This is one of the most asked questions on Meditation.
How long should you meditate?
Honestly speaking, there is no single answer.
The answer depend on your expectations with meditation. If you are planning to live in an Ashram, Retreat Centre or any similar institution to devote yourself fully for the development of your spiritual self, then it would be difficult to assign a specific time schedule for your meditation practice except what will be provided to you by your teachers there. Moreover, when you devote yourself in the practice of meditation full time, you will eventually evolve a time schedule on your own.
However, if you are living in a family setup (as a homemaker or the head of the family or a student) then you will be having a whole lot of activities to do on daily basis. As such, meditation will be one of the many other things you will like to prioritize. My advice on the expected duration of meditation is aimed towards those people who are living a busy and modern life and want to utilize the full benefit of meditation.
So how much meditation is enough ?
The fact is : it depends.
To really having a feeling of something, as if you have been immersed in the process of meditation, at least 20 minutes are required.
After a very long practice of meditation that was consciously maintained in an extremely busy schedule, it is my personal opinion that a 20 minutes practice of meditation is bare minimum to have an in depth feeling of it.
So if you can spare at least 20 minutes for your meditation practice, that will be golden.
But what if you can’t spare even 20 minutes a day for meditation.
Then do it for 15 minutes.
If that is not possible, then do it for 10 minutes. Though this duration of 10 minutes is not enough, still with consistent practice, it will produce its desired effect.
But What is you can’t spare even 10 minutes a day for meditation.
If you don’t have time for even 10 minutes for meditation, then it means 2 things:
1) The first thing is that your priorities are highly imbalanced. How many minutes you spend everyday on Whatsapp and Facebook? If you can’t spend even 10 minutes on meditation then you need to reorient your priorities. In a day that consist 24 hours, finding a time for 10 minute meditation practice is not an impossible task. The only thing that is required is an honest contemplation of your entire schedule for the day and minimize the non-essential tasks.
2) The second meaning (of your inability to find time for meditation) is the brutally honest fact that you simply don’t want to meditate. As simple as that. Because, just like every other thing in life, you can always find time for something that you want to do.
Let me tell you something on the basis of experience of my own and those of numerous other – Meditation is joy. It is a sort of pleasing addiction with no negative traits of other addictions. Once you start doing it on regular basis, it will start attracting you like a magnate. It is something that you will WANT to do daily. Once it happen, you will find time for it.
The only thing that is required is a genuine effort on your part to give meditation a try for at least 10 minutes.
You must be wondering why I did not advise to meditate for 5 minutes or less a day? I know that there have been many videos/article on internet where masters have advised their disciple to meditate for whatever duration they want- even if it is for one minute only. While I respect all these masters, I do not agree with that.
A daily practice of only 5 minutes of meditation per day is not advisable. It must be at least 10 minutes for a bare minimum and at least 20 minutes for some substantial gain. However, when you are doing it daily for at least 10 or more minutes a day and if on a particular day, the prevailing circumstances does not allow you enough time, then and only then, you should reduce your practice for less than 10 minutes. On these days, your emphasis should be to at least ensure the continuance of the practice- even if it is for one minute only. But under no circumstances you should make it a daily routine to meditate for less than 10 minutes.
In summation, my answer to the question : How long should you meditate? is as under :
You should meditate at least 20 minutes a day to ensure fastest growth.
At least 10 minutes a day for ensuring any meaningful gain from it.
Never less than 10 minutes per day as a matter of routine.
Only in unavoidable circumstances, you may reduce your duration to less than 10 minutes.
I hope you have gained something from above article. In case, you have any question, feel free to ask by making a comment below