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How often should I meditate?

Tuesday 13th October 2009

It's a question I get asked very often. The simple answer is as often as you like.

I generally encourage people to explore their meditation so I may say: "meditate at different times of the day, notice what is the same, notice what happens when you meditate in the morning as opposed to the evening. Meditate twice a day, do one long meditate and then several short ones... notice what's different."

It also depends on where you are in your meditation.

People who are already meditating on pure energy find it even easier to sit for many hours, whereas if you're just learning the breath meditation, then 5 mins is also great. But to turn it on it's head, I recently sat and meditated for 4 hours with one of the people I am teaching, and despite the fact she had only ever done 45 mins up till then, she found it so easy that she didn't even believe she had actually done 4 hours!

The more people relax, and enter their meditation with a sense of adventure and delight then the easier it is to simply enjoy it without referencing time. I have on a number of occassions, taken time off and sat literally for days meditating between 4 and 10 hours at a time without moving. I recently meditated for 10 days, which was an absolute pleasure. Each day I meditated between maybe 10 and 20 hours. Now years ago when I started, I wouldn't have believed I'd be saying that! My first meditate was 2mins and 13seconds! - yes I actually timed it!

Practical Meditation Advice

So here are some handy hints in reference to meditation and time:

  1. Use an alarm clock. If you're meditating and you know that in 30 mins you'll need to do something then set an alarm, otherwise you'll be monitoring the time in the back of your mind and you may struggle to become as still as you could if you let the alarm take care of time.
  2. The key is to be regular. it is better to do 30 mins a day than one 2 hour meditate once a week.
  3. Mix things up! While regular meditation is a good habit to have, if you are always meditating at the same time, in the same place, for the same duration, then do something different, otherwise you're just becoming more unconscious in the habit and less likely to actually turn up and notice what's happening in your meditation.
  4. Take care of your body! Especially when it comes to longer meditates, if your body is well looked after, you'll find it easier to sit and be comfortably still for longer periods... allowing you to enjoy the inner peace and stillness more.
  5. Challenge your limits.... like my friend who went from doing 45 mins to 4 hours! She found new levels of stillness and inner love by being willing to challenge her limits :) in a nice way.

There's plenty more I could say but this time I'll stop for now :)

Enjoy your meditation!


Posted by Mark Zaretti at 21:04

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