Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04
Welcome home! Please contact lincoln@newbuddhist.com if you have any difficulty logging in or using the site. New registrations must be manually approved which may take up to 48 hours. Can't log in? Try clearing your browser's cookies.

What do you think is better?

misecmisc1misecmisc1 I am a HinduIndia Veteran
edited June 2015 in Meditation

hi all,

do you think slogging hours in sitting meditation is better than spending that time in other activities and trying to be mindful in those activities.

i theoretically understand that meditation is for letting go and meditation is done not for achieving anything, but for letting go of things.

do you think there is a right meditation and a wrong meditation? what if the focus is very weak and the sustained attention on breath is not for even 5 seconds, then also do you think it is better to just sit in meditation posture?

any thoughts/ideas please. thanks in advance.

Earthninja

Comments

  • silversilver In the beginning there was nothing, and then it exploded. USA, Left coast. Veteran

    You DO seem to ask the same questions in 100 different ways. O.o

    I think if sitting meditation is 'slogging hours' to you, then yeah, it is better to do other activities mindfully. This isn't a cookie-cutter religion of some sort now, is it. You have to figure out your own balance in your own life, methinks.

    WalkerBuddhadragonEarthninja
  • WalkerWalker Veteran

    Yep, I think you need to find the balance of activity and 'sitting time' that works for you. Not everyone can sit for hours and hours. Just pay attention to what you're doing while you're doing it. =)

  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran

    It's not an either or to me. Sitting in meditation is practice for living mindfully as much or even more than it is a recharging of batteries.

    federicaInvincible_summer
  • @misecmisc1 said:
    hi all,

    do you think slogging hours in sitting meditation is better than spending that time in other activities and trying to be mindful in those activities.

    i theoretically understand that meditation is for letting go and meditation is done not for achieving anything, but for letting go of things.

    do you think there is a right meditation and a wrong meditation? what if the focus is very weak and the sustained attention on breath is not for even 5 seconds, then also do you think it is better to just sit in meditation posture?

    any thoughts/ideas please. thanks in advance.

    I'd say to do whatever comes naturally and easiest to you... especially if you are starting out. The biggest obstacle for most of us is motivation, and if we're struggling and not enjoying our practice then its very easy to chuck it in. As far as i'm concerned it is much, much better to do 2 mins of enjoyable meditation each day than trudging through 3 hours of it. Over time those 2 minutes will naturally build on a foundation of enjoyment (innate motivation) whereas those 3 hours will not even dwindle... it'll just collapse in frustration, disillusionment and not-enjoyment, and that can take years to return from.

  • I meditate daily for 20 minutes or so as a reminder to be mindful. It works for me. What works for you?

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    "what if the focus is very weak and the sustained attention on breath is not for even 5 seconds, then also do you think it is better to just sit in meditation posture?"

    Yes and observe whatever arises...

    An example of "Wrong meditation"

  • @misecmisc1 said:> do you think slogging hours in sitting meditation is better than spending that time in other activities and trying to be mindful in those activities.

    I find it's much easier to maintain mindfulness with a regular sitting practice.

    lobstermisecmisc1EarthninjaInvincible_summer
  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran

  • nakazcidnakazcid Somewhere in Dixie, y'all Veteran

    I'd say start small. If you start with meditating for just a few minutes a day (not slogging thru hours), you'll find that your concentration will gradually improve. It'll take patience, but after a while longer sessions won't bother you so much. It can be very frustrating trying to focus initially, but it's important to let the frustration go and just sit with it, if only for a few minutes.

    One thing that helped my practice immensely was when I started actually enjoying meditation. It required an attitude adjustment - I had to let go of my frustration and impatience at my lack of 'progress'. Letting go of goals was very helpful.

  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    do you think there is a right meditation and a wrong meditation?

    Yes.
    Right meditation is what we do, without asking am I wrong.

  • genkakugenkaku Northampton, Mass. U.S.A. Veteran

    I don't think that simple attention to daily activities is going to cut it. It sounds good and has a relaxing feel, but I do think that a meditation practice is more likely to give you the experience you are seeking. Or perhaps just any sort of sit-down-straighten-the-spine-shut-up-and-focus-the-mind situation. Is it contrived? Yes. Is it difficult? Yes. Is it uncomfortable? Sometimes. But one thing is for sure: No one ever talked their sense of the unsatisfactoriness in life to a successful conclusion.

    All this may just be a reflection of my own life and the questions I have had. I simply find it hard to credit a cozy approach when it comes to answering uncomfortable questions.

    PS. I always liked the old saying, "The hard stuff is easy. It's the easy stuff that's hard."

    lobstermisecmisc1
  • geniegenie Explorer

    @misecmisc1 said:
    hi all,

    do you think slogging hours in sitting meditation is better than spending that time in other activities and trying to be mindful in those activities.

    i theoretically understand that meditation is for letting go and meditation is done not for achieving anything, but for letting go of things.

    do you think there is a right meditation and a wrong meditation? what if the focus is very weak and the sustained attention on breath is not for even 5 seconds, then also do you think it is better to just sit in meditation posture?

    any thoughts/ideas please. thanks in advance.

    The whole point of Buddhism is to drop all attachments. So ask yourself: are u getting attached to practice and its results?

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    @genie said:
    The whole point of Buddhism is to drop all attachments. So ask yourself: are u getting attached to practice and its results?

    Drop the attachment to the idea of a permanent self ....is all that's needed...(let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater) @genie :)

  • misecmisc1misecmisc1 I am a Hindu India Veteran
    edited June 2015

    @iamthezenmaster said:
    I meditate daily for 20 minutes or so as a reminder to be mindful. It works for me. What works for you?

    honestly speaking i don't know what works for me. i know what i want, but do not know exactly what it is and how to get it. the theoretical answer is to let go. but practically the approach suggests to have stillness and a certain calm in mind - you know that analogy of the images seem clear in a still lake, than in a stirred up lake. as far as sitting is concerned, what can i say - i have been sitting from the last 3.5 years i think on a daily basis (with few random breaks on days, when suppose i would be travelling in morning, or may be worked till late night and next day morning had to go early to office), started with 15 min for few weeks, then moved to 30 min for few weeks and i guess tried to sit for 40 min to 1 hour for the last 2 years i think. yesterday i sat at 12:45pm and finally when decided to get up, it was 3pm - though most of the time thoughts were coming in my mind, i was getting entangled in them, then brought the label of 'thinking' in my mind, then thought to myself of try to watch the breath, then watched the breath for may be 2 or 3 breaths in succession and then do not know when again a new thought came up and i got entangled in it and the above process kept repeating. but i noted one thing that yesterday when i got up at 3pm, i was not frustrated but wondering what did i did in sitting there as i was not even able to have sustained awareness of watching the breath.

    that feeling which people refer to as an enjoyment feeling in meditation - this i have not experienced till now for even 1 second.

    so long story short - i do not know how to meditate properly, but still i try to sit.

    so the reason i raised this thread was to ask you all experienced people that do you think sitting practice is an important point and how much uncomfortable/frustrating sitting session we have, we should still try to keep at it and even try to extend the duration of the sitting session?

    hi all,
    thanks for all your above replies.

  • silversilver In the beginning there was nothing, and then it exploded. USA, Left coast. Veteran
    edited June 2015

    .....A funny story about meditation:

    http://www.tricycle.com/blog/5-things-about-meditation-retreats-might-surprise-you

    ...Just in case y'all missed it. :sunglasses:

    Walker
  • misecmisc1misecmisc1 I am a Hindu India Veteran
    edited June 2015

    @silver : ^^^ thanks for the above link. i was laughing literally on reading almost every sentence. damn good blog. i will read it again, whenever i need to laugh. love you and thanks a lot again for the above link :heart:

  • misecmisc1misecmisc1 I am a Hindu India Veteran
    edited June 2015

    hi all,

    have you experienced the feeling of pleasure in your meditation session? also if you can tell how you got that feeling of pleasure apart from the anapanasati sutta instructions - something which you found worked for you and also how long did it take? just trying to get some information here, so please suggest. thanks in advance.

  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran

    it's a paradox. craving pleasure does not lead to pleasure. some people have more and some less of pleasure. some people have fibromyalgia and some people don't.

    so for me I also crave pleasure and want to get it through meditation. I have experienced a revelation. the idea of craving pleasure to get to pleasure has 'worn down' a lot for me. but then maybe it's just 'flavor of the month' for my mental tendancies for this particular season and in a year I will have a total different 'thought world' to my practice.

  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    ^^^ did we mention that ... constantly ...

    Some things can not be computed. That has to be accepted. In a few posts @misecmisc1 has posted advice. Very good advice for others. Progress? I feel it is a start. To give a parallel, there is a certain grammar nazi who now is posting bad inglishe or apologising for her peccadillos. Cool!

    Or another example. I will not be using me as an example :silenced:

    Walkeryagr
  • misecmisc1misecmisc1 I am a Hindu India Veteran
    edited June 2015

    @federica said:
    misecmisc1 you have to stop this constant questioning on how we do this, and how we achieve that, and how do we reach, and have we felt a specific way.... how, how how....

    We are we, and you are you.
    We can't tell you 'how'.

    but i will ask one more question regarding how - where is @how? sorry for the PJ :lol:

    Earthninja
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @misecmisc1 said:
    but i will ask more question regarding how - where is how? sorry for the PJ :lol:

    I can at least tell you THAT....

  • EarthninjaEarthninja Wanderer West Australia Veteran

    @misecmisc1 hi!

    You need to find a meditation that suits you :)

    Mindfulness/ awareness is my primary practice. If you can call it that ;) just staying as you are and not giving any particular interest to anything.
    I do this on my drives to work, and I do roughly an hour of this walking. Sometimes just sitting in a park. I do this to become aware of "what I am not"

    I also do sitting meditations concentrating on breath. This helps you connect with your body and sharpens your mind. This gives off blissful feelings( sometimes) makes the world feel a lot more alive and colourful after. Maybe it's the thoughts have slowed down :)
    I aim for 40. Minutes but it can go for an hour or even 20 minutes is great.
    This is good for calming the mind,

    Personal notes :the best feelings come from concentration meditation.

    the biggest insights came from mindfulness.

    I also follow guided meditations if monkey mind is going ape shit***

  • @Earthninja said: Personal notes :the best feelings come from concentration meditation. : the biggest insights came from mindfulness.

    These days I tend to use sitting meditation for samatha ( calm down, dear! ), and do mindfulness "off the cushion". I work with the sense bases quite a bit, which seems better suited to "off the cushion".

    Earthninja
  • silversilver In the beginning there was nothing, and then it exploded. USA, Left coast. Veteran

    Dang, @misecmisc1 -- :unamused: Take off the water wings, nose plugs, let go of the side of the pool and doggie paddle! :mrgreen:

    genkaku
  • ZeroZero Veteran

    @misecmisc1 said:
    honestly speaking i don't know what works for me.
    i know what i want, but do not know exactly what it is and how to get it.

    What is it that you want? Try to explain what 'it' is as precisely as you're able, then perhaps you may have a better possibility of navigating to it.

  • @misecmisc1 said:
    thanks for all your above replies.

    How about making breath as your main object and thoughts as secondary? Everytime a thought appear just note thinking, thinking and go back to the breath. Even if you get carried away by thinking, you are doing great just realising what happened. Rinse and repeat until you become skilled. In a way there is no such thing as good or bad meditation session.

    The point is to truly see that thoughts are not you or yours but arise due to causes and conditions.

    misecmisc1mmo
  • misecmisc1misecmisc1 I am a Hindu India Veteran

    @Zero said:
    What is it that you want? Try to explain what 'it' is as precisely as you're able, then perhaps you may have a better possibility of navigating to it.

    What to say - don't know - something inside feels that there is something outside (an answer knowing which , or an experience experiencing which) shall bring the mind to peace.

    @pegembara: Thanks for your suggestion. I too am thinking of keeping the breath as the main thing and everything else as secondary - sounds like a good thought, but practically how much i would be able to do that is the main concern.

  • There is such a thing as meditating all through the night type sessions or gatherings. Such as the ones some Theravada temples host during certain ceremonial blessings. I have not attended one of those yet, but long for the opportunity.

  • misecmisc1, your question has elicited a number of responses. Here is one more:
    My own practice involves a specific repitition of what you would call a mantra (Nam-myoho-renge-kyo). You may or may not utilize sounds and/or You may utilize motions ((mudras) or not. but whatever you do, whatever your practice, don't continue to get hung up on the formality. 10 minutes or 10 hours is not the issue.
    Ultimately, your answer is inside. It is alright to ask the same question a hundred different ways. It is alright to ask a thousand different questions. That you ask means you are seeking. I wish you success in your quest.

    yagr
  • misecmisc1misecmisc1 I am a Hindu India Veteran
    edited June 2015

    @Lionduck: Thanks for your reply and thanks for your wishes :heart: .

  • ZeroZero Veteran

    @misecmisc1 said:
    What to say - don't know - something inside feels that there is something outside (an answer knowing which , or an experience experiencing which) shall bring the mind to peace.

    Try to concentrate on this part and put forward for yourself a coherent summary of the destination - it doesn't have to be written in stone - a work in progress is sufficient but at least this way, you can work on untangling the competing motivations.

    For example, if you had asked whether one type of spanner is better than another on a plumbing job, the question would be what type of job?
    "I don't know. Sort of a leak in a pipe somewhere."
    Tough conditions to speculate.

  • misecmisc1misecmisc1 I am a Hindu India Veteran
    edited June 2015

    @Zero : i am thinking of keeping things simple - so i am thinking of having 2 things in mind - breath and thinking - and try to know, whenever i remember it, to see if i am thinking or breathing.

    i was earlier having issues in which type of breathing to observe - natural or cautious - because when i try to observe it, it changes even though i do not intend to change it. but hearing the talks from Thannisaro Bhikku regarding breath manipulation, i think even if i observe cautious breathing it should not be a much problem because even in anapanasati sutta, there are sentences saying that - He trains himself, 'I will breathe in calming bodily fabrication.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out calming bodily fabrication.'

    so whether it is natural breathing or cautious manipulated breathing, i will try to just observe that breathing.

    i was studying the teachings of BodhiDharma in the wake-up sermon and i found the below insighful and interesting lines:
    To look on life as different from death or on motion as different from stillness is to be partial. To be impartial means to look on suffering as no different from nirvana,, because the nature of both is emptiness.

    also the below line was also there in the above sermon:
    Not thinking about anything is Zen.

    so is the idea that - to not think and try to extend the period of not thinking? please suggest. thanks in advance.

  • ZeroZero Veteran

    @misecmisc1 said:
    Zero : i am thinking of keeping things simple - so i am thinking of having 2 things in mind - breath and thinking - and try to know, whenever i remember it, to see if i am thinking or breathing.

    why?
    what does 'seeing if you are' breathing and / or thinking set to accomplish? Or if not accomplish, what is it that you're trying to turn away from and what turning to?

  • misecmisc1misecmisc1 I am a Hindu India Veteran

    @Zero said:
    why?
    what does 'seeing if you are' breathing and / or thinking set to accomplish? Or if not accomplish, what is it that you're trying to turn away from and what turning to?

    how will i get calm in my mind if i do not take on these activities? without trying to focus the mind on meditation object, how will focus of mind get strengthened?

  • ZeroZero Veteran

    @misecmisc1 said:
    how will i get calm in my mind if i do not take on these activities? without trying to focus the mind on meditation object, how will focus of mind get strengthened?

    Again, the challenge is working out what you mean by 'getting calm in your mind' - you also refer to 'not think and try to extend the period of not thinking'.
    With reference to your previous posts, I assume this is a sample constituent of the attempt to quell lustful thoughts about every woman other than your wife, to subdue dissatisfaction at work, maintain your relationship with your daughter and others in your life, amongst other motivations.
    In my humble opinion, you attribute too much power to the systems and not enough to yourself.
    By that I mean that strictly speaking, none of it is 'needed' - it is all akin to degrees of misunderstanding - at some point, one needs to face life head on, no frills, without thinking that something / a system / a way will make it any easier / palatable / anything more or less.

    Whereas, of course, this is not entirely true - where would one be without organisation, motivation etc... under a pile of washing up likely...

    so - in answer to OP - better to deal with weaknesses first - sure up the foundations - make sure you do both but change the percentage however suitable - so set aside 100% for meditation / daily mindfulness and slide it say 10:90 and see how it goes, then 20:80 etc until it suits your purpose - don't be afraid to change it whenever the need arises - just make sure you maintain the 100% as that is absolutely key - the division between the two, less so.

    misecmisc1
  • yagryagr Veteran

    @misecmisc1 said:> any thoughts/ideas please. thanks in advance.

    I had an idea. My idea is to ask you a question. Here it comes:

    In your opinion, who has lived more wisely - one who has lived a dozen lives unmindful, or someone who has spent exactly one minute of this life in meditation?

    Traveller
  • misecmisc1misecmisc1 I am a Hindu India Veteran
    edited July 2015

    i think being mindful is important.

    my question was mainly for sitting meditation - the question is - is there something like a time duration that we have to sit and then only the understanding can come (of course, the problem is we do not know what we had done in our past lives and how much of sitting is over and how much sitting is still needed)?

    is being mindful of daily activities equally important than sitting meditation - or - sitting meditation is more important than being mindful in daily activities - or both are equally important?

  • 2 sides of the same coin I reckon, they support each other.

Sign In or Register to comment.