Short Meditation

 Short Meditation (from SUS07: Sutra Session (questions) 00:04:17.80 - 00:08:40.50)

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Very short periods of meditation. And I want to put the emphasis on very short. So what does this look like? One breath meditation, that's about as short as you can get, right?.
Then you stop. And you check, "Oh am I still sitting upright, have I gone to sleep. No. OK, that’s good. Let’s do another session of meditation."
And start. OK. So far, so good. And you do that and you may think I’m completely nuts here, but you actually do it this way so that you have the experience of being completely awake and in attention for that one breath. Okay.
Then you do that 10, 15, 20, 30, 50 times--it’s up to you--but do it more rather than less. This can also help you. Then, when you really feel that you can do one breath, you do two breaths.
Then you stop. You don’t have to get up or anything. You just stop, look around, refresh your body and then you do two breaths again. And you gradually build up.
And the point here is, you never give yourself a chance to fall asleep. Because when we do that repeatedly in our meditation, what we’re actually practicing is not meditating--we’re practicing being dull. And that is just as problematic as being carried away by your thoughts—the other sign of the coin. But we actually have to practice this.
I was hearing about this young NBA basketball player. I can’t remember his name. Plays for Oklahoma. He’s one of the top draft picks, but he’s playing in the bottom of the league because that’s how it works. But he’s working really hard--this is his rookie year
And after practice his coach came in and he saw this guy shooting hoops. And he would be standing on one place on the floor and shooting hoops. And he would just shoot from that one position until he could sink every one. And then he would move six inches to the right and do the same thing.
And what he was doing was making sure that his body knew how to shoot from every conceivable point on the floor. He was really working at his game and he’s already a really, really good basketball player. Okay.
That’s what it takes. If we want to practice meditation, it isn’t just sitting down and having a nice thing like that. It’s actually practicing attention. So you practice it. And it’s not enough simply to put in the time. Putting in the time’s very important but in addition to putting in the time we have to be getting the feedback.
Now for the basketball player it’s very easy to get feedback--did the ball go in the hoop or not--very easy. Meditation--it’s a little more difficult getting feedback. That’s why we have to do it very, very short so that "Okay, yes I was there." And then we do it again.
And people think, “Why would I do this?” So that’s my question for you. Why would you do this?
NOTE:  More on one breath meditation here