Saturday, May 12, 2012

Lengthening sessions

Sometimes sitting for longer is hard because I think "man, I've already been sitting here for X minutes! How can I possibly do more?" I find that if I "forget" how long I've been sitting, it becomes easier again. Sometimes I pretend like I've just now sit down.

Maybe not a revelation to most meditators, but somehow it's new to me. And I think there's research precedent.

* Can't find the study, but somewhere I read about army recruits told to march X miles, and then questioned about exhaustion partway through the march. I don't remember the details, but I believe exhaustion was strongly correlated with how far they thought they had walked, I think more so than how far they actually had (within the parameters of the study).

* In Carol Dweck's research on willpower, manipulating whether students thought they had unlimited vs. limited willpower impacted how much willpower they actually demonstrated. This goes against the previous theory of it being in limited supply, dictated by biology (running out of "willpower juice" in the brain -- which come to think of it, they had declared was simply glucose.)

I'd be interested to see (/do) a study on how this works with meditation. For now I'll try to forget the idea that I have a limited supply of meditation juice and see if that helps me sit longer.