How long does one's sadhana typically take?

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How long does one's sadhana typically take?

Postby Jainarayan » Thu Jan 10, 2013 6:02 pm

To me the term sadhana simply means worship or discipline, in just about any form, be it simply offering light, incense, sweets; a round of japa or meditation; and/or prayers of praise, blessings, forgiveness.

I know there are very abbreviated versions, and very long versions. Even Hindu pujas (without meditation or japa) can take anywhere from 2-20 minutes at home and up to 2 hours at temple. Because I say prayers to a multiplicity of deities, both Hindu and Buddhist (Tara, Chenrezig, Manjushri and Medicine Buddha; I'm not empowered), do several japas of 108 repetitions (Avalokiteshvara, Tara, Vishnu, sometimes Shiva), and meditation, I found that my "sadhana" typically takes about an hour. I have a short version in which I offer light, incense, sweets, I say some mantras and a few generic prayers, and maybe a little meditation if I don't feel I can give it "my all". That can take 10-20 mins.

So, I am just wondering how long people generally spend in sadhana.
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Re: How long does one's sadhana typically take?

Postby Seishin » Thu Jan 10, 2013 6:09 pm

Just like you it can differ between minutes to hours. With a 1yr old, any time to practice is precious.

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Re: How long does one's sadhana typically take?

Postby Jainarayan » Thu Jan 10, 2013 6:25 pm

Seishin wrote:Just like you it can differ between minutes to hours. With a 1yr old, any time to practice is precious.

Gassho,
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I guess it is. Thanks. :)
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flawless in manner and intelligent, such one will honor gain. - Digha Nikaya III 273
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Re: How long does one's sadhana typically take?

Postby conebeckham » Thu Jan 10, 2013 6:31 pm

I don't think there's a "typical" answer, frankly. I'm guessing most of us practice for an hour or 90 minutes a session, morning and evening...but some sadhanas can take all day, and some folks' practice focus is "unstructured," with short "sessions" repeated throughout daily life.
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Re: How long does one's sadhana typically take?

Postby Jainarayan » Thu Jan 10, 2013 6:38 pm

Wow, that's interesting to know. So I'm not far off the mark. Sometimes I say the prayers throughout the day also, but mine is almost always in the evening between 8-9 pm. Thanks.
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Re: How long does one's sadhana typically take?

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Thu Jan 10, 2013 6:40 pm

This brings up an interesting question..is there any standard structure to Sadhanas in the first place?

The only commonality i've noticed for sure is of course refuge/bodhicitta and dedication of merit. Are there other standard "layouts" for Sadhana practice? I know the one at our center contains various lineage prayers etc.

I read a book on Chenrezig practice by Thubten Chodron recently, and in I was surprised to find that she seemed to be saying that one's Chenrezig practice might be different day to day, one day maybe the long mantra resonates with you, maybe one day you just do the six syllable mantra and generation...

I wonder what is a golden mean for the effectiveness of ritual, not to loose and not too tight, is there a standard answer to this question, or is it up to the individual? Obviously group sadhanas are typically of a definite structure, but is it normal for individual practice to vary from day to day?
"Just as a lotus does not grow out of a well-levelled soil but from the mire, in the same way the awakening mind
is not born in the hearts of disciples in whom the moisture of attachment has dried up. It grows instead in the hearts of ordinary sentient beings who possess in full the fetters of bondage." -Se Chilbu Choki Gyaltsen
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Re: How long does one's sadhana typically take?

Postby Yudron » Thu Jan 10, 2013 8:45 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:This brings up an interesting question..is there any standard structure to Sadhanas in the first place?

The only commonality i've noticed for sure is of course refuge/bodhicitta and dedication of merit. Are there other standard "layouts" for Sadhana practice? I know the one at our center contains various lineage prayers etc.

I read a book on Chenrezig practice by Thubten Chodron recently, and in I was surprised to find that she seemed to be saying that one's Chenrezig practice might be different day to day, one day maybe the long mantra resonates with you, maybe one day you just do the six syllable mantra and generation...

I wonder what is a golden mean for the effectiveness of ritual, not to loose and not too tight, is there a standard answer to this question, or is it up to the individual? Obviously group sadhanas are typically of a definite structure, but is it normal for individual practice to vary from day to day?


Yes, most sadhanas follow a standard structure.

In answer to your question, "is it up to the individual?" my personal answer would be no. We receive lung, wang, and tri (reading transmission, empowerment and explanatory teachings) from a qualified lama before we practice a sadhana, and then follow the tradition of the lama we received it from. Accomplishment comes from respect and devotion towards the lama, so there is little point in doing our own thing. If we have questions, we can ask the lama or someone designated by him or her to answer questions.
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Re: How long does one's sadhana typically take?

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Thu Jan 10, 2013 11:02 pm

Yudron wrote:
Johnny Dangerous wrote:This brings up an interesting question..is there any standard structure to Sadhanas in the first place?

The only commonality i've noticed for sure is of course refuge/bodhicitta and dedication of merit. Are there other standard "layouts" for Sadhana practice? I know the one at our center contains various lineage prayers etc.

I read a book on Chenrezig practice by Thubten Chodron recently, and in I was surprised to find that she seemed to be saying that one's Chenrezig practice might be different day to day, one day maybe the long mantra resonates with you, maybe one day you just do the six syllable mantra and generation...

I wonder what is a golden mean for the effectiveness of ritual, not to loose and not too tight, is there a standard answer to this question, or is it up to the individual? Obviously group sadhanas are typically of a definite structure, but is it normal for individual practice to vary from day to day?


Yes, most sadhanas follow a standard structure.

In answer to your question, "is it up to the individual?" my personal answer would be no. We receive lung, wang, and tri (reading transmission, empowerment and explanatory teachings) from a qualified lama before we practice a sadhana, and then follow the tradition of the lama we received it from. Accomplishment comes from respect and devotion towards the lama, so there is little point in doing our own thing. If we have questions, we can ask the lama or someone designated by him or her to answer questions.


The book in question wasn't saying to "do your own thing" or to attempt anything without instruction.. it was saying that in terms of personal practice (if i'm reading it right), there were different aspects of the practice that would resonate with you at different times, so some level of openness was reasonable. Again I could have been misread Ven. Thubten Chodrons point, but this was how I intrepreted it - i.e. basically in personal practice it was not required or expected that one do a 90 minutes sadhana the exact same way every time. This is not the same thing as "doing your own thing" without input from a teacher, and that's not really the implication I was aiming for.

Not trying to cause controversy here, but it sort throws me for a loop - some of you guys seem far more stringent about detail than the people who run my center. I even asked the Lama and senior students about doing personal Chenrezig practice, and the answer I got (a 'yes', and some encouraging remarks) was far more laid back ( for lack of a better term) than than what many Vajrayana people told me on here. Of course naturally empowerment is still expected for all but a couple practices etc., but so far every time I have talked to a senior student or the Lama - even on a thing like prostrations the response was far more open-ended, and less restrictive than what many people seem to indicate on here - what gives?

Again not trying to stir stuff up, just new to Vajrayana and wondering how much the culture varies from place to place.
"Just as a lotus does not grow out of a well-levelled soil but from the mire, in the same way the awakening mind
is not born in the hearts of disciples in whom the moisture of attachment has dried up. It grows instead in the hearts of ordinary sentient beings who possess in full the fetters of bondage." -Se Chilbu Choki Gyaltsen
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Re: How long does one's sadhana typically take?

Postby Yudron » Thu Jan 10, 2013 11:32 pm

You're right, that is not the way my lamas approach personal practice. My point is that that doesn't matter, you need only to be in harmony with how the lama you received it from teaches it and have pure view about it. So, I'm not going to say anything positive or negative. Why introduce other ways when they are irrelevant to you, and might only sew the seeds of doubt?

Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Yudron wrote:
Johnny Dangerous wrote:This brings up an interesting question..is there any standard structure to Sadhanas in the first place?

The only commonality i've noticed for sure is of course refuge/bodhicitta and dedication of merit. Are there other standard "layouts" for Sadhana practice? I know the one at our center contains various lineage prayers etc.

I read a book on Chenrezig practice by Thubten Chodron recently, and in I was surprised to find that she seemed to be saying that one's Chenrezig practice might be different day to day, one day maybe the long mantra resonates with you, maybe one day you just do the six syllable mantra and generation...

I wonder what is a golden mean for the effectiveness of ritual, not to loose and not too tight, is there a standard answer to this question, or is it up to the individual? Obviously group sadhanas are typically of a definite structure, but is it normal for individual practice to vary from day to day?


Yes, most sadhanas follow a standard structure.

In answer to your question, "is it up to the individual?" my personal answer would be no. We receive lung, wang, and tri (reading transmission, empowerment and explanatory teachings) from a qualified lama before we practice a sadhana, and then follow the tradition of the lama we received it from. Accomplishment comes from respect and devotion towards the lama, so there is little point in doing our own thing. If we have questions, we can ask the lama or someone designated by him or her to answer questions.


The book in question wasn't saying to "do your own thing" or to attempt anything without instruction.. it was saying that in terms of personal practice (if i'm reading it right), there were different aspects of the practice that would resonate with you at different times, so some level of openness was reasonable. Again I could have been misread Ven. Thubten Chodrons point, but this was how I intrepreted it - i.e. basically in personal practice it was not required or expected that one do a 90 minutes sadhana the exact same way every time. This is not the same thing as "doing your own thing" without input from a teacher, and that's not really the implication I was aiming for.

Not trying to cause controversy here, but it sort throws me for a loop - some of you guys seem far more stringent about detail than the people who run my center. I even asked the Lama and senior students about doing personal Chenrezig practice, and the answer I got (a 'yes', and some encouraging remarks) was far more laid back ( for lack of a better term) than than what many Vajrayana people told me on here. Of course naturally empowerment is still expected for all but a couple practices etc., but so far every time I have talked to a senior student or the Lama - even on a thing like prostrations the response was far more open-ended, and less restrictive than what many people seem to indicate on here - what gives?

Again not trying to stir stuff up, just new to Vajrayana and wondering how much the culture varies from place to place.
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Re: How long does one's sadhana typically take?

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Thu Jan 10, 2013 11:40 pm

Yudron wrote:You're right, that is not the way my lamas approach personal practice. My point is that that doesn't matter, you need only to be in harmony with how the lama you received it from teaches it and have pure view about it. So, I'm not going to say anything positive or negative. Why introduce other ways when they are irrelevant to you, and might only sew the seeds of doubt?



Mainly just curiosity about the overall culture of Vajrayana really, but if this is any indication, perhaps that is not one thing but many!
"Just as a lotus does not grow out of a well-levelled soil but from the mire, in the same way the awakening mind
is not born in the hearts of disciples in whom the moisture of attachment has dried up. It grows instead in the hearts of ordinary sentient beings who possess in full the fetters of bondage." -Se Chilbu Choki Gyaltsen
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Re: How long does one's sadhana typically take?

Postby Konchog1 » Fri Jan 11, 2013 12:16 am

50 minutes. Both Sadhana and Lama Chopa takes about 50 minutes each.
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"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
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