting for a few hours. I set my timer for three hours as a start. It didn't go well. Past the one hour mark, I was more restless than usual (possibly because I was in pain at various points), and couldn't really stay with it. I made it through the full three hours, but I actually felt pretty bad after that. There was a backlash of non-mindfulness for the rest of the weekend. Woops.

Perhaps my problem was too much confidence (expectation) because my daily meditations had been good. Going into the three hour sit, I told myself that I had no expectations, but it would have been nice to emerge a Buddha... :P Anyway, I'm concerned because I'd like to go on a meditation retreat eventually, and I'm worried that I won't be able to do it. Any suggestions for increasing sit time? Should I just let go of my expectations and reattempt it? Should I wait and stick with my daily meditations until my mindfulness is strengthened further?

Thanks.

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effort
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Re: Difficulty jumping to multi-hour sitting

Postby effort » Tue May 10, 2011 2:58 pm

in thailand, usually they ask you do not sit for more that an hour, and try to do walking meditation also, maybe this is for beginners but honestly it is hard to sit for one hour!!! :juggling:

but in geonka retreats they sit more that one hour

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bodom
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Re: Difficulty jumping to multi-hour sitting

Postby bodom » Tue May 10, 2011 3:39 pm

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/

David2
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Joined: Tue Mar 15, 2011 6:09 pm
Location: Germany

Re: Difficulty jumping to multi-hour sitting

Postby David2 » Tue May 10, 2011 5:14 pm


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Goofaholix
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Location: New Zealand

Re: Difficulty jumping to multi-hour sitting

Postby Goofaholix » Tue May 10, 2011 7:42 pm

I think it's pretty uncommon to sit for more than an hour at a time. Most retreats will have sittings up to an hour alternating with walking meditation or breaks and doing it that way people can meditate for 8-14 hours per day on retreat.

I'm guessing you haven't done any retreats, that would be a better way to push your boundaries than what you've attempted.

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cooran
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Re: Difficulty jumping to multi-hour sitting

Postby cooran » Tue May 10, 2011 8:45 pm

The Retreat I'm going on in a couple of days will be for 18 days - after the first three days of alternating sitting and walking meditation every 45 - 60 minutes, the schedule reverts to making your own decisions about how long to walk and when to alternate -- apart from the practice talk in the morning and the dhamma talk at night. I find I end up doing more walking meditation than sitting.

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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logidelic
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Location: Montreal

Re: Difficulty jumping to multi-hour sitting

Postby logidelic » Tue May 10, 2011 9:25 pm

Excellent, thank you so much to all for the replies. I've shown my ignorance by the question clearly, but this is how we learn...

Therefore, I'm wondering if someone could point me to some good walking meditation instructions.

Thanks!

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cooran
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Location: Queensland, Australia

Re: Difficulty jumping to multi-hour sitting

Postby cooran » Tue May 10, 2011 9:39 pm

Hello logidelic,

This ought to be a good start:

Technique in Walking Meditation
http://www.buddhanet.net/xmed7.htm

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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bodom
Posts: 5713
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2009 6:18 pm
Location: San Antonio, Texas

Re: Difficulty jumping to multi-hour sitting

Postby bodom » Tue May 10, 2011 10:52 pm

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/

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logidelic
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Apr 22, 2011 5:57 pm
Location: Montreal

Re: Difficulty jumping to multi-hour sitting

Postby logidelic » Wed May 11, 2011 2:11 pm

Thanks again. Is there a general opinion about the value of noting the parts of the steps (as per the instructions linked to by cooran, vs. those linked to by bodom)? Putting my awareness into my feet is no problem, but noting the different phases of the steps seems difficult to achieve... Is it necessary?

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mikenz66
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Location: New Zealand

Re: Difficulty jumping to multi-hour sitting

Postby mikenz66 » Wed May 11, 2011 9:10 pm


rowyourboat
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Location: London, UK

Re: Difficulty jumping to multi-hour sitting

Postby rowyourboat » Wed May 11, 2011 9:48 pm

Noting different points of the walking process will help you be more mindful and develop concentration more. This is the point of the meditation practice.

With effort comes mindfulness, with mindfulness comes tranquility/concentration of mind, with concentration cones insight, with insight cones Buddhahood!

With metta
With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha

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logidelic
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Apr 22, 2011 5:57 pm
Location: Montreal

Re: Difficulty jumping to multi-hour sitting

Postby logidelic » Wed May 11, 2011 9:55 pm

I just realized that Ajahn Brahm's Mindfulness, Bliss, And Beyond has some walking meditation instructions, so I think I'll just start with those. I've been meaning to re-read that book anyway. :)

Thanks all.

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bodom
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Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2009 6:18 pm
Location: San Antonio, Texas

Re: Difficulty jumping to multi-hour sitting

Postby bodom » Wed May 11, 2011 10:10 pm

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/

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mikenz66
Posts: 14947
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: Difficulty jumping to multi-hour sitting

Postby mikenz66 » Wed May 11, 2011 10:54 pm

I agree. If you're using Ajahn Brahm's approach then using his walking instructions would be the sensible thing to do at this point.

:anjali:
Mike


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