Often after I lead a meditation session, students will ask me how long we sat. It's nearly always 24 minutes, which one of my teachers says is the amount of time it takes for the mind to settle down, and I trust her. But their experience of it is different each time. Sometimes 24 minutes seems like hours; other times they say it feels like five.
Maybe you've heard people say that they don't need to do sitting meditation because they do other things that have meditative qualities. "My yoga is my meditation," they say, or running or music or knitting or any repetitive activity.
The first time you walk into a new place is an experience of groundlessness -- and since we generally don't like to free-fall through life, the first thing we do is look for ground. It's part of our survival instinct, a remnant of our lizard brain: We need to sort out friends from foes, to know whether it's time to stick out our quills to defend ourselves or show our soft bellies and get some loving.
Illness inspires me to embark on a fourteen-day fast. I meet the days leading up to it with overwhelming resistance and panic, and talk about what it's like and how I'm feeling emotionally and physically.
Do buddhists get hot? Let’s get something straight. That is, yes, a double entendre, hereby spoiled by its designation. That is: you’d better get some ice water, and you’d better hold on to those skivvies. But that’s neither fish nor fowl.