A. Not very easily is the answer to those extremes, simply because we are all different. There could be a case for too much sitting if it takes over your life, in the sense that you neglect other things that you know you should be doing in your daily routine and life in general. It could mean you may be treating meditation as an escape from your mundane reality.

It can also happen that if you sit a lot, somehow the whole process of meditation seems to grind to a halt and becomes stale. I’m not saying that if times get difficult stop sitting, but rather, if you are getting sort of possessed by meditation and becoming too detached from your experiences of life, then this is something to look at.

Too little meditation may be easier to spot. If you have an agreement with yourself to sit every day, then stick to that. That routine will soon let you know if it is too little. Sitting for just a few minutes may not be enough. If you build up to 30 to 50, even 60 minutes each sit,then this will be more than enough for a daily routine. The best way to avoid too much or too little meditation is to follow the guidance of a teacher and the tradition that, hopefully, you are following.

I would suggest the answer to your second question is this: if you happen to like alcohol, then, as always, walk the middle way. Alcohol dulls the senses and confuses our reality, so this is hardly conducive to meditation and an ethical practice. But then again, if we enjoy a bit of relaxation with a drink, best not to take ourselves too seriously and deny ourselves this small pleasure.