How Long Should My Meditation Sessions Be?

Ahhhh……. a successful meditation session.  I just had one before I sat down to write.  I set my Peace Alarm Clock to chime every five minutes for twenty minutes, and my mind was very cooperative.  I must confess, I’ve had other twenty-minute sessions that were not so pleasant.

How long should you sit? There is no one answer to this question, but remember, this website is dedicated to the householder, the busy modern human who has a five page to-do list and is looking to stop the madness, so my answer will be geared toward you, modern meditator.

At a retreat I attended with Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche we explored the question of how long to sit.  His advice was to stop after you have had “good results.”  In the beginning of your meditation journey, good results might mean five minute sits, twice a day.  As you build up your meditation stamina, you may want to try a twenty minute sit.  The hope is that you will end your meditation session feeling calm, focused, centered, and refreshed, but don’t expect those results all the time.  Even advanced meditators have uncomfortable meditation sessions, where their minds are distracted for the full session, and unpleasant emotions rule their time on the cushion.

There is no set time for a successful meditation session.  Success is being with whatever arises, without judgment, and having the willingness to come back to the process again the next day.

Tell us what works for you?  What is one of your most memorably successful meditation sessions?  How about one of you most memorable unsatisfying sessions?

 

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