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I have a lot of time and love to meditate (most of the time). I want to go crazy. How long should I?

I have a lot of lot of time and I heard someone mention on Reddit how you can reach higher states through hours long of meditation. I've one meditated for three hours easily. I also have a seiza bench so I barely feel any pain. I've been meditating almost daily for a few months and have been a Buddhist for three years.

How long should I meditate every day if I want to get really far really fast? Most of the time I have absolutely nothing to do.

Comments

  • 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
    edited January 2016

    Then find something productive to do. Meditation is NOT goal-oriented. Meditation IS the point.

    If you have meditated for three hours, easily - and you're still asking this question - then you're not meditating.
    You're just Busy doing nothing....

    lobstermerxStingRayLee82
  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited January 2016

    Higher states eh? [shrug] :o

    Try working towards having things that need doing is the advice you require. Sadly you might end up another useless meditation junky instead. Reconsider your question please. If you can not I suggest mindfulness, tai chi done in the world.

    The point of meditation is not to love it, OD on altered states of chemical imbalance or otherwise lose oneself in mirrors, magic or having nothing better to do ...

    [too harsh?] ah well we are on the path to Truth, not becoming imitation rocks ... <3

    karasti
  • @dooksta123 said: I have a lot of lot of time and I heard someone mention on Reddit how you can reach higher states through hours long of meditation.

    Do you know what these higher states are? Would you know if you were in one? Do you know what they are for?
    You might find it helpful to do some research on jhana.

    merx
  • True wis, guys, true wis. Gotta keep myself in the biz. Working on some stuff that'll keep me busy a bit. I was just wondering if it would be possible if I could reach jhana really quickly by meditating about six hours a day or so (yes, spiny, I know about jhanas). I'd like to reach Nibbana in this lifetime so just wondering what I should do to get insanely peaceful and present and step closer to that goal. Thanks, guys.

  • Jhana by itself won't do it, you also need to develop insight. Do you practice mindfulness?

    lobstermerx
  • 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

    You cannot isolate one practice from the remainder... Right Concentration is PART of the 8fold path, not an additional task. You must achieve a balance, with all 8 spokes bearing the weight equally.

    So you need to address every factor and make sure you dedicate equal effort to all eight.... Effort, of course, being one of them....

    See.....?

    Only by turning the wheel correctly, can you even begin considering the process of reaching nibbana....

  • My teacher instructed me to "worry" only about jhana at this point until I can get into it within a couple minutes. Then he said he'd teach me mindfulness.

    lobster
  • Besides right livelihood and mindfulness, I'd say my spokes are moving in the right direction. Still obviously working on it all, though.

    lobsterBunks
  • 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

    @dooksta123 said:
    My teacher instructed me to "worry" only about jhana at this point until I can get into it within a couple minutes. Then he said he'd teach me mindfulness.

    What did he say about the remainder? You know... View, Intention, Speech, Action, Livelihood, Effort....? When is he going to focus on those too?

    @dooksta123 said:
    Besides right livelihood and mindfulness, I'd say my spokes are moving in the right direction. Still obviously working on it all, though.

    Aren't we all...? I can't help feeling you're looking for a "quick fix".

    There isn't one.

    There are Buddhist teacher and masters who have been practising for far longer than any of us, who purport to only have a minor grasp of everything required....

    You think there are short-cuts?

    Think again....

    Bunks
  • Assumptions. It's the online-Buddhist way.

  • I don't mean to seem like I have some ill-will going on but I've noticed that Buddhists, on every website I've been on with them, are just incredibly snarky. I don't mean offense but I wish we'd change that. I think a great example of compassion is Spiritual Networks. Now they love each other! That's what we could use.

  • @dooksta123 said:> My teacher instructed me to "worry" only about jhana at this point until I can get into it within a couple minutes. Then he said he'd teach me mindfulness.

    So who is your teacher? Do you have regular contact with him/her?

  • Now they love each other! That's what we could use.

    I'll join. I hope they love snarkies.

    Buddhism can be very head centered. That is true. Ultra-spirituals can be a little, what is the kind word ... gushy ...

    The important thing is balance:
    It sounds as if you are doing fine. Bravo.

    Here is the ultra spiritual love bunny ...

    ... and now back to jhana jedi jihad training ... o:)

    WalkerInvincible_summersilverrohit
  • @dooksta123 said:
    I don't mean to seem like I have some ill-will going on but I've noticed that Buddhists, on every website I've been on with them, are just incredibly snarky. I don't mean offense but I wish we'd change that. I think a great example of compassion is Spiritual Networks. Now they love each other! That's what we could use.

    Well, we are only human after all. Have you ever checked out online Christian groups? Buddhists don't hold a monopoly on Snarkism. (Snarkism - hey, did I just coin a new term?)

  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran
    edited January 2016

    How many hours? I would say 10,000! :awesome:

    Someone once asked my zen teacher how much we should do per day, he said 24. :awesome:

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator

    Meditation is good. Good things happen by doing it.

    If you go to the gym more and work out more, you will see changes.
    If you just go to the gym and stand there, you won't see changes. At least not the kind you think. Meditation is much the same, in my experience. Sometimes I meditate and I'm just there. Other times different things seem to happen. All of it is good.

    There are reasons that monks and nuns in some areas go off on solitary retreat and meditate hours a day. I find their stories fascinating (Cave in the Snow is excellent). I do believe all the meditating makes a difference. But they have teachers to guide them, and immense teachings to go with it. Along with that, they have the complete removal of worldly influence. Whether it is as productive to meditate hours in your apartment surrounded by worldly goods, and then get up and continue with your daily life as if nothing happened, I don't know. I'm not saying it wouldn't. But it seems to me something is lacking in that approach. Give it a try. But be cautious of burning yourself out and getting frustrated. Perhaps you would be better served to organize a short solitary retreat? That is just what I would tend towards. I highly recommend reading books and online stories about people in long retreats, if you haven't. Wonderful stuff.

  • @seeker242 said: Someone once asked my zen teacher how much we should do per day, he said 24. :awesome:

    Only 24 hours a day?! Those Zennies are just part-timers, sheer luxury. ;)

    lobsterWalker
  • Invincible_summerInvincible_summer Heavy Metal Dhamma We(s)t coast, Canada Veteran

    @dooksta123 said:
    I don't mean to seem like I have some ill-will going on but I've noticed that Buddhists, on every website I've been on with them, are just incredibly snarky. I don't mean offense but I wish we'd change that. I think a great example of compassion is Spiritual Networks. Now they love each other! That's what we could use.

    I don't mean offense, but I find that usually when people don't get the answers they're looking for here on NewBuddhist, forum members are accused of being rude.

    I take it you haven't been around a Zen sangha...

    silverlobster
  • 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
    edited January 2016

    @dooksta123 said:
    I don't mean to seem like I have some ill-will going on but I've noticed that Buddhists, on every website I've been on with them, are just incredibly snarky. I don't mean offense but I wish we'd change that. I think a great example of compassion is Spiritual Networks. Now they love each other! That's what we could use.

    If you're going to point a finger at 'snarky' responses, be specific. It's more direct and cuts through the crap.

    I'm sure you mean me.

    Well, as I stated, I can't help feeling you're looking for short-cuts, and the clue was in your original question:

    @dooksta123 said:
    I have a lot of lot of time and I heard someone mention on Reddit how you can reach higher states through hours long of meditation. I've one meditated for three hours easily. I also have a seiza bench so I barely feel any pain. I've been meditating almost daily for a few months and have been a Buddhist for three years.

    How long should I meditate every day if I want to get really far really fast? Most of the time I have absolutely nothing to do.

    And then , you compounded my suspicion with -

    @dooksta123 said:
    My teacher instructed me to "worry" only about jhana at this point until I can get into it within a couple minutes. Then he said he'd teach me mindfulness.

    If your teacher claimed this - ask your teacher how to fast-track your approach to Nibbana. Seems logical, doesn't it? If he says you can get it down to a couple of minutes - ask him how... I'm assuming he's reached Nibbana, hence his advice?

    See, you seek 'Compassion'...

    @dooksta123 said:
    I don't mean to seem like I have some ill-will going on but I've noticed that Buddhists, on every website I've been on with them, are just incredibly snarky. I don't mean offense but I wish we'd change that. I think a great example of compassion is Spiritual Networks. Now they love each other! That's what we could use.

    Compassion doesn't come wrapped in cotton wool and pink tissue paper, and is all 'lovey-dovey'. Some of the best 'Compassion I've seen in action - and been the recipient of - has looked and felt precisely like a resounding kick in the ass.

    Which again, leads me to conclude that there is a whole lot more of Buddhism - quite apart from meditation - that you're not really up to speed with.

    We're not snarky. But we're not going to lie and dress it up, either.

    silverrobotInvincible_summer
  • StingRayStingRay Glasgow Explorer

    @dooksta123 "How long should I meditate every day if I want to get really far really fast?"

    Buddy the problem with this thinking is that you are trying to tackle meditation from our upbringing of "achieving something amazing" "or doing really well really fast by climbing up that ladder"

    The problem is that this sort of attitude will give you a sore head. Meditation takes years to "master" once you have "mastered" it you may realise that you have mastered "nothing" it's all about doing "no" "thing" which we find so difficult to do because our mind is always trying to achieve and plan that next castle in the sky!

  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    @dooksta123 said:
    I don't mean to seem like I have some ill-will going on but I've noticed that Buddhists, on every website I've been on with them, are just incredibly snarky. I don't mean offense but I wish we'd change that. I think a great example of compassion is Spiritual Networks. Now they love each other! That's what we could use.

    I have felt the same way at times on this forum but usually realise it's my pesky ego getting in the way!

    The people above are giving you some honest feedback based on years of experience. I'd suggest you listen with an open mind.

    Good luck!

    StingRay
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    Patience is the gift for those who can wait...
    Impatience is the gift for those who can't...

    Practice patience...

    StingRayrohit
  • I think there is a zen story where a guy asks his teacher how long he will have to meditate to reach a high stage. The teacher says 5 years. The student then says but I really want to reach faster. Answer: well then it will take 10 years. (actual story repeated same concept over and over ie 20 years 40 years etc...

    StingRayInvincible_summerrohit
  • StingRayStingRay Glasgow Explorer

    @dooksta123 I had meant to add that in meditation we meet each feeling thought concept experience etc and then let go. Your achievement based meditation is another thing that has been added that you need to let go of!!

    @Jeffrey said:
    I think there is a zen story where a guy asks his teacher how long he will have to meditate to reach a high stage. The teacher says 5 years. The student then says but I really want to reach faster. Answer: well then it will take 10 years. (actual story repeated same concept over and over ie 20 years 40 years etc...

    iI love the above story as it is so true. Buddhist meditation runs against the grain of the competitive world of achievement because we are attempting to attain non achievement which cannot be understood in a western competitive culture/mindset

    @dooksta123 so I really hope you achieve nothing and go nowhere with your meditation because there is no actual thing you need to achieve and nowhere you need to go.

    lobster
  • I don't know anything....... What am I gonna do?....... I stopped meditating for two to three days because it was stressing me out that I would meditate for three hours and barely make any progress. But sometimes I think I do make progress but I'm just not appreciating it. My meditation used to put me through a workday with barely any stress because when I was at work, I worked, mindfully and happily! But yeah, I'm stressed out and I've been reading about Buddhism for three years and I feel like I know nothing.

    And my teacher... my teacher... knows barely anything. I go to this Theravada temple where I'm friends with the monks and the one who teaches me doesn't know enough English to teach me a thing. So I go to one of the other monks and he explains it to me but I'm barely making progress... And I told my monk I think I can reach Nibbana in this lifetime and that I wanted to be a monk one day, but... I don't think I have the capacity with teachers who aren't leading me to understand. Maybe I just gotta keep on swimming but it's getting really stressful that my concentration is not improving when I'm trying to live in the moment.

  • @dooksta123 said:
    My meditation used to put me through a workday with barely any stress because when I was at work, I worked, mindfully and happily!

    Good for you. <3 What you conclude and take from this is now of value. Do you continue?

    If it is of any help ... Three years and 'knowing nothing' BUT realising you know nothing is ... a good start. I wake each day Knowing Nothing. However that is still a good start ... B)

    Are you going to try the six hours regime? Are you going to find a teacher you find value in? Are you going to continue into the next three years? Jhanas might come ...Thirty years? ... progress might begin ... Are you going to widen your practice? Intensify the ability to reduce stress?

    Iz personal plan ... Bravo.

  • May try for 6 hours one of these days. Got back to meditating today. I think I'll switch my teacher to another monk that lives there that gives better answers. That might work.

    But does it really take 30 years for jhana?

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

    @dooksta123 said:
    I don't know anything....... sometimes I think I do make progress but I'm just not appreciating it. My meditation used to put me through a workday with barely any stress because when I was at work, I worked, mindfully and happily!.....I've been reading about Buddhism for three years and I feel like I know nothing.

    ... Maybe I just gotta keep on swimming ...

    It's good you don't know anything. Keep up the good work! Mindfulness and meditation will take you where you want to go - you just have to let it. I used to struggle with that feeling of being a dummy because I felt I didn't 'know' anything and didn't understand the Eastern religions and cultures. Bad teachers are no match for your own faithful meditation and mindfulness.

    lobsterdooksta123
  • 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

    @dooksta123 said:
    I don't know anything....... What am I gonna do?....... I stopped meditating for two to three days because it was stressing me out that I would meditate for three hours and barely make any progress. But sometimes I think I do make progress but I'm just not appreciating it. My meditation used to put me through a workday with barely any stress because when I was at work, I worked, mindfully and happily! But yeah, I'm stressed out and I've been reading about Buddhism for three years and I feel like I know nothing.

    And my teacher... my teacher... knows barely anything. I go to this Theravada temple where I'm friends with the monks and the one who teaches me doesn't know enough English to teach me a thing. So I go to one of the other monks and he explains it to me but I'm barely making progress... And I told my monk I think I can reach Nibbana in this lifetime and that I wanted to be a monk one day, but... I don't think I have the capacity with teachers who aren't leading me to understand. Maybe I just gotta keep on swimming but it's getting really stressful that my concentration is not improving when I'm trying to live in the moment.

    Read this.

    And chill.
    It's not a race, and the only one beating up on you - is you.
    Why be so hard on yourself?

    lobstersilverrohitdooksta123
  • @dooksta123 said:
    But does it really take 30 years for jhana?

    For whom?
    Ask the new monk.

    Jhana prana, 3 days, 30 years, what is the difference?

    Destress this rush with the balanced tuning @federica mentions ...

    Who knows in thirty years you might be a crazy wisdom adept. We need their sanity ... <3

  • @dooksta123 said: But does it really take 30 years for jhana?

    No, a couple of weeks on a meditation retreat will do it.

    lobsterrohitdooksta123
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator

    30 years isn't even real. Such experiences are not recipes where if you do X Y and Z and simmer for 6 hours or 30 years, out pops the experience. They happen when they happen.

    People online are snarky and rude everywhere. The plus side is that it is a great opportunity to look at how much you cling to your thoughts, words and beliefs if what someone else types online gets your underwear in a twist. If you are sitting there thinking about how snarky or rude they are, whose problem is it really?

    Bunks
  • rohitrohit Maharrashtra Veteran
    edited January 2016

    Although we are impressed by knowing that siddhartha buddha rejected the path to give pain to body to reach enlightment. And my teacher told that vedana does not mean pain as now a days it means.
    But i do think that little pain is necessary to understand and practice meditation.
    In that process mind learns to just observe and realises the importance of not reacting to each thoughts.
    In your first post you are saying you do not get any pain and meditate for 3 hours is impossible if one seats in padmasana or half padmasana.
    And also need to practice astang marg while learning atleast for few days countinuosly. Practicing celibacy will give quick success in meditation.

  • @rohit said: But i do think that little pain is necessary to understand and practice meditation.

    I think a little pleasure is likely to be more productive.

    lobsterrohit
  • Then there is Sappadasa's experience from the Theragatha tales of the early monks. He REALLY got frustrated and wigged out after DECADES of effort. This course of enlightenment practice is probably not recommended but it is part of the canon to illustrate the path of despair can lead to an even keel:

    Sappadasa

    Twenty five years since my going forth,
    and no peace of awareness
    -- not a finger-snap's worth --
        attained.
    Having gained no oneness of mind,
    I was wracked with lust.
    Wailing, with my arms upheld,
    I ran amok from my dwelling --
    "Or...or shall I take the knife?
    What's the use of life to me?
    If I were to renounce the training,
    what sort of death would I have?"
    So, taking a razor,
    I sat down on a bed.
    And there was the razor,
    placed ready to cut my own vein,
        when apt attention arose in me,
    the drawbacks appeared,
        disenchantment stood
        at an even keel:
    
    With that, my heart was released.
    See the Dhamma's true rightness!
    The three knowledges
    have been attained;
    the Awakened One's bidding,
            done.
    

    http://buddhismtoday.com/english/texts/khuddaka/theragatha/thag6.html#6

    lobster
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