It’s quite an interesting question that we get asked all the time and one that’s extremely important to a meditator. 5 minute and 10-minute meditations are quite popular these days. Those who offer meditation are desperate to make money in a highly competitive market where the options and choices are endless. But quick and easy is what sells and gets views on Youtube or likes on social media, which explains a plethora of quick “recharge yourself” offerings. Then there is upselling to yoga mats and other products that enhance your meditation experience.
It goes on and on….commercial intent without any consideration for the optimal time that your personal, individual journey to self-improvement and better health requires. But how long you should meditate and how much time you spend on it is something you should control and determine, rather than allow marketing professionals to dictate this.
And the point to focus here is what realistically is the time needed for meditation to be effective and beneficial for you? Some answers we give will surprise you.
The average total time you need for realizing the benefits of meditation
Anecdotal data from approximately 10,000 Sahaja practitioners who can be considered to have a consistent and reasonably beneficial practice over several years reveals the following average statistics –
- You need to meditate 20 – 30 minutes twice a day, that is about 50 minutes a day and around 6 hours a week.
- Collective meditation is extremely beneficial and essential for your growth and at least 2 hours per week of collective meditation is recommended, so you can draw upon the power that you may not be able to generate on your own for deeper meditations.
- For meditations like Sahaja, you should factor in around 30 minutes, 2 times a week additional time to clear out and balance your subtle energy system. This is like a cleaning or maintenance activity to keep your inner meditation instrument in top shape. So add another hour per week.
- Beyond this, if you’re looking to become an experienced and knowledgeable meditator, some level of reading and exploration of the ton of information is essential, although not absolutely necessary. Regardless of which stage or level of experience you are in, since the potential to learn something like Sahaja is infinity, each person needs to account for 3 hours every week on this.
- And if you want the ultimate level of benefit, that would involve spending 2 days in a quarter over a weekend one of our seminars.
All put together, we’re looking at the following time requirement:
- 9 hours per week and 36 hours per month for a typical meditator for realizing the basic benefits
- 48 hours in a month if you want to go really deep
- About 64 hours per month throughout the year on an average for unlocking the deepest of benefits.
That is the time commitment for a really deeply spiritual form of meditation with a holistic set of benefits across your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual needs in life. You will notice how we’re tying the time commitment to outcomes and that’s of critical importance. You will need to configure the time you need based on the outcomes you realize, not by looking at your schedule, watch or for that matter, even our recommended times.
What do you actually do during your meditation time?
Another dimension to be considered is what’s involved in a session or sitting of meditation. For us, it is about getting to that higher state of Thoughtless Awareness and not much else. For many other forms, it could be breathing exercises and some even combining some stretching, breathing, chanting and some form of meditation. Those that include all those components need to be reviewed even more closely because they’re further splitting the time they recommend into vastly different practices, each having its own technique and benefits. So really, being the jack of all trades and master of none is what you want to avoid.
Exceptions to the average time requirement
99% of the time, the exceptions are on the higher side. Rarely do we see people who require less time than average, unless they are really simple, uncomplicated and breeze through most things without any difficulty in getting themselves in tune to get the best meditation experience. It does happen once in a while, but such people are rare.
Customizing the time requirements to your needs
The best approach, despite all the averages, statistics and recommendations we give, is to customize and define how much time you need and by gauging your own individual state at all times. We have the tools and methods and all the guidance you need in how to come up with this, but we’d rather not define anything for you, even though publishing averages may seem to be doing exactly that.
A simple technique for landing at the optimal time you need is to start with 15 minutes twice a day and continue to increase the duration by testing how the experience feels and how your day goes. Or the feedback from your own inner subtle energy system.
Some meditation is better than none at all
Despite all that said above, remember that any time spent on meditation is better than none at all. Also, if you’re aspiring to learn and get into meditation, just that aspiration and desire for self-improvement is really good. Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t meet the average or haven’t started meditation as yet.
Meditation, spirituality and self-improvement are decidedly long-term and lifetime initiatives that you need to carefully consider. Plan to run the marathon, not the thrilling 100-meter dash sporadically at different points in your life. Stay the course, no matter what.
The quality of meditation is as important as quantity
We have a lot of focus on the quality of meditation too and here’s the best way to put this. Quantity without quality doesn’t help much, but just high quality and lesser time spent also isn’t all that beneficial. That’s because the day you have a high quality experience, you’ll actually want to spend more than the average time on your meditation to enjoy it and use it as a lever to clear yourself out. The good days are definitely rarer than the average quality or bad days and it’s just the way we lead our lives and the world we live in.
Finally, timing yourself, excessive planning and worrying about time, duration and number of times you meditate are all detrimental to your meditation practice. The only reason we provide any information about how much time is required is to leave you in no doubt that meditation requires patience, hard work and time commitment like everything else.
And it’s not simple and easy to achieve the results, especially the deeper benefits. You may feel discouraged, but we’d rather be truthful than salesy or scammy, which we have no reason to be.