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Thread: Most Effective Meditation Length?

  1. #1
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    Most Effective Meditation Length?

    Namaste everyone!

    I've been meditating daily for 8 months. I meditate at night before sleep for roughly 30 mins and in the morning for 5 mins after Surya Namaskara. I feel now as if I need to lengthen my nightly meditation. I've been able to sit for longer and maintain concentration but at the same time I often feel an antsy urge to get up even when I feel myself getting into a deeper meditative state. Is there an ideal length for meditation? A most effective length that enables one to get deeper into a meditative state? I've been doing Jaggi Vasudev's method of mentally saying "I am not the body" on the inhale and "I am not even the mind" on the exhale, then mentally or vocally chanting Om and the names of various goddesses and gods, then Ramana Maharshi's "Who am I?" method at the end. Any suggestions or advice? Thank you.




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    Re: Most Effective Meditation Length?

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~
    namasté

    More on Self-inquiry , also known as ātma vicara , can be found here on HDF: http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/showthread.php?t=12815

    Thoughts coming and going during meditation; more on these ~distractions~ ( thieves) here: http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/showthread.php?t=10439

    Some fundamentals one can consider : http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/showthread.php?t=10680

    The right conditions : http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/showthread.php?t=6989

    Timing one’s meditation … these times are considered ~classic~ :
    • Morning is brahma mūhurta¹ sandhyā - the junction (sandhyā) time (muhūrta~ 48 minutes or 1/30th of the day) of night and morning were creation (brahma) awakens
    • Noon for viṣṇu sandhyā
    • Sunset is called maheśvara ( some just say mahesh) sandhyā
    • Midnight called Kali or turīya sandhyā - turīya is the 4th , or 4th part; kali is 'last' ; kali is considered ther 15th as in tithi's of the moon; kālī is defined as black in color - the black of night. This kālī another name for saturn , śani.
    Yet there is more:
    Brāhma-muhūrta is part of saṃdhyopāsana: saṃdhyā + upāsana = saṃdhyopāsana . That is, when during the junction points of the day ( saṃdhyā , some say saṃdhi) upāsana¹ is performed. There are 3 times during the day : dawn ( and hence brāhma-muhūrta), noon & twilight. Each time has their entry point measured in muhūrta or in ghaṭikā-s.

    These 3 are sometimes known as traikālika saṃdhyā. Yet for some that are instructed there is a 4th or chatur-saṃdhyā and this comes a midnight. We find those specifically instructed with gāyatrī that may have these 4 times. It is not for entry practitioners.

    Now if I were asking questions , I'd ponder what is so important regarding these in-between times, some call gaps (saṃdhi) ?
    That leads one to the core of meditation and the notion of turīya ( some spell turya, turiya) . This has been talked of exhaustively here on HDF. Consider the following post which links all the sub-posts that discuss this subject: http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/sho...ghlight=turiya

    iti śivaṁ

    words

    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

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    Re: Most Effective Meditation Length?

    Dear friend ,
    45 minutes is the ideal time .Then again what is the need of so many things . Concentration is possible with only one manthra or concept or image or thought , according to me . Though trikala
    sandhya was recommended in the days of yore , the modern times
    do not give a chance for the afternoon meditation . So doing two times ---- in the early morning and in the late night are ok according to me. Again it depends upon the inclination , availability of time and place . The terms concentration , contemplation , meditation
    differ slightly in the meaning but are being used for the same thing now a days. All three are interchangeable in a way .

  4. #4

    Re: Most Effective Meditation Length?

    Dear Ciel_Fleur,
    If you understand Self Inquiry properly, your living becomes meditation.

    You are perpetually living in meditation 24 7.

    if not understood, it can become one of the many other practices.

    I suggest that you approach your meditation in a proper way ... please do not fall for ideas such as "thoughts are distractions" etc. To whom are thoughts distractions ?? That is the one who has to be inquired into.

    Mentally saying "I am not the body or mind" is good... but do you really see that ? If you see that you have got it !! if you do not see that, it wont work !


    Love!
    Silence
    Come up, O Lions, and shake off the delusion that you are a sheep

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    Re: Most Effective Meditation Length?

    Namaskar,

    I would agree that 45 minutes is the ideal time. Any amount of time is better than none, but for some reason 45 minutes seems to be golden for me. I find that I get the most out of my meditation if it is done early in the morning before I eat or start the day in any kind of way. I find meditation to be harder at night time because after a full day of dealing with the world I tend to be influenced by her many "illusions"... even though I try hard not to be. Better to start early in the morning before maya really has a chance to influence us in any way. That is my opinion. However, I like what silence_speaks said,

    If you understand Self Inquiry properly, your living becomes meditation.

    You are perpetually living in meditation 24 7.
    The goal is to never be swayed by maya's influences and to always be in meditation. In fact, I just recently spoke about this on my public Facebook page. If I may, let me share it again here:

    “A man should not hate any living creature. Let him be friendly and compassionate to all. He must free himself from the delusion of ‘I’ and ‘mine.’ He must accept pleasure and pain with equal tranquility. He must be forgiving, ever-contented, self-controlled, united constantly with me in his meditation. His resolve must be unshakable. He must be dedicated to me in intellect and in mind. Such a devotee is dear to me. He neither molests his fellow men, nor allows himself to become disturbed by the world. He is no longer swayed by joy and envy, anxiety and fear. Therefore he is dear to me. He is pure, and independent of the body’s desire. He is able to deal with the unexpected: prepared for everything, unperturbed by anything. He is neither vain nor anxious about the results of his actions. Such a devotee is dear to me. He does not desire or rejoice in what is pleasant. He does not dread what is unpleasant, or grieve over it. He remains unmoved by good or evil fortune. Such a devotee is dear to me. His attitude is the same toward friend and foe. He is indifferent to honor and insult, heat and cold, pleasure and pain. He is free from attachment. He values praise and blame equally. He can control his speech. He is content with whatever he gets. His home is everywhere and nowhere. His mind is fixed upon me, and his heart is full of devotion. He is dear to me. This true wisdom I have taught will lead you to immortality. The faithful practice it with devotion, taking me for their highest aim. To me they surrender heart and mind. They are exceedingly dear to me.“

    -Bhagavad-gita 12:13-20

    May we always remain in the Self.

    With Love & Light,
    LightofOm
    ॐ मृत्युंजयाय रुद्राय नीलकण्ठाय शम्भवे l
    अमृतेशाय शर्वाय महादेवाय ते नम: ll

    Sanātana Dharma Worldwide

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    Re: Most Effective Meditation Length?

    Namaste,

    A most effective length that enables one to get deeper into a meditative state?
    Meditation is timeless. If you must perceive time during meditation, it'll be as long as you wish it to be. You don't need to mentally say anything. The goal is to not think at all. The farther you move away from the worldly, the deeper you get into the meditative state.
    A few personal experiences: chronicles-of-a-sadhak.blogspot.com

  7. #7

    Re: Most Effective Meditation Length?

    If one is meditating immediately before bed, one should only do very gentle meditations. And probably not for that long. I would be best to have a long meditation end at least 2 hours before bed.

    There are various reasons for this. One, is that during meditation you can bring down spiritual Light. That may directly interfere with sleep and cause insomnia.

    Second, if you receive something spiritual during meditation and then enter into sleep, where you consciousness dives into some dream about lower activities, you will lose all the light you gained during the meditation.

    The best time to meditate is usually early in the morning, before work. Particularly best if you can meditate before 7AM.

    You might also want to try a "warm-up" period prior to meditation. That will "clear the road." So, you can read some scriptures for 30 minutes, then chant for a few minutes. Then you can do some concentration exercises if you like. And after all that, then you can start to meditate. That should help deepen the experience.

    But you must understand the pragmatic reality. Only the highest saints have deep meditations every time. The rest of us struggle daily, the meditations bringing some calm, some clarity...and then, once and awhile, we get a truly deep meditation.

    That is the pattern for most of us.

    Best of luck

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    Re: Most Effective Meditation Length?

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~

    namasté


    Quote Originally Posted by SuryaVedanta754 View Post
    If one is meditating immediately before bed, one should only do very gentle meditations. And probably not for that long.
    I see this slightly differently ( not opposed to, but from a different viewing window) ... one notion that I have offered was in post 2 above.
    Yet there is always more one can discuss on this matter and it can be found here in post 32 on HDF
    : http://hindudharmaforums.com/showthr...1loka%E1%B8%A5

    So, what would be 'slightly different' ? The notion of ~worship~ and one's meditation. This is the crux of post 32 just mentioned and the support posts with it.

    iti śivaṁ
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

  9. #9
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    Re: Most Effective Meditation Length?

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~

    namasté


    Quote Originally Posted by yajvan View Post
    I see this slightly differently ( not opposed to, but from a different viewing window) ...
    Pursuing one’s practice in the P.M., before sleep is a very auspicious/ripe(vipāka) time. Some would say patañjali’s yogadarśana (chapter 1) 14th sūtra would apply:

    sa tu dīrghakālanairantaryasatkārāsevito dṛḍhabhūmiḥ||14
    meditation/knowledge (sa) when followed (sevitaḥ) continually/uninterruptedly (nairantarya) with true (sat) devotion (kārā)
    for a long time (dīrghakāla) certainly (tu) ~ establishes~ a firm/established/steady (dṛḍha) position (bhūmiḥ) ||14

    And this view is also supported here:
    Engage your mind always in thinking of Me, worshiping Me. Being completely absorbed in ātmānam ( Self or Me), surely you will come to Me. (bhāgavad gītā 9.34)
    All these ideas are laid out for one’s consideration at this HDF post #32
    http://hindudharmaforums.com/showthr...1loka%E1%B8%A5

    The notion is practice spreads-out throughout the day over time. The offer in this post takes on a different approach…
    it takes one with razor-sharp (kṣuradhāra) awareness to discern it , to get it. For some this insight will be of no more value than a bag of rocks; for others with keen-ness (svārasya)
    and perhaps a personal experience of this, an ahhh-ha!¹ moment may be on the horizon.

    First , what am I talking about? Pursuing a practice (dhāraṇā¹) at the time of rest - svapna and suṣupti i.e. dream and the dreamless state of deep sleep.
    Let me explain. As one is resting
    and before one falls asleep there's a gap where one is not awake nor can one say they are asleep. I have heard this called jāgrat-suṣupti i.e.
    mentally aware, but the body is asleep or in restful pose. If one does not pay attention to this, it just passes them by night-after-night.

    The mind is filled with vikalpa ( differences, thinking) and no attention is given to this gap or quiet time. Why should one pay attention? Your goal is to fall asleep!

    Consider the following
    This gap or madhya ( middle) between not being awake and not being asleep is very fertile ground. It is called antarāla ( intermediate space), I have called it the gap,
    or madhya (properly
    madhyadaśā) just to get the reader comfortable with other names of this space.

    Filled with Consciousness
    What is in this antarāla ? Therein lies the beauty. It is saṃvit ātmakameva¹ i.e. it is filled with consciousness , just consciousness itself. But conscious of what?
    Of no-thing. It is consciousness without application to any-thing. It is standing alone all by itself. So , many call it pure consciousness. It is the ‘raw material’
    that allows you to perceive everything; it is the foundation of the other states of awareness – wake-dream-sleep. Some call it ( as I will in the next post)
    nirvikalpa or without (nir) difference/fractionalization (vikalpa)
    . In fact the wise inform us that all other levels of consciousness is just this nirvikalpa
    wearing a different robe.

    So, the notion of engaging in one’s practice at bedtime – this practice of becoming attuned to this saṃvit ātmakameva is of great value.
    The ‘practice’ is then called madhyavikāsa or expanding (vikāsa) madhya. It is a core dhāraṇā¹ ~practice~ found in many schools yet is of key import
    within upāya’s ( methods) found in the vijñānabhairava kārikā-s and other āgama-s and yoga-śastra-s.

    Where else is it ?
    The implications of this saṃvit ātmakameva and madhyavikāsa are many. One observation is well, if there is this gap between waking and sleep,
    does it occur again when one is waking up and going from sleep to wake
    ? Yes, it is there. It is there while one is dreaming and then transitions to
    deep/dreamless sleep
    ? Yes it is there too.

    This suggests a ~practice~ can be engaged in to hone/groom madhyavikāsa or expanding (vikāsa) madhya. Expanding this is expanding pure awareness to
    be come more a part of one’s daily awareness. And this pure awareness is nothing less than the complexion of SELF .

    I will add a few more notions for one’s consideration in the next post.

    iti śivaṁ


    words
    • aha-ha – there actually is a saṃskṛt word ahaha , defined as an interjection , as Ah! aha! implying surprise; The suprise I am suggesting

    is that of insight, some may call astonishment. This astonishment is a upāya that is found within the vijñānabhairava kārikā –s
    • saṃvit = saṃvid = consciousness; yet there are many other definitions: to know together , know thoroughly (suggesting wholeness);perception; to be joined or united.
      • ātmakameva = ātmakāma ( for this post) – possessed of Self, ; desirous of emancipation

    • dhāraṇā - the act of holding , bearing , wearing , supporting , maintaining; to exercise concentration; understanding, application
    • nirvikalpha - free from change or differences


    Last edited by yajvan; 25 October 2015 at 05:48 PM.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

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    Re: Most Effective Meditation Length?

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~

    namasté



    We are told that this saṃvit ātmakameva¹ is our own essential nature… we experience one part of our nature that is, vikapla-s , the diversity of thoughts.
    Yet we miss the nirvikapla ( without differences) part. Note I say we ‘miss’ it. It is there but it is subtle, silent, pure. This ‘model’ I am mentioning is
    like an iceberg. The top (dome) we see, it gets all the wind, the cold, all the changes occur on the top. But underneath this is the foundation of the iceberg.
    It sits below the surface. The passer-by misses the iceberg’s silent depth.

    So, there needs to be a few parts to this conversation to crack the code, to sharpen one’s intellect to the razors edge (kṣuradhāra) that
    may assist an interested person to grasp the ideas at hand and maybe assist the interested reader to look for themselves at this madhyadaśā (gap).

    Let’s start from sleep to waking first
    The average person awakens and passes through this gap , missing it most every day. Understand what is occurring. The first flow of perception begins
    to occur when one is waking up. Recall that in deep-sleep there is no perception of any-thing. This does not infer that consciousness is not there, it is just
    not engaged in any-thing, with any perception.
    It would be a bit obtuse ( for me) to say consciousness during sleep is dormant. For me saying it is perfectly still is more aligned to my understanding.
    It is aware of no-thing. No-thing in this purview means resting in itself. See the point ? It is not dormant because you continue to breath, chemical reactions
    are still going on, all that which is found within the autonomic nervous system is still engaged. If consciousness was totally dormant these things
    (powered by consciousness – cit śakti) would not be engaged as I see it.

    So, back to waking up. The first flow of awareness is just pure, with no impressions made in it. It is lively (spanda) yet nothing has taken hold of it to view
    or alight upon. It is the closest thing to pure ‘I’ or ahaṁ one can have. It is very a simple-pure-refined condition.
    Initially you have no say for how long it stays with you… it could be there for a moment/a twinkling of an eye (nimīlita), then one is absorbed in perceiving
    the world or engaged in thoughts and that very light distinction of this saṃvit ātmakameva and everything else subsides. Vikalpa-s ( differences/thoughts/fractionalizations)
    arise and one is back in the world they knew before.

    So, for one’s sādhana no matter what philosophy that one finds agreeable to them is to have this saṃvit ātmakameva spread out to wake-dream-sleep.
    The śiva sutra-s says it this way:
    triṣu caturthaṁ tailavadāsecyam ||3.20
    the 4th ( this is code for saṃvit ātmakameva) must expand/spread like
    oil (taila) to pervade the other 3 ( the other three is wake-dream-sleep).

    Think of oil on a wood table – with little effort it spreads seeping into the cracks and crevices of the wood, of the seams ( gaps).
    Like that this is what the śiva sutra-s
    suggest occur with the 4th; ​that it permeates all other levels of awareness that one
    experiences - we commonly think of 3.

    The beauty here is this saṃvit ātmakameva ( the 4th) is readily available – no one need to go fetch it anywhere, nor mix any ingredients , etc.
    for this quality to be
    readily available.

    With that , we’re ready to look at this gap antarāla ( intermediate space), or madhya (properly madhyadaśā) when one is preparing to fall asleep and
    some if the interesting points that come with this.
    We will take this up in the next post.

    iti śivaṁ

    words

    • saṃvit = saṃvid = consciousness; yet there are many other definitions: to know together , know thoroughly (suggesting wholeness); perception; to be joined or united.
      • ātmakāma – possessed of Self, ; desirous of emancipation


    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

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