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Advice on Sitting for Busy People

see Nano Zazen

Someone wrote recently and, in their note, said they'd love to have more time to sit. "Sitting," for someone who may have stumbled on this and not know, often is used to mean "to meditate" - even though those are different parts of speech. Here is how I answered them - not really how - it's what I answered.

Time to sit? I suggest you sit at least one minute every day when you get up and maybe the same before you go to bed depending on whether you drink at night or not or whether you want to also. You can do that anytime in the day - sit, not drink. Well, you can also do that - I used to - but I don't advise it. Back to sitting. Some people give themselves a five minute minimum. Then if you have time you can keep sitting as long as you want. I've given this advice to people since the sixties and have had many tell me years later that it's the only thing that stopped them from quitting. That's a sort of double negative. How about kept them sitting. That's a double positive. On the other hand, I know adherents of Vipassana who say that one week Zen sesshins or even the ten day Vipassana sesshins are just too short. A friend of mine recently said that Thai monks had said to him, "Why bother?" But those are people on a superior trip. I have inferior practice and that includes one minute zazen periods.

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