Beginning a first thing in the morning sit ?

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  • Banto
    Member
    • Jan 2015
    • 209

    Beginning a first thing in the morning sit ?

    I'm a night owl, morning's are a bit rough

    However I'm considering sitting first thing in the morning when I wake up, which implies getting up that much earlier obviously.
    <ouch>

    For those of you who have gone this route ... what would you share about it?
    Though zazen is neither good nor bad, aside from day scheduling is there a reason to start our days this way?
    I'm hesitant to even put it that way because then it's like gaining or pursuing.

    Rodney SatToday

    Banto (aka Rodney)
    万磴 (Myriad StoneSteps)
  • Mp

    #2
    Hey Rodney,

    First off, good on you for stepping outside the box or warm comfy bed. =) I also have a morning sit when I first get up. I wash my face and then sit ... for me it is nice as my mind is clear and uncluttered from the day. I also find it helps wake my body up ... a little morning stretch if you will. The part I find the most beneficial is the state of mind/mood it sets for the rest of the day - I am more relaxed, open, and less rushed.

    Hope that helps give some insight ... good luck, I think you will find it rewarding too. =)

    Gassho
    Shingen

    #sat this morning #sat this evening

    Comment

    • Jakuden
      Member
      • Jun 2015
      • 6142

      #3
      Ah, same here, I struggle mightily with mornings. Somewhere along the line, long before Treeleaf, I realized that mornings were such times of both internal and external turmoil that I had to get some kind of a sit in, although if I sit right after I get up,... I go right back to sleep.

      So I developed a routine where I get up early and drive to work, keeping the radio off and driving mindfully (bonus: miss the worst of the rush hour traffic) and park in a nearby shopping plaza... sit in my car for 20 minutes or more, then go to work. Car sitting, although you can't really get in the perfect position, does work for me... I can open the window in nice weather... hear birds, (or church bells, or the garbage truck, etc.) or see the sun, rain or snow... It really puts me in a much better frame of mind as I walk in to my office and get immediately hit with the morning chaos.

      Gassho,
      Sierra
      SatToday

      Comment

      • Ongen
        Member
        • Jan 2014
        • 786

        #4
        My personal solution was, and I truly believe it's the only solution: Get over yourself just rise up, sit. No reason not to.

        All that crap about being a night person, being too tired, having a headache --- the list is endless. It's all just monkeymind crap.
        So just do it, keep at it and it will become something you don't want to miss anymore. That at least is my own experience.

        Gassho
        Ongen

        Sat this morning from 5:30 to 6:10
        Ongen (音源) - Sound Source

        Comment

        • Kyonin
          Treeleaf Priest / Engineer
          • Oct 2010
          • 6742

          #5
          Hi Rodney!

          I was a night creature for most of my 20's, but I changed that. Now I am a morning person. I discovered I am a lot more focused and productive from 4:30 AM to 3:00 PM.

          If you love the night and intend to rise up early, go at it REALLY slowly. By that I mean that make it a change that takes you at least a couple of years. If you want to get up early to sit tomorrow, you'll do it, but in about 3 days your mind and body will protest and will make you go back to bed.

          For instance, if now you get up at 7 AM, do not get up at 5 AM tomorrow. Instead, set your alarm to 6:50 AM. Yes, only 10 minutes. And stay like that for a couple of months to give time to your mind and body to get used to the new routine. When you feel comfortable with that, set the alarm to 6:40 AM and stay there for 2 or 3 months. Repeat until you get to your desired goal.

          And here's the trick for doing this: at night, go to bed 10 minutes earlier that you usually do. At first you won't be sleepy at all, but you can always get a nice book and read some pages. Sleep will come after a a week, when your body gets used to the new alarm time. Thing is, getting up early is great, but be sure to sleep the right amount of hours for you.

          And as for zazen, get up at 4:30 AM and sit at 5:20 AM, after having a nice cup of coffee in silence while reading.

          Hope this helps.

          Gassho,

          Kyonin
          Hondō Kyōnin
          奔道 協忍

          Comment

          • Jishin
            Member
            • Oct 2012
            • 4820

            #6
            Hi Rodney,

            It's a matter of priority like brushing your teeth. Make a rule that you can brush your teeth in the morning only after sitting. If not, you go to work with bad breath.

            Gasho, Jishin, _/st\_

            Comment

            • Washin
              Treeleaf Unsui
              • Dec 2014
              • 3759

              #7
              Hi Rodney,

              I've been practicing with morning sits included since two years now and can say they do wonders.
              Some teacher said, "Just as you wash your hands before eating, clear your mind before engaging
              with the world".
              I've never been quite an early morning person, but somehow I managed to shift my risings from 7 to 6am.
              First I do this stretching (http://www.tricycle.com/blog/how-sit...ses-full-lotus) and
              then I sit zazen.

              Gassho,
              Sergey
              sat-today
              Kaidō (皆道) Every Way
              Washin (和信) Harmony Trust
              ----
              I am a novice priest-in-training. Anything that I say must not be considered as teaching
              and should be taken with a 'grain of salt'.

              Comment

              • Ugrok
                Member
                • Sep 2014
                • 323

                #8
                Hey ! I'm also a morning sit addict. In fact, starting my day, going outside, without sitting first, seems strange now. For me it's not as peaceful as it seems it is for you guys. Mornings are often anxious, and it helps to sit, if only to be able to see what are my concerns for the day or in general, what runs in my head on automatic pilot, and let it go before leaving into the world which i never left. It also gives the opportunity to see tensions and to relax, which is a great way to start the day (so tensions don't build up on tensions). They are often interesting sits because my mind wanders towards "what i have to do today" and "will i be able to do it" and that kind of crap, and seeing this stuff puts it at a sane distance. Gassho, Ugrok Sat Today

                Comment

                • Byrne
                  Member
                  • Dec 2014
                  • 371

                  #9
                  Start off with a realistic plan. If you can only reliably get yourself out of bed and sit for 5 minutes do that every day. As it becomes a habit you can increase it to whatever is appropriate. I don't have a fixed schedule on the day to day. Bedtimes and wake up time are rarely consistent. When I joined Treeleaf I made a pact with myself that no matter what I will sit somewhere in some circumstance for at least 15 minutes. You need to be permissible and very strict at the same time if you want to make a habit. Whatever works for you so long as it actually works.

                  Gassho

                  Sat Today

                  Comment

                  • Jundo
                    Treeleaf Founder and Priest
                    • Apr 2006
                    • 39477

                    #10
                    Hi,

                    Nishijima Roshi was of this opinion ...

                    Master Dogen wrote in his Bendoho that monks in a monastery should sit four times per day, in the early and late morning, in the afternoon and the evening. However, most lay people have jobs or school to attend, so I think it good to do it in the morning, as well as in the evening before bed. However, because the latter is a time when we are most tired, it may not go as well as in the morning after rising from a good sleep. Still, if one can manage to do it as the close of one’s day, for even 5 or 10 minutes, it will be a good bridge into a sound sleep, and will have a huge effect to bring stability and rhythm into one’s daily life.
                    ...
                    [B]y our sitting of morning Zazen, upon rising therefrom, we are able to live with composure and serenity of body, composure and serenity in mind: we can spend our day, take our breakfast, go to school, go to work, and we can engage in all activities with composure and serenity of body, composure and serenity in mind. Thereby, one effect which arises from our composure and serenity of body, our composure and serenity in mind, is a cessation of ways of thinking that pull and drag us here and there, which send the workings of our minds spinning round and round.
                    http://www.amazon.com/Heart-Buddhism.../dp/B00SQQUWBC
                    I believe that sitting before bed, dropping away the entanglements of the day and our thoughts, judgments and worries of this and that, may help a good transition to sleep. Likewise, in the morning may start the day off on the right foot and carry into the rest of the day. Even just sitting for 10 minutes might be enough.

                    I am not sure that is enough by itself however, so all during the day ... don't forget ...



                    Details here ...



                    Gassho, J

                    SatToday (late morning)
                    Last edited by Jundo; 12-08-2015, 03:13 PM.
                    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

                    Comment

                    • Banto
                      Member
                      • Jan 2015
                      • 209

                      #11
                      It's so great to hear everyone's take on this. I appreciate you all so much!!
                      I was sitting 15 minutes in a couple of spots through the day (like Sierra before work and one mid when possible) but going home and doing a 35 right after work.
                      Those after work ones are often still trying to solve the days events, still carrying things that had long since been gone in the day.

                      I did get up early this morning to start this journey and love the advice hear to ease in to it, ease the clock back. I recognize my resistance to the "sting" of waking up in the morning (groggy, burny eyes, achy) and hobbled to the room with my zafu. It was certainly a different kind of sit! Instead of returning to Z' from problem solving and reliving the days events, it's Z' from leftover dream loops and then transforming in to anticipation of the events of the day. So anyways much uncovering of attachments and resistance and such; so sting there might be, but this is definitely something I need to commit to here forward.

                      I think I'm going to go the route you have there Jundo; sit first thing and last thing. One in the middle where I can and definitely insta-s :O)

                      A year or so ago we talked about to caffeinate before morning sitting or not. Still chewing on that. This morning I went straight to zafu from bead. Thinking of coffee or tea haha.

                      Onward
                      Love to you all
                      Gassho,
                      Rodney the SeamRipper SatEarlyToday

                      Banto (aka Rodney)
                      万磴 (Myriad StoneSteps)

                      Comment

                      • Joyo

                        #12
                        Hi Rodney, I would agree with all the other posts here. I sit most mornings for 15 min. I think the key is doing so with a no-gaining mind. Sometimes for those 15 min my mind is racing so much, it has made me wonder why I am bothering. However, all I have to do is miss one or two morning sits and I realize the efforts of are worthwhile.

                        Good for you for giving it a try, all the best =)

                        Gassho,
                        Joyo
                        sat today

                        Comment

                        • scareyw
                          Member
                          • Oct 2015
                          • 25

                          #13
                          I think a morning sit would benefit me, but our schedule makes that impractical at the moment. Instead, I try, when I'm not lost abiding in thought, to use free moments (and not so free moments) to practice being in the present moment.

                          Comment

                          • Kaishin
                            Member
                            • Dec 2010
                            • 2322

                            #14
                            I'm a night owl too, mornings are awful for me. But this is a timely post, because I just started sitting for 15mins in the morning next to a light-therapy lamp, which I'm hoping will both help me wake up better and reduce the autumn/winter blues. We'll see how it goes!
                            Thanks,
                            Kaishin (開心, Open Heart)
                            Please take this layman's words with a grain of salt.

                            Comment

                            • Jakuden
                              Member
                              • Jun 2015
                              • 6142

                              #15
                              Ooh Kaishin, what a great idea. I have one of those light boxes, but I never seemed to make time to use it in the morning (and if I program it to turn on automatically my poor husband almost falls out of bed).

                              Is there any reason why not to do zazen under a light box in the morning?

                              Gassho,
                              Sierra
                              SatToday

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