Is there a thing of pushing oneself too much to practice and doing too much which will cause someone to quit take a break for some time ? what about too little ?

how you determine the middle way here ?

3 Answers 3


There is a big obvious difference between doing something because you want it and enjoying the effort, VERSUS beating yourself with a stick like a horse. In one case you are working hard but you're enjoying it, you doing what you believe in, you're getting deep sense of satisfaction from it. In the other case, you are forcing yourself, breaking yourself, torturing yourself - you don't really believe in it, you hate yourself for doing it, but you're still doing it.

My teacher said that the feeling of special enjoyment or satisfaction is a key criteria for success in spiritual practice. If you're doing too little, you will not be happy with yourself. If you are pushing yourself too hard, you will not be happy with yourself. If you are doing it right, it may be hard and painful - but you will feel happy and proud and inspired.

  • 1
    and how to enjoy it i have no idea - i dont enjoy meditation not the 1 minute ones i do and not the 2 hour ones ... it goes between hard and not fun to tolerable and ok but not really move to the area of enjoyable really
    – breath
    Commented Jan 13, 2018 at 18:48
  • @breath Meditation is not ot be enjoyed per se, as it is not its purpose in first place. Meditation is training (of Sati). But mindful life is very much enjoyable, and such insight that gives enjoyment is trained typically through meditation. It is hard work that makes you live happier in the end, learning how to notice and let go of things and therefore feel free, blissfully.
    – user13383
    Commented Jul 28, 2018 at 15:09

If you don't have a teacher, you will need to be your own judge. If you cannot be your own judge, you will need to find a teacher.

Suzuki in Zen Mind Beginner's Mind warns about going too quickly. He recommends something like one hour per week meditation for beginners.


If you feel bored or tired with one type of practice (e.g. meditation) or feel like you're just spinning the wheels and going nowhere, remember that that the Noble Eightfold Path consists of 8 factors, in three major areas - development of wisdom, development of mind and development of virtue. You can always focus on the other factors, to find renewed motivation.

You can take a break from meditation sometimes to read up or learn the Dhamma, to cultivate Right View, which is the forerunner of the entire path.

Right view is the forerunner of the entire path, the guide for all the other factors. It enables us to understand our starting point, our destination, and the successive landmarks to pass as practice advances. To attempt to engage in the practice without a foundation of right view is to risk getting lost in the futility of undirected movement. Doing so might be compared to wanting to drive someplace without consulting a roadmap or listening to the suggestions of an experienced driver. One might get into the car and start to drive, but rather than approaching closer to one's destination, one is more likely to move farther away from it. To arrive at the desired place one has to have some idea of its general direction and of the roads leading to it. Analogous considerations apply to the practice of the path, which takes place in a framework of understanding established by right view.

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