Morning meditation

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

Morning meditation

Postby Digity » Wed May 15, 2013 4:16 am

Do you meditate in the morning? If so, what time do you meditate? I've thought about going on a retreat, but I heard the wake up time is 5:30 am! I'm the type of person that sleeps in if he can. I'm a bit of a night owl. I do meditate in the morning before I go to work, but that's usually around 8 am. Do you think I should train myself to get up early and meditate or just stick with what I'm doing now. Also, how am I going to deal with waking up at 5:30 am on a retreat? I feel like I'll be exhausted from waking up so early and won't be able to meditate...I'll probably be sleeping more than meditating.
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Re: Morning meditation

Postby Feathers » Wed May 15, 2013 5:43 am

I'd also love to hear an answer to this. I'm considering trying to train myself to always get up at 6am and practice for an hour right away. Anybody else done this? My natural tendency is to sleep until lunchtime! So any tips would be great!

Good luck Digity if you try it :-) Maybe we should start a night-owl rehabilitation club :p
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Re: Morning meditation

Postby LonesomeYogurt » Wed May 15, 2013 7:23 am

Remember that most retreats will have you going to bed around ten or so - it only takes a day or two to really get used to that schedule if you work towards it in the week or so beforehand. In general, one needs less sleep during a retreat. After all, you're not doing much but sitting!

I don't think there's a great need to alter your sleep schedule in your daily life, but I would recommend easing into an earlier wakeup time if you know a retreat is in your future. That way it isn't quite as much of a shock on your body.
Gain and loss, status and disgrace,
censure and praise, pleasure and pain:
these conditions among human beings are inconstant,
impermanent, subject to change.

Knowing this, the wise person, mindful,
ponders these changing conditions.
Desirable things don’t charm the mind,
undesirable ones bring no resistance.

His welcoming and rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
- Lokavipatti Sutta

Stuff I write about things.
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Re: Morning meditation

Postby Spiny Norman » Wed May 15, 2013 9:55 am

Digity wrote:Do you think I should train myself to get up early and meditate or just stick with what I'm doing now.


Find the time of day which works best for you, and try to make meditation part of your daily routine.
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Re: Morning meditation

Postby binocular » Wed May 15, 2013 10:08 am

Feathers wrote:I'd also love to hear an answer to this. I'm considering trying to train myself to always get up at 6am and practice for an hour right away. Anybody else done this?

Yes. It went horribly.
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Re: Morning meditation

Postby Khalil Bodhi » Wed May 15, 2013 10:29 am

I have trained myself to wake up between 4am and 4:45am (it varies by season and workload) so I can meditate for at least 45 minutes in the morning. Yes, it is difficult but I have learned a lot about about effort, persistence and determination not to mention about the nivaranas (hindrances) especially sloth and torpor. In the end, though, only you can tell what is too much or not enough. Still, it helps to remember how ideal our present conditions are and just how unlikely it is that we ay ever enjoy similar circumstances again any time soon. May everyone enjoy success in their practice! :anjali:
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Re: Morning meditation

Postby kmath » Sun May 19, 2013 5:55 am

Funny story on the topic of morning meditation.

I used to live at a temple where we'd meditate as a group at 5 am, and then we'd bow three times to end the session. Sometimes I'd start nodding during the sit. As my head whizzed toward the floor, my semi-conscious mind would awaken and assume I was bowing, so naturally I would commence my three bows. Only to realize, of course, that no one else was bowing and the bell had not yet rang. So while the rest of the group continued to meditate, there I was half-awake bowing in the middle of the hall. Then I would just keep meditating as if nothing happened...

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Re: Morning meditation

Postby purple planet » Sun May 19, 2013 8:06 am

when i was in a retreat the sleeping and also the eating part where very easy for me and now i try to not eat after noon and wake up early and its very hard

i dont think you should worry because of it - yes its good to try to fit the hours to a retreat before but really there is no need to worry like it was said after a day you will get used to it- and even if you dont it would be a great opportunity to deal with sleepiness
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Re: Morning meditation

Postby Kim OHara » Sun May 19, 2013 10:01 am

Feathers wrote:I'd also love to hear an answer to this. I'm considering trying to train myself to always get up at 6am and practice for an hour right away. Anybody else done this?

Yes - it went really well BUT it only works when there is no-one else in the house for a few weeks and I could set my own routines without cutting across other people's plans. When the family is home, which is most of the time, I grab times later in the day but it's not as good.

:namaste:
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Re: Morning meditation

Postby Feathers » Sun May 19, 2013 11:26 am

Thank you :smile: I have my last exam on Wednesday, so after that I think I might give this a shot.
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Re: Morning meditation

Postby Sekha » Sun May 19, 2013 3:38 pm

You can train yourself progressively. Fight sleepiness with wakefulness. Morning meditation will become easy. You may even start to wish to meditate longer than one hour when you really get into it.
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Re: Morning meditation

Postby jadborn » Mon May 27, 2013 9:17 pm

Digity wrote:Do you meditate in the morning? If so, what time do you meditate?


I usually wake up around 5:00am! In my natural state I usually sleep much later, but I have found that my body and mind work much better when I get into the habit of waking up early. I've only recently began to get back on the wagon meditation-wise, but I do try to do at least a quick ten minutes before I get up and cycle to work. I think it's been very beneficial for me to start going to bed and rising at earlier times, and meditating.
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Re: Morning meditation

Postby manas » Tue May 28, 2013 3:12 am

I've heard it said that one hour of sleep before midnight is worth two hours after. If you go to bed at 10 pm - which also seems to be the recommended time designated in the suttas for lying down and taking rest - then rising at 5 am or even 4 am becomes easy, so long as you go to bed without lots of (or preferably, any) food in your stomach (which in my experience disturbs sleep and also means that one's digestive organs (including the liver) don't get to rest).

Regarding having to have an empty stomach, my recommendation for a rumbling tummy at bedtime is some hot milk with spices and honey if you wish, which alleviates the hunger pangs, helps one to get sleepy, but is soon digested and won't disturb one's sleep. But it has to be hot, not cold. I've been drinking organically produced, unhomogenized milk in this manner and it's been great for this purpose.

If you are finding the early hours hard to adjust to as regards wakefulness, remember also that as a temporary measure, some coffee or tea first thing in the morning doesn't break the five precepts. They do have their uses sometimes.

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Re: Morning meditation

Postby Kabouterke » Thu Jun 06, 2013 10:32 pm

binocular wrote:
Feathers wrote:I'd also love to hear an answer to this. I'm considering trying to train myself to always get up at 6am and practice for an hour right away. Anybody else done this?

Yes. It went horribly.


Ha. Yes, same here. I cannot tell you how periods in my life I have resolved to get up at 5:45 AM and get an hour of meditation in before work. Lack of sleep and proper rest and inability to pay attention at work were definitely big factors that made me drop that habit... quickly... mutliple times. :zzz: The best time for me to meditate is in the middle of the day. It's just a shame we don't have meditation hour at work... :P :jumping:
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Re: Morning meditation

Postby cherrytigerbarb » Fri Jun 07, 2013 5:11 am

I wake up at 5am and meditate until my alarm goes off at 6. Most days I wake up automatically at 5 unless I'm extra tired for some reason.
"The foolish reject what they see, not what they think. The wise reject what they think, not what they see." - Huang Po.
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Re: Morning meditation

Postby floating_abu » Fri Jun 07, 2013 8:09 am

LonesomeYogurt wrote:Remember that most retreats will have you going to bed around ten or so - it only takes a day or two to really get used to that schedule if you work towards it in the week or so beforehand. In general, one needs less sleep during a retreat. After all, you're not doing much but sitting!

I don't think there's a great need to alter your sleep schedule in your daily life, but I would recommend easing into an earlier wakeup time if you know a retreat is in your future. That way it isn't quite as much of a shock on your body.


+1

If you want to do it, you can. During retreats, you can also take rests and power naps to rejuvenate. Also please keep in mind that everyone's experiences are different and so is each retreat, in fact. But the effort is worth it IMHO

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