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  • Jakugan
    • Jan 2013
    • 303


    Whilst sitting today I noticed how much I am attached to time. I catch myself sometimes glancing at the meditation timer, wondering how long is left, deciding how long I should sit. At work I often find myself glancing at the clock, wondering how long it is until I can go home. On my days off I can be the same.

    Does anyone catch themselves doing this as well?


  • Kyotai

    Yes. And at times, the exact opposite.

    I place my cell phone timer directly behind me to reduce this temptation.




    • Steven
      • Sep 2013
      • 114

      Occasionally when I sit I wonder how much time I have left before it's over. It seems though when we do this, it's almost contrary to the point of Zazen. To wonder how much time is left is to not be in the moment and thinking about all the other awesome things you could be doing . Oddly enough, when we normally look at a clock, we see the time ahead and not the time now. Our measurement of time has a pretty neat purpose, but it doesn't really serve us much when we're sitting Zazen, especially when using a timer! We already know how long we're sitting before we even start. I usually have my timer somewhere out of sight like Shawn does to keep myself from the urge to peek at it.

      Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk


      • Kokuu
        Treeleaf Priest
        • Nov 2012
        • 6791

        Hi Simon

        I have done this too and, like Shawn and Steven, place time pieces well out of the way to avoid the temptation. My phone alarm is set to a temple bell sound for the end of the meditation time so it's not like I will overstep*


        *actually there have been a couple of times when my phone ran out of batteries and I thought 'this sitting has been going on for some time' only to find the phone switched off and 20 minutes extra or so of sitting had been had. Not such a terrible thing, though!


        • Geika
          Treeleaf Unsui
          • Jan 2010
          • 4980

          I sit without a timer because of this.
          求道芸化 Kyūdō Geika
          I am just a priest-in-training, please do not take anything I say as a teaching.


          • Mp

            Hello Simon,

            I used you look at my timer, but now I can set the timer to start a few minutes before hand, then it rings the bell and starts the session. This way I can leave the distraction on the other side of the room. =)



            • Onken
              • Jun 2011
              • 104

              I find this happens to me a few times a week. Some times I think 20 min is just a LONG time. How much time is left?, I have to get going to do something more important and productive. When I have something to do, I'm rushed, when I don't, I can sit for 2 hours. Sometimes I just can't finish my sit. That's OK, I'm not attached to it anymore. I sit for 20, 40, or 5 minutes. If I catch myself looking at the timer, I just let it go and let myself be present. The need to run disappears. But, this is the reality of practice I think.


              • TimF
                • Dec 2013
                • 174

                Like others here I put my timer far enough away and in a position where I am not able to see it. A timer for me is a guide and not set in stone. I set it for the minimum amount of moments that I believe I have until I need to get my day going or get to bed, and when the final gongs sound, I sometimes continue to sit until I decide I need to stop. This helps me to let the "end" be another "beginning" as a way to remind myself that I am reborn into each moment.

                "The moment has priority". ~ Bon Haeng


                • Kyonin
                  Treeleaf Priest / Engineer
                  • Oct 2010
                  • 6742

                  Hi all,

                  Being aware of your attachment to time is good because we can do something about it.

                  Whenever I sit uncomfortably without realizing it, I have caught myself wondering how many minutes are left.

                  I just correct my position and resume zazen, but I control myself and don't look at the time. It's hard to do, I just don't think too much about it.

                  Placing your timer out of reach helps too.


                  Hondō Kyōnin
                  奔道 協忍


                  • Jakugan
                    • Jan 2013
                    • 303

                    Thanks for everyone's advice. I shall move my timer behind me when i next sit! I think this problem pervades much of my life in general. Too often I find myself dividing things up into desirable and undesirable time. I guess I just need to catch myself doing this and do some mental sweeping.