How long for actual Meditation...?

Moderator: Tibetan Buddhism moderators

How long for actual Meditation...?

Postby beautiful breath » Tue Sep 04, 2012 9:53 am

I asked this recently on another forum. My Theravada friends actually meditate for often over an hour - wheras my Tibetan Buddhist friends split their practice into say 20mins prayers - 15mins actual meditation - 15mins closing prayers.

Does this meant that we are not spending enough time actually meditating?

BB....
User avatar
beautiful breath
 
Posts: 85
Joined: Fri May 06, 2011 11:00 am

Re: How long for actual Meditation...?

Postby dharmagoat » Tue Sep 04, 2012 7:10 pm

beautiful breath wrote:I asked this recently on another forum. My Theravada friends actually meditate for often over an hour - wheras my Tibetan Buddhist friends split their practice into say 20mins prayers - 15mins actual meditation - 15mins closing prayers.

Does this meant that we are not spending enough time actually meditating?

This was one of my concerns when I was practicing Vajrayāna before returning to Zen. My conclusion was that the 50 minutes are better spent in silent meditation.
User avatar
dharmagoat
 
Posts: 993
Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2009 8:39 pm

Re: How long for actual Meditation...?

Postby blackpath » Tue Sep 04, 2012 8:03 pm

beautiful breath wrote:I asked this recently on another forum. My Theravada friends actually meditate for often over an hour - wheras my Tibetan Buddhist friends split their practice into say 20mins prayers - 15mins actual meditation - 15mins closing prayers.

Does this meant that we are not spending enough time actually meditating?


Excellent question.

The first thing to look at is that even the end goal in Theravada and Tibetan Buddhist (Vajrayana) is the same, each is a distinct path with its own strategy, goals, methods, and objectives along its path.

Theravada, based on the Sutra teachings--takes renunciation as its primary strategy. You examine cause and effect and look to eliminate the cause of negative results. Very straightforward--and lots of calmness and insight meditation to do.

Vajrayana, takes into account Sutra, as well as Mahayana text and tantras. Here the primary strategy is transformation--visualization, recitation of mantras, and uses methods of working with energy. The teacher takes on a central and important role in this path, and there are other practices to do besides calmness and insight meditation.

Ati-yoga, or self-liberation is concerned with directly discovering your own nature (rigpa) as its strategy, as uses direct introduction by a teacher, and have other types of practices yet.

So to the question of whether one is spending enough time meditating, the answer is dependent on the path you are following, and on the particular guidelines set out by the teacher in each case.

The different paths are there to fit the various needs, interests, and capacities, as people are different.
blackpath
 
Posts: 20
Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2012 10:44 pm

Re: How long for actual Meditation...?

Postby pemachophel » Tue Sep 04, 2012 11:14 pm

This question assumes that actual meditation is the practice of silence and stillness. That may be true in some forms of Buddhism, but it is not true in general in Tibetan Buddhism. In Tibetan Buddhism, reciting a sadhana along with its accompanying visualizations and an understanding of emptiness are considered just as much meditation as sitting quietly in stillness. The idea that meditation is, ipso facto, sitting quietly in stillness is a common misconception of Westerners. Of course, if that is one's belief, then Tibetan Buddhism will appear to place less emphasis on "meditation" than some other types of Buddhism. However, from the Tibetan Buddhist POV, that's not true. It all depends on your definition of meditation. :namaste:
Pema Chophel པདྨ་ཆོས་འཕེལ
pemachophel
 
Posts: 537
Joined: Sat Dec 25, 2010 9:19 pm
Location: Lafayette, CO

Re: How long for actual Meditation...?

Postby SSJ3Gogeta » Tue Sep 04, 2012 11:23 pm

From the Vajrayana POV, trul khor, tummo, karmamudra etc. is better than contrived meditation.
SSJ3Gogeta
 
Posts: 189
Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2012 3:26 am

Re: How long for actual Meditation...?

Postby dharmagoat » Wed Sep 05, 2012 2:17 am

pemachophel wrote:It all depends on your definition of meditation.

What was the Buddha's definition of meditation?
User avatar
dharmagoat
 
Posts: 993
Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2009 8:39 pm

Re: How long for actual Meditation...?

Postby ngodrup » Wed Sep 05, 2012 3:33 am

dharmagoat wrote:
pemachophel wrote:It all depends on your definition of meditation.

What was the Buddha's definition of meditation?


Gom. Tibetan. Verb. To get used to, to familiarize one's self.

Indeed, chanting and visualizing for 3 hours *is* meditation.

And, shamata, vipassana are what such practices as Tong-len, inquiry
into the nature of self and phenomena and deity yoga are in their respective contexts.
ngodrup
 
Posts: 479
Joined: Wed Dec 15, 2010 6:58 pm

Re: How long for actual Meditation...?

Postby viniketa » Wed Sep 05, 2012 5:11 am

dharmagoat wrote:What was the Buddha's definition of meditation?


Well, we can only make an educated guess about what language he spoke, but most scholars agree it was some form of spoken Pakrit. In Pali, it might be adhicitta, anujhāna, upanijhāna, kasiṇajhāna, plus a whole list of others...

As to the OP, meditation can encompass a lot of activities done with right attitude, awareness, and mindfulness -- including just normal everyday-living type of stuff. Meditation to calm the mind is only part of it. Adjust your own practice to the activities that most help you reduce stress and see life with clarity.

:namaste:
If they can sever like and dislike, along with greed, anger, and delusion, regardless of their difference in nature, they will all accomplish the Buddha Path.. ~ Sutra of Complete Enlightenment
User avatar
viniketa
 
Posts: 819
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2012 2:39 am
Location: USA

Re: How long for actual Meditation...?

Postby dharmagoat » Wed Sep 05, 2012 5:28 am

viniketa wrote:Meditation to calm the mind is only part of it. Adjust your own practice to the activities that most help you reduce stress and see life with clarity.

Though expect some initial stress as you learn to calm your mind. Even for those that become expert there is always a fine line between too much exertion and too little. Calmness of mind can be achieved relatively easily, but clarity requires some work.
User avatar
dharmagoat
 
Posts: 993
Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2009 8:39 pm

Re: How long for actual Meditation...?

Postby beautiful breath » Wed Sep 05, 2012 11:32 am

Hmm, see I cannot help but think that there is no substitue for silent meditation (for want of a better description). Mantra, Yantra, Bells and Mudras seem to give me more to think abut rather than the opportunity to experience my mind. It feels a little like putting more furniture in the prison cell....thoughts?

BB...
User avatar
beautiful breath
 
Posts: 85
Joined: Fri May 06, 2011 11:00 am

Re: How long for actual Meditation...?

Postby futerko » Wed Sep 05, 2012 1:03 pm

beautiful breath wrote:Hmm, see I cannot help but think that there is no substitue for silent meditation (for want of a better description). Mantra, Yantra, Bells and Mudras seem to give me more to think abut rather than the opportunity to experience my mind. It feels a little like putting more furniture in the prison cell....thoughts?

BB...


I think your metaphor of a prison cell suggests you are drawing a line between inside and outside with the idea of your mind being somehow empty with all worldly phenomena outside.

This can be useful up to a point, but it can also be limiting.
we cannot get rid of God because we still believe in grammar - Nietzsche
User avatar
futerko
 
Posts: 993
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2012 5:58 am

Re: How long for actual Meditation...?

Postby heart » Wed Sep 05, 2012 1:39 pm

beautiful breath wrote:I asked this recently on another forum. My Theravada friends actually meditate for often over an hour - wheras my Tibetan Buddhist friends split their practice into say 20mins prayers - 15mins actual meditation - 15mins closing prayers.

Does this meant that we are not spending enough time actually meditating?

BB....


One special point in Vajrayana is that prayers are a part of your meditation. You probably will not understand this, but the clue is using visualization. If you don't understand how visualization can be considered meditation that might be because you know to little about meditation in a Vajrayana context. There is a lot to learn, both in a practical and theoretical way, if you are serious about Vajrayana.

/magnus
"To reject practice by saying, 'it is conceptual!' is the path of fools. A tendency of the inexperienced and something to be avoided."
- Longchenpa
User avatar
heart
 
Posts: 2938
Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2010 1:55 pm

Re: How long for actual Meditation...?

Postby conebeckham » Wed Sep 05, 2012 3:40 pm

beautiful breath wrote:Hmm, see I cannot help but think that there is no substitue for silent meditation (for want of a better description). Mantra, Yantra, Bells and Mudras seem to give me more to think abut rather than the opportunity to experience my mind. It feels a little like putting more furniture in the prison cell....thoughts?

BB...

When are you NOT experiencing your mind?
May any merit generated by on-line discussion
Be dedicated to the Ultimate Benefit of All Sentient Beings.
User avatar
conebeckham
 
Posts: 2469
Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:49 pm
Location: Bay Area, CA, USA

Re: How long for actual Meditation...?

Postby SSJ3Gogeta » Wed Sep 05, 2012 5:04 pm

beautiful breath wrote:Hmm, see I cannot help but think that there is no substitue for silent meditation (for want of a better description). Mantra, Yantra, Bells and Mudras seem to give me more to think abut rather than the opportunity to experience my mind. It feels a little like putting more furniture in the prison cell....thoughts?

BB...



Mind is merely vayu.

Thats why trul khor and tsa lung are superior to meditation.
SSJ3Gogeta
 
Posts: 189
Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2012 3:26 am

Re: How long for actual Meditation...?

Postby conebeckham » Wed Sep 05, 2012 5:06 pm

SSJ3Gogeta wrote:
Mind is merely vayu.

Thats why trul khor and tsa lung are superior to meditation.


For everybody? Really? Wow.

Can we avoid these kinds of "superior" statements?
May any merit generated by on-line discussion
Be dedicated to the Ultimate Benefit of All Sentient Beings.
User avatar
conebeckham
 
Posts: 2469
Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:49 pm
Location: Bay Area, CA, USA

Re: How long for actual Meditation...?

Postby conebeckham » Wed Sep 05, 2012 5:10 pm

Even in Vajrayana, tsalung and trulkhor are not superior for everyone.
May any merit generated by on-line discussion
Be dedicated to the Ultimate Benefit of All Sentient Beings.
User avatar
conebeckham
 
Posts: 2469
Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:49 pm
Location: Bay Area, CA, USA

Re: How long for actual Meditation...?

Postby heart » Thu Sep 06, 2012 9:07 am

SSJ3Gogeta wrote:
beautiful breath wrote:Hmm, see I cannot help but think that there is no substitue for silent meditation (for want of a better description). Mantra, Yantra, Bells and Mudras seem to give me more to think abut rather than the opportunity to experience my mind. It feels a little like putting more furniture in the prison cell....thoughts?

BB...



Mind is merely vayu.

Thats why trul khor and tsa lung are superior to meditation.


So you think the body or the mind is primary? Does the body comes from the mind or is it the other way around?

/magnus
"To reject practice by saying, 'it is conceptual!' is the path of fools. A tendency of the inexperienced and something to be avoided."
- Longchenpa
User avatar
heart
 
Posts: 2938
Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2010 1:55 pm

Re: How long for actual Meditation...?

Postby Yudron » Thu Sep 06, 2012 11:18 am

Dear Beautiful Breath,

When I started out I did silent sitting Shamata and Vipassana meditation, then I too was surprized when I took a Tibetan teacher and more of my time was initially spent on other things. It think it is good you are questioning this, because just doing a practice and not understanding why you are doing it is probably a loosing proposition over the long run. In other words, you need a little education and an opportunity to ask a lots of questions.

First of all, each lineage of Tibetan Buddhism there is a sequence of practices one does. This can either be standard or individually prescribed to you by a meditation master. This sequence is designed to expedite your progress. For example, initially there may be "mind-training" practices, contemplations to help one become stable in one's determination to apply oneself to practice in this life. These might lead to the practice of taking refuge in the Buddha--not just mouthing words, but from the bottom of your heart. Having really taken refuge, then one really needs to make a decision that point of one's future enlightenment is to benefit everyone, not only one's self, and so one generates Bodhicitta and comes to understand a little about the Mahayana, etc.. etc.. At some point, formless silent sitting practice may be the most important thing for you to do, but it is the wisdom of 1,000 year tradition that to sequence these practices is more valuable than just sitting sitting sitting.

There are differences between lineages. In some lineages, such as the Gelugpa and some Kagyupa traditions, stabilizing calm abiding silent meditation is emphasized, before going on to the Mahamudra meditation that can take you to enlightenment. In the Nyingma lineage, we generally touch on calm abiding (shamatha) meditation only briefly, generally feeling it has limited utility because tranquility really does not move one toward liberation.

So, take some classes at whatever center you are at, and learn the rationale behind the practices they do, and the progression of practices. Eventually, knowing these things will help you select a lama who can guide you, and also to evaluate your own progress the path. Pick a lama based on his or her capacity as a meditation master rather than academic credentials.
Yudron
 
Posts: 1052
Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2012 8:55 pm
Location: Sunny California

Re: How long for actual Meditation...?

Postby Music » Thu Sep 06, 2012 4:43 pm

SSJ3Gogeta wrote:
beautiful breath wrote:Hmm, see I cannot help but think that there is no substitue for silent meditation (for want of a better description). Mantra, Yantra, Bells and Mudras seem to give me more to think abut rather than the opportunity to experience my mind. It feels a little like putting more furniture in the prison cell....thoughts?

BB...



Mind is merely vayu.

Thats why trul khor and tsa lung are superior to meditation.


Could you explain this? What's tsa lung?
Music
 
Posts: 65
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2012 6:43 pm
Location: India

Re: How long for actual Meditation...?

Postby heart » Thu Sep 06, 2012 8:38 pm

listen to your own Guru SSJ3Gogeta http://video.buddhistdoor.com/movie/pla ... w_eng/1332

/magnus
"To reject practice by saying, 'it is conceptual!' is the path of fools. A tendency of the inexperienced and something to be avoided."
- Longchenpa
User avatar
heart
 
Posts: 2938
Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2010 1:55 pm

Next

Return to Gelug

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests

>