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"Good/Bad" Sits - Dhamma Wheel

"Good/Bad" Sits

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.
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PsychedelicSunSet
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"Good/Bad" Sits

Postby PsychedelicSunSet » Wed Mar 05, 2014 8:34 pm

So I hear in a lot of Dhamma talks about how just because a session went quickly/seemed easy, doesn't necessarily mean it was "good," and vice versa. In my experience I have found this to be true. However it's lead me to wonder what everyone else considers as a "successful" or "good" session, and if maybe there's some common threads besides the obvious (I was mindful/maintained concentration on my object of meditation ect.)



:anjali:
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culaavuso
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Re: "Good/Bad" Sits

Postby culaavuso » Wed Mar 05, 2014 8:52 pm



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Goofaholix
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Re: "Good/Bad" Sits

Postby Goofaholix » Wed Mar 05, 2014 8:54 pm

A sit can't be good or bad, one's perceptions of it can be. So I guess a bad sit is where one believes one's perceptions about the relative goodness or badness of it.

A good sit is where one expects to do it again sometime soon.

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daverupa
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Re: "Good/Bad" Sits

Postby daverupa » Wed Mar 05, 2014 9:02 pm

A bad sit is daydreaming & papanca.

A good sit is, simply, phenomenal... :tongue:

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seeker242
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Re: "Good/Bad" Sits

Postby seeker242 » Wed Mar 05, 2014 10:39 pm

A good sit is one that you actually do, all the rest are bad. :smile:

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Viscid
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Re: "Good/Bad" Sits

Postby Viscid » Wed Mar 05, 2014 10:43 pm

I've found the sits which I am enthusiastically engaged in thinking a line of thinking go by quite fast-- which is, not being focused, bad sitting. The sits where the mind wanders from thought to thought go by mercilessly slow. Thinking about 'how much time has gone by/is left' also leads to a slowing of the passage of time.

A sit can be considered 'good' when it's on-task and/or pleasant. What exactly the task is is irrelevant, as long as your full attention is set upon it for most of the session.
"What holds attention determines action." - William James

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Ben
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Re: "Good/Bad" Sits

Postby Ben » Wed Mar 05, 2014 10:53 pm

“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

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Weakfocus
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Re: "Good/Bad" Sits

Postby Weakfocus » Wed Mar 05, 2014 11:58 pm


barcsimalsi
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Re: "Good/Bad" Sits

Postby barcsimalsi » Thu Mar 06, 2014 4:09 am


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Sati1
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Re: "Good/Bad" Sits

Postby Sati1 » Thu Mar 06, 2014 7:51 am

Has anybody had the experience of going through long periods (months) during which the practice gets less focused and the level of absorption diminishes, compared with previous times? I used to experience intense bliss in almost every session and have barely experienced any for the last 2-3 months, even though I continue to be diligent with daily practice. Has anybody else experienced similar fluctuations in sitting performance? Sometimes I worry that I have "screwed something up" about the method.
Sati1
London, UK

----
"I do not perceive even one other thing, o monks, that when developed and cultivated entails such great happiness as the mind" (AN 1.10, transl. Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi)
"So this spiritual life, monks, does not have gain, honor, and renown for its benefit, or the attainment of moral discipline for its benefit, or the attainment of concentration for its benefit, or knowledge and vision for its benefit. But it is this unshakable liberation of mind that is the goal of this spiritual life, its heartwood, and its end," (MN 29, transl. Ven Bhikkhu Bodhi)

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Ben
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Re: "Good/Bad" Sits

Postby Ben » Thu Mar 06, 2014 8:50 am

Sati,
You haven't screwed anything up. You are making the classic error of associating pleasant sensations or experiences in meditation as 'progress' and unpleasant experiences in meditation as 'bad' or non-productive. Try not to be attached or develop craving for particular experiences as attachment and craving for experiences is a definite barrier to progress on the path.
Kind regards,
Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

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Spiny Norman
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Re: "Good/Bad" Sits

Postby Spiny Norman » Thu Mar 06, 2014 9:19 am

"My religion is very simple - my religion is ice-cream."
Dairy Lama

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Sati1
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Re: "Good/Bad" Sits

Postby Sati1 » Thu Mar 06, 2014 9:25 am

Dear Ben and Spiny Norman,

Thank you for the encouragement. I will do as you suggest, learn to let go of craving for particular experiences, and continue with the practice. I guess the mind has complicated dynamics of its own, and rather than try to understand all of them and "fix" them, one will do best to just keep practicing.

:anjali:
Sati1
London, UK

----
"I do not perceive even one other thing, o monks, that when developed and cultivated entails such great happiness as the mind" (AN 1.10, transl. Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi)
"So this spiritual life, monks, does not have gain, honor, and renown for its benefit, or the attainment of moral discipline for its benefit, or the attainment of concentration for its benefit, or knowledge and vision for its benefit. But it is this unshakable liberation of mind that is the goal of this spiritual life, its heartwood, and its end," (MN 29, transl. Ven Bhikkhu Bodhi)

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fig tree
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Re: "Good/Bad" Sits

Postby fig tree » Fri Mar 07, 2014 5:18 am

I think of sits where I make headway on the five hindrances as good. Sometimes I have some agitation that dissipates, then followed by torpor. The torpor can be difficult to deal with. Sometimes I feel impatient but experience the impatience fade.

Fig Tree

Ananda26
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Re: "Good/Bad" Sits

Postby Ananda26 » Tue Apr 08, 2014 2:19 pm



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