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Lesson 193 -
Extending Practice Time Safely (Audio)
AYP Plus Additions:
193.1 - Why Not Meditate Every 2-3 Hours? (Audio)
Date: Tue May 18, 2004 2:08pm
New Visitors: It is recommended you read from the beginning of the archive, as previous
lessons are prerequisite to this one. The first lesson is, "Why
Q: On last Sunday, I had much spare time. During meditation, I doubled the
duration. At last, I could feel and hear the heart beat in my head. Should I
always meditate longer than 20 minutes for better result?
A: Thank you for writing and sharing.
Your spiritual enthusiasm (bhakti) is wonderful, and you can use it to
enhance your practices for sure.
However, it can be hazardous to suddenly lengthen
your meditations greatly beyond the 20 minute guideline. Any change should
be done very gradually, only five minutes at a time, with each step
stabilized and sustained as part of your regular routine over weeks and
months, with 30 minutes meditation time being a reasonable limit. It is not
good to jump the meditation time around every day and week. If you overdo
beyond that, you could have too many obstructions coming out and run into
discomfort, irritability in daily activity, etc. See
Lesson 159 for an example of this kind of difficulty in meditation time
There is a way to systematically increase meditation and all practices if
you have no responsibilities on a weekend, holiday, or are retired. This is
to repeat your entire routine a second time in the morning -- adding one
routine of practice for one or two days on a weekend or holiday, or possibly
doing this ongoing if retired or on extended retreat. This adds huge
purification and deeper momentum in spiritual progress. Being free of
responsibilities is very important to do this, or it can also lead to
discomfort and unpleasant experiences because so much is being released from
inside. If you do three routines in a day it is important to have some light
activity, like casual walking and gentle (social) satsang during the
afternoon and evening. This light activity helps balance the process of
release of obstructions from the nervous system.
For two morning routines, the sequence of practices is asanas, pranayama
(all doing to date), meditation, samyama (if doing), yoni mudra, rest (at
least 10 minutes lying down)... and then start over.
In the evening only one routine should be done, so it is three full routines
of practice in a day.
So, if you are ambitious, you can try that. Don't be surprised if a lot is
coming loose inside. Advanced yoga practices are deceptively simple and very
powerful -- especially deep meditation. If releases are ever too much, then
back off practices to a more stable routine immediately.
Always keep self-pacing in mind, especially when you are undertaking new
practices or stepping up to longer times of practice.
I wish you all success on your chosen spiritual path.
The guru is in you.
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Note: For detailed
instructions on building a practice routine with self-pacing, and on
increasing practices during retreats, see the
AYP Eight Limbs of Yoga book
and the AYP Retreats Book,
and AYP Plus.
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