Skip meal to get better meditation?

Bjorn Hjelte, modified 10 Years ago at 2/12/12 9:43 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 2/12/12 9:43 PM

Skip meal to get better meditation?

Posts: 21 Join Date: 12/27/11 Recent Posts
Hi,
I wonder if my meditation would benefit if I ate less food by skipping for example dinner, what do you think?

I know the Buddhist monks usually don't eat after noon, and it's also a common practice on retreats but can you say for sure that it actually benefits your meditation practice? Intuitively the opposite would be true, because as I see it to optimize meditation you would need food to stay energized, so with that logic it would be better to eat MORE, or perhaps several small meals instead of three big ones.

Also, could this be dependent on your level of meditation? Perhaps it's beneficial for a monk but not for a beginner?
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Ian And, modified 10 Years ago at 2/12/12 11:27 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 2/12/12 11:27 PM

RE: Skip meal to get better meditation?

Posts: 785 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
Bjorn Hjelte:
I wonder if my meditation would benefit if I ate less food by skipping for example dinner, what do you think?

I wouldn't be too concerned about this if I were you. If you feel that your digestion is (or has the possibility of causing) havoc with your meditation session, then just wait an hour after eating to meditate. Otherwise, there is absolutely nothing to be concerned about this. Even Gotama enjoyed meditating after having had his alm-round meal. So, what's good for the goose. . .

Conversely, you can meditate before eating, also, if you are so inclined.

I've often meditated after having eaten small meals with no trouble at all. But then, I push the envelop on a lot of things just to find out what works for me. I suppose having been meditating for more than 30 years might have something to do with this also; I've learned a lot about this process in that time. There's an awful lot of propaganda floating around out there about these undertakings that one has to personally de-mythologize from their practice from time to time.
Bjorn Hjelte, modified 10 Years ago at 2/13/12 1:18 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 2/13/12 1:18 AM

RE: Skip meal to get better meditation?

Posts: 21 Join Date: 12/27/11 Recent Posts
Yes, thanks that's a clear answer. I actually find that I rather prefer to for example meditate after breakfast instead of before because I'm just too sleepy before. I guess the best way is to find out for yourself but it's interesting to hear others experiences too.

It's interesting though why it is assumed during for example Goenka retreats that it's good to eat less food, that's what he actually says in one of the evening talks, and for old students to skip dinner.
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Daniel M Ingram, modified 10 Years ago at 2/13/12 2:10 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 2/13/12 2:10 AM

RE: Skip meal to get better meditation?

Posts: 3231 Join Date: 4/20/09 Recent Posts
there is something to the post food sleepies and something to be said for the cognitive effects of a bit of ketosis one gets from a bit of fasting

that said

i have played it both ways and have no real preference presonally

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