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Experiment No. 27 — Very Long Meditation Sittings

In this experiment I challenge Pascal’s claim that the human being cannot sit quietly in a room alone.

For seven days, I’m going to meditate for increasingly long periods, sometimes employing the tradition of aditthana, which means staying perfectly still throughout any discomfort that arises.

Day 1 is Monday, August 19. Day 7 is Sunday August 25.

Here are the planned sits:

  • Day One – 60 mins, no intentional movement (aditthana)
  • Day Two – 90 mins, minimal movement
  • Day Three – 75 mins, no intentional movement
  • Day Four – two hours, minimal movement (using a recorded guided practice from Shinzen Young)
  • Day Five – 90 mins, no intentional movement
  • Day Six – two hours, minimal movement
  • Day Seven – 3 hours, no intentional movement (if possible)

I’ll report after each sit how it went and what I learned.

What I’m interested in finding out:

  • Can I actually do the long sits at the end of the week? I have no idea.
  • How the increasing tranquility and increasing discomfort/restlessness that tend to come with long sittings interact
  • What else happens when I sit for long periods during a regular workweek

If you have a meditation practice and want to experiment with longer sittings, I’d love to hear how it goes for you in the comments. Don’t hurt yourself though!

The Daily Log

Day 1

60 Minute meditation — no intentional movement

So sixty minutes isn’t an especially long sit for me these days, but I normally allow myself to adjust my posture, shift and resettle, and scratch itches most of the time.

Today I didn’t, I just sat.

For some reason I was quite tired this morning. I’m usually well awake and alert by the time I get to the cushion, but I didn’t get the greatest sleep last night, and so I was groggy. Standard doctrine is to work with whatever is present, so I did. Throughout the hour I tried a number of different techniques — noting, choiceless awareness, breath concentration — to try to figure out what practice was best suited for my dull state.

I never reached the point of actually falling asleep, I just calmly worked with the fatigue and dullness the best I could. Gradually some concentration developed, and mental talk quieted a bit. I didn’t voluntarily move during the session, and I could see the benefit in this — in those moments when I had the impulse to move but instead just became aware of the body’s current position, I felt a whiff of equanimity come on. I guess when you move the body, you train the mind to subtly reject its position, and expect relief from this. When you refrain, you train the mind to accept it. I could feel the wisdom in that as I sat.

I also decided to keep the timer visible during the sit, and did peek a number of times because the grogginess made me wonder what I was in for exactly. I peeked with 49 minutes remaining, 27, 14, and 6 minutes. I’m not sure whether I should or shouldn’t do this for future sits. I think it’s better to have it visible, because then at least I know where I’m at. I will try to peek less often though. But there’s something unsettling about having no idea if the timer is seconds from going off, or if you’ve got another 35 minutes, and the longer the sessions are the more likely that is to be a factor.

So far so good, although I hope I’m less tired tomorrow.

Day 2

90 minute meditation, minimal movement

No grogginess today, which was great. I woke up with some significant anxiety, however, which I sometimes do. I just sat with it and it quickly fell into the background and then faded to almost nothing.

By the end of the session I was experiencing many of the interesting effects of long sittings:

There was some decent concentration (a.k.a. samadhi, a.k.a. indistractibility) which is always a pleasant and calming quality. There was a lot of equanimity, even with the butt-soreness, and the physical remnants of the anxiety. Mental talk slowed quite a bit, which always has the effect of apparently magnifying the peaceful neighborhood sounds of birds chirping and leaves blowing. My visual field (behind my closed eyes) had brightened and become easy to pay attention to, which is an interesting side effect of concentration. There was also some disidentification with the body, which sounds alarming but it’s a good thing — essentially it’s what happens when you start to recognize that your experience of your own body is only a parade of changing sensations, not fundamentally different from external sensations such as sound and light. The awareness of all this remains, however, you aren’t caught up in the mental model of “I am a meditator noticing all this.”

Now — the session was supposed to one with “minimal movement” but I did encounter an issue I hadn’t thought of: the need to go to the bathroom. So I went, and practiced the monastic tradition of continuing the meditation technique throughout the process. I don’t think this trip downstairs was hugely disruptive to the flow of the practice, and I don’t think it’s good for the body to hold it in. I will try to go before each long session, but sometimes it can’t be avoided. I wonder if this will come into play on Sunday’s three-hour session. There is a reason movies as long as Titanic often have intermissions.

Getting up to use the facilities (at about the halfway mark) did give my butt a break from the persistent pressure, so I don’t know how it will fare for an uninterrupted 90 minutes. Tomorrow is 75 minutes, with strong determination, so I’m sure I’ll get a clue.

Day 3

75 minutes, no voluntary movement

Today was a little rough, even though it was shorter than yesterday. Concentration did not come easily, and I wasn’t in a great mood.

Mood is an unpredictable thing, and sometimes a bad one is present when it’s time to meditate. So that’s not unusual or necessarily problematic. You work with what’s there.

But a low mood often amplifies physical discomfort, and one form of discomfort I experienced today was being too warm. I sit upstairs in an attic-like space, and it was cool this morning but I didn’t open the windows. So it was slightly stuffy. Expecting it to be cool, I made the fatal mistake of not removing my hoodie before settling in. After that, I had made a vow to not move, so it was too late.

It wasn’t hot by any means, just slightly warm. I kept experiencing recurring urges, many dozens of them, to shed my hoodie. This is something I would have done without a second thought in any other sitting. But I couldn’t. So I had to work with the discomfort of a steamy torso, because my attention kept getting drawn there. I tried to allow and study this discomfort, the attachment to the slightly-improved circumstance of not having that layer.

Several times I noticed that I was wishing the session would end, which rarely happens in my hope practice. I’ve had that experience many times on retreat, when you’re sitting with others and it’s perfectly silent and you feel some social pressure not to even swallow. Everyone who’s ever gone on retreat knows the feeling of sitting there, completely fed up, dying to hear that bell. I wasn’t quite dying but I sure was happy to hear the gong.

The whole experience illuminated the value of this project. Being slightly too warm is a kind of discomfort I would have normally just alleviated — what’s the harm in removing the hoodie and carrying on? Well, maybe none, but there is value in working voluntarily with the discomfort, and the aditthana vow is what enabled that. Despite the difficulty of the session, I know I got some very productive work in that would not have been achievable under normal circumstances.

Tomorrow is two hours, but I have the luxury of my teacher guiding me, which makes things easier and somehow more comfortable. Sunday’s mega-sit looms in the distance.

Day 4

2 hours, minimal movement, with audio guidance

Today’s sit was a completely different story. I began by listening to a 2-hour pre-recorded home-retreat program from Shinzen Young. He conducts home-based retreats, which students can listen to live, or listen to the recording later. (This is called the Home Practice Program).

Anyway, I practiced with the guidance for the first… 40 minutes? (I didn’t look at the timer today) then turned it off because I wanted to practice a different technique. I was able to settle in and generate some pretty strong samadhi. I hadn’t experienced anything quite as strong since my last residential retreat, last June.

I did move and shift a fair bit, more to kindly bring circulation to the numb parts than as a direct response to discomfort. Two hours of strong determination would have been a lot more challenging, but probably even more fruitful.

Tomorrow is 90 minutes of adhittana practice, which I’m looking forward to. I want to practice straightforward breath concentration practice, which I seldom do.

Day 5

90 minutes, no voluntary movement

Another relatively easy and fruitful session. I did compromise my “no movement” vow very early on, rationalizing it because it was so early into the session. About 5 minutes in, I had an idea for an article, and toyed with the idea of letting it go. This is something I’m sure many people who both meditate and write struggle with. Good ideas are notorious for striking in the middle of a shower, or a 5-mile run, where you have no hope of capturing it without counting on your memory. While meditating, you do have a choice — interrupt this session to jot down the idea, or use this as an opportunity to let go, trusting that you will have enough ideas later, even though this one may be lost forever.

I decided to jot it down, knowing that I would still be sitting 85 minutes without moving. And I did. I’m not sure it was the wrong decision. (Now that I think of it my original plan was to tack 5 minutes to the end of the session to bring it back up to 90 but I forgot.)

Anyway, the session felt like a good one. By the end, butt-numbness was quite strong, and I did my best to fully let it go. However some part of me kept thinking, “Do I know I am not harming by body by ignoring this discomfort?” And even though I was pretty sure it was safe to ignore, and have felt the same thing many times with no ill effects, some part of me could not quite let go into it. It was quite interesting internally, to be releasing, releasing, allowing the sensations to come and go, the familiar precursor feelings to tranquility lapping at the edges of my awareness. I was completely okay with the intensity of the discomfort, but I was just a little too hesitant to let go into tranquility (or passadhi).

This brings up an interesting point about our evolutionary heritage. We’re programmed to see pain as something to get away from — if it hurts to do X, stop doing X. If you feel pain when you go to Y place, get away from Y place. Same thing the other way with pleasure. This algorithm is crude, however. There are times when it makes sense to release our resentment for pain, and to renounce pleasure. Our difficulty in doing that is why we harm ourselves with consumer debt, poor eating habits, drugs, destructive relationships, procrastination and so on. We do have a rational faculty that potentially allows us to determine if this is likely to be one of those circumstances. And if you deem it is, then you have the option of renouncing the tempting thing, or opening to the unpleasant thing, for your own betterment or the betterment of someone else. Part of mindfulness is developing those particular skills.

Having got up from my sitting with no ill effects, I now know my butt wasn’t in any real danger, so if I experience that level of soreness again in the next sitting I will go ahead and let myself settle fully to it. But it is fascinating to watch the mind contending with unpleasantness — it’s so habituated to go “get away, get away!” But it is possible to relax that reflex to the point where you can actually know pain with absolutely no suffering, which is what happens when you completely let go of aversion. The ability to cultivate equanimity in the presence of strong displeasure (or temptation) is an incredible human capacity and it is such a fascinating experience to have.

Day 6

2 hours, minimal movement

Today the cumulative effects of all that meditation became quite obvious. I was very equanimous with all the discomfort I experienced throughout this session, and I experienced a certain brightness to my outlook that I associate with being on retreat. I feel closer to other human beings, less afraid of the future, and willing to experience the future in whatever form it comes.

This effect on outlook is a little different than being in a good mood, although I am in a good mood too.

The session went smoothly. I can tell my body is adjusting to the longer sittings… it takes longer for discomfort to arise. Towards the end of the sitting, I wanted to see if I could completely let go of resistance to the discomfort. I looked for the most intense point of sensation in the area where my body was pressing on the cushion, but I couldn’t quite release it all. There was a small bit of flickering unease with it, which wasn’t difficult to be with but clearly there wasn’t perfect equanimity. This is such interesting territory.

Day 7

Sunday I felt even more mindful and equanimous than Saturday. However, I had a lot of trouble sleeping Saturday night — I attended a pot-luck event and my food choices left me wired (chocolate too late in the day :().

The result of this was that I didn’t begin my sit until mid-morning, and then time became an issue — three hours is a lot of time to do anything, and I didn’t like the idea of it being afternoon before I finished my morning routine. I was feeling really equanimous and peaceful and was eager to use my day, so I decided I’d sit for two hours and see if I wanted to continue. In total I went about 2:19, although I had to get up to go to the bathroom during that time.

So I didn’t sit for the length of Titanic, but I learned what I wanted to learn, and definitely improved my practice, in a lasting way I think. By the end of the week I was much better at attending to the less interesting and less pleasant parts of my sessions. I became more patient with sub-optimal mind states — like anyone, I prefer to meditate when I’m really well rested, and not experiencing difficult emotions. But this experiment taught me that I had little ways of avoiding sitting when I wasn’t very sharp or enthusiastic. For example, I’d cut a session a little shorter when I was tired or felt kind of blah, creating a pattern of never really being mindful of those states.

The sessions really did take a lot of time. Two hours is a big time investment for anything, but it sure did a lot for me in a short time over my usual 40-60 minute sessions. I also found that for the most part, strong determination sitting seems to amplify the benefits of a given period of practice, because you end up bringing mindfulness into some more elusive corners of physical and emotional experience.

I want to keep the momentum going, although I don’t need to spend quite as much time. I’m going to sit for 75 minutes on the mornings I can — that extra 15 minutes makes a big difference, and do strong determination sometimes. I’d love to have a two-hour sit every weekend.

Well, it was a worthy experiment, all told. One day I’ll do a three-hour sit, when it’s less like a circus sideshow feat and more like the next logical step in my practice.


Photo by Sam Austin


Peter Akkies August 19, 2019 at 3:02 pm

Love this experiment, David. Will be eager to read your updates.

I’ve sat for an hour a few times and managed to withstand peeking. But I certainly shifted my posture quite a few times.

Some months ago, a friend told me that she was working with a meditation teacher who said something like “if it’s not uncomfortable, you’re not really getting anywhere [in meditation]”. I understand where they are coming from, but that view does bother me somewhat. I’m all for some stoic withholding of pleasure so that you can appreciate pleasure more, but to intentionally be uncomfortable… I don’t know.

I suppose your experiment will also shed some light on whether the sitting with discomfort produces benefits for you.

As for having no idea when the timer will go off… that was so recognizable. I try to take the “I wonder how much time is left” thoughts the same way I do any other thoughts. But they sure come by frequently.

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David Cain August 19, 2019 at 3:36 pm

I can understand why someone would say that, but I think it’s easy to misinterpret.

Mindfulness practice entails opening up to discomfort. That’s just unavoidable, and many people do try to avoid it completely, which really hampers their practice.

But to say that “if it’s not uncomfortable you’re not getting anywhere” implies that you ought to be uncomfortable at all times, or that you shouldn’t create a comfortable environment and posture for your sittings.

We should get as comfortable as possible for our sittings, as long as we’re in a posture that promotes alertness. But discomfort will always arise and that’s when we work with it.

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Peter Akkies August 20, 2019 at 2:02 am

Yeah, that’s more or less what I thought!

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Kyla K August 19, 2019 at 3:39 pm

This is fascinating. The longest I’ve been able to sit in meditation is around 20 minutes, and that was in a class. I usually try to meditate in silence (and stillness) for 10 minutes and then end up looking at the timer at around 5 minutes, 3 minutes and 35 seconds…

I’d never heard of aditthana, but I appreciate the ideal of “no intentional movement” unless it would be harmful not to move. I definitely allow myself to re-adjust, scratch, open my eyes, etc. as often as I need to when I sit, but how interesting to see this as similar to any of the thoughts that arise in your mind. I loved this: “…when you move the body, you train the mind to subtly reject its position, and expect relief from this. When you refrain, you train the mind to accept it.”

This has inspired me to go further in both the length of my meditations and the stillness. Thank you for sharing! I’ll be interested to read the rest of your daily logs.

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David Cain August 19, 2019 at 3:45 pm

That’s great, I’m glad it inspired you.

There are a lot of different philosophies on how much movement you should allow yourself in meditation. I always encourage beginners to not worry too much about it because the last thing we need is another reason to be uptight or self-critical.

But there is definitely something gained from practicing resolve which is what the word aditthana means. It needs to be gentle though.

Anyway, let me know how your sittings go!

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Brian August 19, 2019 at 6:00 pm

Good project! I invite you to consider that having the timer visible may engender frustration (“OMG I have xx minutes to go!”) Consider that peeking is voluntary movement of the eyelids. You say “Day Seven – 3 hours, no intentional movement (if possible)” Consider that putting in the proviso “if possible” creates the space for not succeeding. Of course it’s possible; it may be difficult–or you may coast through it and amaze yourself!

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Rachel W August 19, 2019 at 10:43 pm

yes!!! To all this!❤

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David Cain August 20, 2019 at 10:17 am

I know what you’re saying, but my goal is not necessarily to meet certain time spans, it’s to explore strong determination to an appropriate degree, and I don’t know what degree is appropriate yet. I included the “if possible” because I will ultimately choose while I’m sitting whether sitting for three hours is good for me. After sitting for two hours I’ll know if it makes sense to intend to sit for 3 hours. There isn’t anything special about the durations I’ve chosen — it’s not analogous to running 26.2 miles or benching 225lbs.

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Andrew Boden August 19, 2019 at 6:13 pm

Hi Dave,

My version of your experiment was something the author and explorer, Robert Twigger, suggested in a post on his website. I sat for two hours and dispassionately observed myself to learn whether I used time or time used me (I’m paraphrasing Twigger). Other than shifting around a bit and occasionally checking my watch, I found myself calm throughout the experiment. I’m not sure if I can yet answer Twigger’s question, but I’m certainly interested in experimenting more — perhaps more in line with your challenge of Pascal’s claim. I’m wondering now though — if rebutting Pascal here requires this much effort, has he not already in a sense been vindicated? His observation seems to describe most of us most of the time — our default setting. Cheers.

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David Cain August 20, 2019 at 10:21 am

Hi Andrew. Hmm.. I would say that it takes much more effort not to challenge Pascal’s assertion — his point was that our inability to sit and be is the reason people spent decades chasing wealth and status and so on. He also used the word inability, which is not the same as “takes effort.”

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Rachel W August 19, 2019 at 10:41 pm

What a great article! Thank you for the inspiration and insights. I have been looking to deepen my practice/challenge myself a bit. I generally sit for 10-30 minutes in the mornings and evenings. The longest I have done is an 8 hour class, where we would sit for an hour, then do silent walking meditation for 15 minutes, then sit for an hour, and so on… as you mentioned, I have always given myself the option to scratch/shift/etc. Looking forward to trying this! Thanks so much!

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David Cain August 20, 2019 at 10:25 am

Thanks Rachel. I have also practiced in retreat environments where you alternate between sitting and walking. But even in those settings, meditating all day or all week, I haven’t sat more than 90 minutes at a stretch, and certainly not without moving. So there’s an additional element the strong determination offers that’s new to me.

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Christina August 20, 2019 at 12:09 pm

Any challenge involving meditation in a worthwhile challenge. I’m so glad this popped up on my radar. I’m on-again-off-again with meditation and this helped galvanize me to sit for 20 minutes this morning and settle some haphazard energy. I will be following you through this challenge and hopefully pressing my meditation timer app into service daily or at least with more regularity. Continued success with the experiment, David.

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David Cain August 20, 2019 at 2:54 pm

Thank you!

Happy sitting :D

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Josh August 21, 2019 at 8:12 am

“I felt a whiff of equanimity come on. I guess when you move the body, you train the mind to subtly reject its position, and expect relief from this. When you refrain, you train the mind to accept it. I could feel the wisdom in that as I sat.”

Love this friend and your experiment. It’s a great feeling to know I get to share in this experience whenever I get done with my 15 or 20 minutes. The longest I’ve done is 40 minutes. And definitely if a scratch comes up I tend to explore for as long as I can take it, rarely do I get to the point where it settles and goes away on its own.

Happy sitting and exploring to you! :)

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David Cain August 21, 2019 at 3:39 pm

Itching is tough, because it’s a REALLY intense feeling. So it can make just as much sense to work with milder forms of discomfort (of which there are plenty) until you’re ready to try to cultivate equanimity with an itch. Or you can dive into the deep end :)

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Andrea August 21, 2019 at 8:39 pm

I love this experiment! I’m not someone who mediates but this sounds fascinating. I can’t wait to hear how your last day goes.

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Glenn August 23, 2019 at 11:30 pm

Love this experiment. 20 minutes is my go-to morning practice, but occasionally I’ll go for up to 45. I’ve never done an hour. You’ve inspired me to go for it.

You mentioned that you seldom practice straightforward breath concentration. Out of curiosity, what technique(s) do you normally practice?

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David Cain August 26, 2019 at 11:27 am

I mostly practice either a noting-and-labeling style of vipassana, or a receptive awareness style, where I don’t choose where to place my attention, I just notice what objects it alights on and observe them.

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Josh Woll August 25, 2019 at 9:08 pm

“The ability to cultivate equanimity in the presence of strong displeasure (or temptation) is an incredible human capacity and it is such a fascinating experience to have.“

Such a powerful experiment David, kudos to you for being so brave to go this path and share your experience.

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David Cain August 26, 2019 at 11:27 am

Thanks Josh!

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Mark August 26, 2019 at 5:20 am

Thank you for documenting your experiments. What is your experience with working with the content of our minds: worry, rage, desire etc. ? (When you’re on the cushion or off) There is a tendency for me to think I have to figure out why it’s coming up, fix it.

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David Cain August 26, 2019 at 11:33 am

Yeah, the idea is to suspend that impulse to analyze and problem-solve while you meditate. Thoughts will come up of course, but you want to see them as the present-moment phenomena they are (mental talk or mental image) rather than get lost in the meaning of the thoughts, which is where you slip into rumination.

You can practice being aware of thoughts in this way by firstly noticing whether they are a visual or auditory thought… is it words, or pictures, or both? Then you have a choice. You can either put your attention on something else (such as body sensation, sound, the breath, etc.) or you can try to observe the flow of mental talk or mental image without getting lost in the meaning. This takes practice of course, but it can be done.

In the mean time, the general rule is just to remember that unstructured rumination is not the same as intentionally analyzing a problem and “fixing” it. Often we can’t stop thinking about a problem precisely because we know we don’t have a solution for it. Whenever you catch yourself ruminating, ask yourself if this thinking is actually leading you, right now, to a decision or action. If not, it’s pointless rumination.

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sonja grobler August 26, 2019 at 8:24 am

I went to a 10 day Vipassana meditation retreat as a total meditation novice. 9 hours of meditation every day. I went through every conceivable type of pain, irritation, frustration and total mind numbness. From waking up at 4 o clock in the morning with the sound of gentle bells to the last bit at 7 in the evening. I am so glad I stuck it out because at the end of the 10 days i felt the equanimity of being able to watch my thoughts and let them gently go, and the peace of the breath in my body. Thanks for documenting your experience, and reminding me of a very special time in my life

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David Cain August 26, 2019 at 11:36 am

That sounds like the typical 10-day Goenka vipassana experience. They are notoriously unforgiving though… many retreats have a similar format but you get up at 6 instead of 4, you have interludes of walking instead of just incessant sitting, and so on.

I would hope that that equanimity isn’t all in the past though! Retreats help us get into the mode of practice, but the idea is to continue practicing afterward.

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Niki August 27, 2019 at 1:09 am

David, thank you for sharing your inspiring ideas and thinking! I’ve read your articles for a long time and made some important changes in my daily life. (I wanted to write you sooner, but don’t feel very comfortable in English. :))
While practicing meditation I noticed a big difference in using or not using the timer. When I don’t use it, I train myself to let go of control over time. Once I had a thought: “My timer must be broken! The session should be finished by now!” I luckily didn’t react to that. I just continued, allowing the possibility of sitting all day long if the timer is really broken. Of course, it rang eventually. :)
That helps me in some daily events too when I have to wait for something and don’t know how long waiting it will take…
Looking forward to reading more from you!

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David Cain August 28, 2019 at 5:31 pm

I’ve noticed a difference too, but it’s kind of the opposite. Because I always use a timer, I feel a bit lost without it. I don’t want to get caught up in deciding when to get up. When I want to forget about how much time has passed, I just set it for a loooong time, and soon enough I have no idea.

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Linda August 27, 2019 at 9:23 pm

You’ve inspired me once again. Yesterday I sat down to meditate for 15 minutes with the intention of strong determination. I’ve never done that before; I’ve always let myself move or scratch if I felt it necessary. Yet I felt no urges at all and extended it to 23 minutes. Quite strange. Same thing today; no uncontrollable urge to move and the time went by without any sense of time pressure. I don’t imagine things will always go this smoothly but it adds a new element to the practice.

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David Cain August 28, 2019 at 5:32 pm

Ah that’s great. Keep going I say! Take advantage of the clear ground. Once you start getting into the 40+ minute range, there’s a lot more opportunity for concentration and tranquility to arise.

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Christina September 1, 2019 at 6:29 pm

Congratulations on completing this experiment David! I starting meditating several years ago, starting with your first Camp Calm. :) I’ve had a lot of changes in my life since then, but I suspect meditation has contributed to the mental calm and physical comfort I’ve been feeling this year. I’m working on lengthening my sessions as well. I’m up to about 45 minutes and feeling the numb legs and numb bottom. Have you adjusted your cushion height or leg position to help with this over time, or do you just accept it will happen and let it happen? Thanks and looking forward to catching up on your blog here. Best regards, Christina

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David Cain September 1, 2019 at 9:01 pm

Hi Christina. I use a buckwheat cushion on a stack of blankets, and I can sit for quite a while on that. I get some “numb-butt” feelings, and accept them to some degree. It’s okay to mindfully move and adjust your posture when needed, unless you’re doing a strong determination sit.

Another thing that helps, and you may already be doing this, is to constantly be relaxing the body throughout the sit — releasing any needless muscle tension when you notice it, especially in the legs.

Everybody’s body is different though, so I think ultimately we have to just try things and see what works for us.

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Christina September 6, 2019 at 8:25 am

Thank you. I will see if I notice whether I am holding any tension in my legs and can relax them more. I meditated for an hour for the first time this morning. Yesterday’s 45 minutes was easy compared to this. Sitting with no expectations is certainly helpful.

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vijey s kumar September 19, 2019 at 6:20 am

Hi David,

Your write up on your meditation experiment is fascinating, to say the least. One of things I have noticed during my meditation/mindfulness practice is how the mind hates being in the ‘void’ without any inner chattering and conjures fear/greed to bootstrap some sort of inner chattering.

I vaguely remember an experiment conducted in Stanford University, where people preferred, voluntarily to give themselves electric shocks rather than be left all to themselves. it seems contrary to popular belief,that people prefer to do ‘something’ rather than just be.

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