Lengthening our Sits
Having made it this far, we now have established a daily meditation practice of at least 20 minutes. Congratulations! To keep progressing swiftly through more advanced stages and reap even greater benefits, we recommend increasing daily practice to a minimum of 40 minutes.
If this sounds off-putting, don’t let this discourage you. Forty minutes indeed is a significant daily commitment. However, we should not see meditation as a sacrifice, but rather as an investment, and one that will quickly reap rewards that surpass our commitment. As we increase the length of our daily practice we will observe that:
- Meditation becomes more enjoyable, as our mind gets more focused and enters a “flow” state
- We get the opportunity to work with new challenges that were previously hidden
- Our mind is less distracted throughout the day, improving our overall productivity and well-being
- We reach deeper layers of mind and access unconscious knowledge and wisdom
- We get to know ourselves more intimately from direct experience
- We experience interesting and insightful states of mind and other intriguing phenomena
- Our motivation increases, and we look forward to meditating for longer periods
To reach our goal of 40 minutes, we start by experimenting will slightly longer sits than we’re used to. We will gradually increase the duration of our sits, for example in 5 minutes increments, until we can comfortably meditate for 40 minutes.
Should this serve as additional motivation, know that this course won’t expect us to lengthen our sits beyond 40 minutes. However, when our schedules allow for it, we should try sitting for longer, or meditating multiple times in a single day. Forty minutes is the daily minimum we should aim for, but longer and more frequent practice always yields exponentially greater benefits. Still, a 40-minute daily sit is enough to enable fast and significant progress.
Occasionally, we may find it hard or even impossible to meditate for a full 40 minutes. Perhaps we woke up later than expected, or are visiting family and don’t have the space required to practice. That is fully understandable.
However, whatever circumstances we find ourselves in, we must always meditate every day, even if for only two minutes. Of course, the benefits of a 5-minute-long sit are smaller than those of a 40-minute meditation. However, the difference between skipping meditation and meditating 2 minutes is even larger! Therefore, make a strong commitment to never skipping a daily meditation session.