Answer to Another Querent
Little Time Required to Attain to Stream Entry
My sits are generally an hour now, but before stream entry (SE), they were around only 30, and I practiced only once a week, and only samatha, during that last dark night. It seemed to make no difference what I did or didn’t do. But once I entered Desire for Deliverance, I made a fervent promise to myself to prioritize awakening and not to lose equanimity if it emerged, which I felt it would.
Suffering as Setup for Equanimity
It is really odd to say this, and I have no proof whatsoever, but I feel that because my knowledges of suffering (Dark Night) were so intense and long, that alone set me up for EQ. So if EQ emerges, I definitely would be consistent. I did one or two 20-minute sits per day in HEQ. Shargrol told me that the sits can take a lot of energy, so shorter ones are fine at that stage. SE happened toward the end of a 30-minute group sit at my workplace. (We have a Friday lunchtime meditation club. So if you have lunchtime, that can be meditation time.)
Metta at Meetings
I actually “meditate” at odd moments during the day. For example, in unproductive meetings, I sit at the back of the room and practice some fairly intense metta for everyone in the room with me. It is peaceful-blissful. I like to think it helps everyone and raises the energy in that collaborative environment.
Sleep and Practice
I tend to be high on the energetic side of spiritual faculties, so I deliberately stay up late and meditate when I’m fairly sleepy. I’ve never dozed off on the cushion, so I probably cannot speak to that problem. I think I’m actually meditating while I’m sleeping. Ever since that event of August 8, I wake up with total loss of sense of body (though I can move and function) and intensity of felt spaciousness. Lately, I purposely observed where I was when falling asleep, and I’m pretty sure I’m falling asleep most nights while in rather spontaneous Boundless Space. I don’t know where you are with jhana practice, but worth a try to go into those states as you go to sleep, if possible.
I’ve never been on retreat, but I’m suddenly compelled to go on retreat. Unfortunately, the ones I would spend my vacation time on won’t let me in because I don’t have a retreat resume already. The beginner classes I don’t fit the description for, and they tend to be short. So I’m a bit frustrated about that. I have a friend at work who describes his practice as spotty and full of doubt (I think he is in the Dark Night), but he has done retreats and so can get into these more intermediate retreats that I’m turned away from. I feel that my extensive classes in the Tibetan tradition and my 4 years of daily meditation with results should count for something, so that system is screwed up.
The Choice to Be Mindful
Okay, I’m off topic, but just saying—steal any moment you can to be
mindful. Be creative with finding those moments. You are living out moments. You have some choice about how fully to be with them.