It may be necessary to accept that we haven't taken very goodcare of our bodies over the years and that some pain anddiscomfort is the price for that negligence. Don't tortureyourself and don't pamper yourself. learn and let go.
How often and for how long should we meditate?
Like most things, it depends. Fixed, one-size fits all answersdon't usually help much.A general rule of thumbs is that most people will have a fairamount of progress, keep learning, and deepen their practicewith a regular hour of meditation each day. The hour may bedivided between one or two sessions, depending on personalcircumstances.Of course, some may not be able to manage that much.Appreciate what opportunities one has & make the most of them.
What is the best time of day for meditation?
Again, it depends on the details of your life. Many of us enjoymeditating first thing in the morning, or after some looseningup with yoga. The mind is generally rested & fresh, has plentyof energy. As Tan Ajarn put it, "our tea cup hasn't overflowedyet."Towards the end of the day is another favorite, as it helps usprocess & let go of whatever may be troubling us from the day'sexperiences. Better to recognize & let go of the stuff, than letit mess up our sleep.Nonetheless, the "best time" is any time that we are able to doa little meditation. This includes the many minutes scatteredthroughout the day that we spend waiting for somebody to pickup the phone, waiting in line, etc. Better to wit on thebreathing rather than impatiently
Do you encourage a deep in-breath on every breath, or just at thebeginning of a meditation session? How do you encourage a deep in-breath without forcing or controlling?
Personally, I (skb) like to start with intentionally deeperbreathing -- but not forced -- to loosen up the body and focusthe mind. Later, it's deeper by itself.