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I have read psychological studies and commentaries by meditators that frequency is more important than duration for meditation. Thus, 10 minutes seven days a week is more beneficial than 70 minutes in one sitting according to this view.

  1. I am wondering what this site thinks of this idea. Is regularity more important than duration?
  2. I am wondering whether changing the hour of regular meditation (e.g. one time at 5PM and another at 8AM) impedes on the efficiency of meditation practice. Should meditation occur towards the same time each day ideally?
  3. If the previous ideas are true, then: Would meditating a short amount each day, whatever the time, ensure regularity?

I'm open to hearing any ideas on the subject. Thank you.

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    Just as with the practice of a musical instrument regularity is better than lengthy but occasional sessions. Sticking to the same time each day helps one achieve regularity. – PeterJ Mar 4 at 10:49
  • I am not sure whether you can use a musical instrument, working out (as another example) or learning as a good example because in meditation the mind is focussed on one object (as best as possible). There is learning involved in both, but I'd say that one could do 5h of meditation if a certain level of concentration is there. Studying or working on the other hand, have limits because at a certain level the body is fatigued and in studying there is too much information processing. – Val Mar 4 at 13:50
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If you meditate really many hours a day(example: 8 hours) then duration matters. These long meditations are really beneficial and they forces the meditators to meditate correctly otherwise negative mind states like boredom can take over. But in other cases it is better to do shorter meditations few times or many times a day so it will lead you to be more mindful during the day.

Changing the time of the formal meditation can be problematic If you don't decide to increase the time of your meditation sessions. So doing the formal meditation in the times that you get used to is better.

Doing short meditations puts you in a better position than the vast majority of the humans who don't even have awareness for 1 second a day. But in the long run it is not enough. But If doing short amount of formal meditations lead you to be mindful during the day then it's beneficial.

The important thing is the continuity of the mindfulness during the day. Practising mindfulness all day long is the gateway to liberation. If the person haven't attained one of the four stages of enlightenment, it's necessary for him/her to practise mindfulness all day long to get results in spirituality.

This video is about short meditation sessions: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3XyQBI1ZPJ0

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Some puthujjanas manage to think that they will progress by spending 20 minutes per day watching the thoughts and suppressing thoughts of harm and lust, then spending the rest of the day allowing bad thoughts permeated with sensuality, ill-will and harmfulness.

Of course, the only progress possible is first to be mindful of thoughts and perceptions all the time, in order to keep only the good ones.

Sila is made complete with sati sampajana. When sati sampajana declines, sila declines. Without mindfulness, a puthujjana will only a have sila for a few minutes up to a few hours

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I don't understand why everyone tries to make this so complicated. You need frequency and duration. There's not other way about it. If you expect to progress, you have to practice often and for significant periods of time. There are no shortcuts. Monks from the time of the Buddha to the present day would sit for hours, everyday. It's curious to me that laymen today think they'll be able to get away with less. If anything, they'll have to sit more often to combat the stresses of a householder's life!

Don't worry about when you sit. While mornings are generally best, all that matters is that you are practicing. If you're looking for a number to shoot for, aim for two hour long sits everyday. While more is always better, if you can manage this much, your practice will drastically improve.

A little snark from J.D. Salinger to help you on your way -

"I don't want you to go away with the impression that there're any-you know-any inconveniences involved in the religious life. I mean a lot of people don't take it up just because they think it's going to involve a certain amount of nasty application and perseverance -you know what I mean."

It was clear that the speaker, with patent relish, was now reaching the high point of his address. He wagged his orange stick solemnly at his mother.

"As soon as we get out of the chapel here, I hope you'll accept from me a little volume I've always admired. I believe it touches on some of the fine points we've discussed this morning. 'God Is My Hobby.' By Dr. Homer Vincent Claude Pierson, Jr. In this little book, I think you'll find, Dr. Pierson tells us very clearly how when he was twenty-one years of age he started putting aside a little time each day-two minutes in the morning and two minutes at night, if I remember correctly-and at the end of the first year, just by these little informal visits with God, he increased his annual income seventy-four per cent. I believe I have an extra copy, and if you'll be good enough-"

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I'm open to hearing any ideas on the subject. Thank you.

Consider making everything your practice. With this perspective, where and when and how you meditate simply flows along with your life sitting, standing, walking or lying down.

Because in the times that you don't practice with all your waking body, speech and mind, you are likely just chasing cravings.

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