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length of zazen

length of zazen

Postby nowornever on Mon Feb 11, 2013 2:14 pm

How long is your sitting meditation?
When I practise at home, I used to sit as long as possible until I discovered that in my case it was greed - 30min, 35, 40, 50, 1h...once it was 2,5h at a time.
Now I sit 20min at a time (if not in a zen centre). I can see that I sit much more during the day if I sit only 20 min(1 round).
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Re: length of zazen

Postby Hosei on Mon Feb 11, 2013 3:59 pm

We sit for various lengths depending on the day and time.

In the evenings at our group, we usually sit for 2 half hour periods, with 5 to 10 minutes of kinhin in the middle. On Sunday mornings, we sit for two 40 minute periods with kinhin.
But on weekday mornings - we often just go through the hour with a short interval at the 1/2 way point for people to switch or stretch legs, though sometimes we'll do a short kinhin here too.

when I sit on my own I'll set the timer for 30 or 40 minutes :-)

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Re: length of zazen

Postby Carol on Mon Feb 11, 2013 5:46 pm

I usually sit for 45 minutes at home.

At our zendo we sit for 40 minutes together on Wednesday evenings. At zazenkai and sesshin we sit for 25 minutes, with 5 minute kinhin periods in between sitting periods.
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Re: length of zazen

Postby Jugglesaurus on Mon Feb 11, 2013 11:14 pm

Hosei wrote:In the evenings at our group, we usually sit for 2 half hour periods, with 5 to 10 minutes of kinhin in the middle. On Sunday mornings, we sit for two 40 minute periods with kinhin.
But on weekday mornings - we often just go through the hour with a short interval at the 1/2 way point for people to switch or stretch legs, though sometimes we'll do a short kinhin here too.


Exactly this. If I sit alone at home it'll be 20-25 minutes. I don't like sitting alone, and I'm at the dojo regularly anyway so I don't tend to worry about it.
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Re: length of zazen

Postby Pedestrian on Tue Feb 12, 2013 3:56 pm

I try to sit for one 25m sit daily, morning or evening (or both if lucky), as well as an additional shorter (10m usually) sit if possible midday. I'm very fortunate that the 25m zazen period that pretty much everyone uses as the basic unit in the Boundless Way Zen sangha suits my knees and nerves just fine! When I started out I struggled with my legs falling asleep, which made kinhin very challenging. After some adjustments to my posture, I find that 25m is just the right amount for me at home, at zazenkai, retreats, etc.
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Re: length of zazen

Postby Chrisd on Tue Feb 12, 2013 4:21 pm

Average 40 - 60 minutes morning and the same in the evening when there's no centre business.

What terrible greed could cause you to do more meditation pff :lol2: get me some of that greed.
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Re: length of zazen

Postby Pedestrian on Tue Feb 12, 2013 4:57 pm

Those of you doing 40-50 minutes: is that straight through or with a kinhin break?
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Re: length of zazen

Postby Hosei on Tue Feb 12, 2013 5:25 pm

Pedestrian wrote:Those of you doing 40-50 minutes: is that straight through or with a kinhin break?


when we do 40 minutes.. we do 40 minutes straight through, then do kinhin for up to 10 minutes, then do another 40 minutes. This is our standard pattern for sesshin.

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Re: length of zazen

Postby Pedestrian on Tue Feb 12, 2013 5:35 pm

Ouch. My knees hurt just reading that! ;)
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Re: length of zazen

Postby Carol on Tue Feb 12, 2013 7:40 pm

Pedestrian wrote:Those of you doing 40-50 minutes: is that straight through or with a kinhin break?


We sit 40 minutes straight through at our weekly practice at our zendo, and I do at home as well.

For sesshin or zazenkai, or other times when we'll be sitting for longer periods, we sit 25 minutes, with a kinhin break, and then 25 minutes again.
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Re: length of zazen

Postby Chrisd on Tue Feb 12, 2013 7:59 pm

Pedestrian wrote:Those of you doing 40-50 minutes: is that straight through or with a kinhin break?


Straight. You get used to it, it's not different from 20 - 25 minutes for the body. Just the mind.

I've done a retreat in the Rinzai tradition where they always sit 40 minute periods, 5-10 minutes kinhin (not sure) and Ch'an where they did it sometimes.
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Re: length of zazen

Postby ed blanco on Tue Feb 12, 2013 8:13 pm

I sit 30m at home...which I think I will bring down to 25m at 5 AM. That is my regular sitting.
At one zendo we sit two 40 m with a 10 m kinhin in between.
At another zendo we sit tops 30 m. During zazenkai's there we start at 30 or even 40m, but taper it down to 20 towards the end of day.
I have sat 50 and the dif between 40 and 50 m to me is eternal, angusih, where the rubber meets the bone.
Thing is now I look for 50 m when alone at home other than my AM sit.

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Re: length of zazen

Postby espeno on Wed Feb 13, 2013 8:56 am

I sit 25 minutes at home in the morning - that is about as much time as I manage to set aside, especially since it means I have to get up at 4:20AM on workdays (because I have a fairly long train trip to work). But this is also the time I am used to from our sangha in Oslo although we do at times sit 40 minutes. I don't manage to sit cross legged in any way, so for me it is seiza with or without zafu or seiza-bench. For a sesshin or multiple day zazenkai I am very happy with 25 minutes, but for a block with a couple of sittings in an evening my knees can take a couple of 40 minute sits if they have to.

But I wonder: may there also be some sense in the 25 minute sit in that you don't get lost in sitting so to speak? Just as you might feel "Ah, now things are really getting deep" - then the bell sounds. And this may be similar to the other discussion going on about oryoki-meals and the problem with quick eating: again one might get lost in the eating and the food. But with the fairly quick (none extremes) eating we use at our sesshins and zazenkais, and similarely what I experienced at my one time sesshin at Mt. Baldy, you can eat without gulping things down, but you don't have time to get lost in contemplation.
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Re: length of zazen

Postby nowornever on Wed Feb 13, 2013 9:16 am

Chrisd wrote:...What terrible greed could cause you to do more meditation pff :lol2: get me some of that greed.

I admit it was not my discovery about this greed but I just repeated what one teacher had said (I am sorry for pasting here the link not connected with zen, but because Chrisd's question arised I decided to do so):
3minutes 45-50seconds http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OYBUzrLyti4
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