A new answer to an old question – how long should I meditate?
I recently gave a talk to a group. At the end of the session, I had the question “how long should I meditate each time”.
I gave my standard answer, saying that for beginners I recommend meditating 10 – 15 minutes per session. This particular person thought that would be a bit too much for her at this moment. So, I recommended a minimum of 7 minutes to gain any real impact from the meditation.
To my surprise, a lady in the audience piped up. She said that she had been meditating for years, but when she first started she could barely manage to sit still. She said she HAD to start with just 1 minute and work her way up slowly.
Interesting response I thought! And after a bit of pondering I saw her point.
Although I wouldn’t necessarily call this ‘meditation’, I do think this is a great starting point for many people.
Before I became a meditator, I remember my mom telling me I should ‘sit still and learn how to be with myself’. I also remember thinking ‘What a ridiculous idea – why would I do that’? I couldn’t fathom the idea of being quiet, listening to silence (in those days I always had to have music on) and connecting to my own body, mind, or emotions. I mean I had REAL things to do!
So if you are at that point where sitting in silence or sitting still seems impossible, then by all means, start with 1 minute of silence and stillness each day. Get used to turning everything off around you and tuning in to you.
Learn to discover your inner stillness and enjoy it. Learn to listen – I mean really listen to and care about you.