Last year, I made one small post on instagram that contained the phrase that “the minimum time needed for meditation is only three to five minutes.” Who knew that it was she who would walk on the sore blisters of a large number of meditators! Frankly, if I knew about such a reaction, I would have written this news for a long time.
I don’t want to be like those who wrote in personal messages and on the wall in the ultimatum “you are wrong, you need to meditate for at least an hour”. All I can do in this situation is to justify my position a little.
1. Retreat on Koh Samui from Suan Monk Monastery
I managed to visit this wonderful place, where we meditated for many, many hours a day, listened to the "authentic" Buddhist monks of Theravada school and enlightened in every way. The names of the teachers who taught us are quite accessible for breaking into Google: the abbot of the monastery, Rev. Ajan, Poe and one of his European students Tan Hubert. Naturally, during the lectures, the topic of meditation at home was also touched upon.
Ajan Poe, in his peculiar English and excellent pronunciation of the word “saferrrring” (I still think this is his favorite word), clearly said that few people can force themselves to meditate at home even for an hour a day. But you do not need to force yourself! Choose a time that brings pleasure and joy, because practice is not austerity or trial, it should bring joy, comfort and relaxation. Even if you meditate 10 minutes a day, then in a year you will have 3 650 minutes of practice or 60 hours! Few people are able to sit down and really meditate for 60 hours, but even the busiest person can devote ten minutes to happiness. And they will certainly bring their benefit.
2. The book of the Buddhist monk Tit Nath Chania "Finding peace"
A very small book of a very large person. He, unlike Ajana Poe, is a representative of the Mahayana school in Buddhism (Theravada is the last Hinayana school), but they coincide in a number of his fabrications. Apparently, because for many years they have been teaching the art of meditation and they themselves comprehend it very, very well.
In one of the chapters of the mentioned work, he talks about children who engage in meditation. Their minds are very fast, they are constantly striving to do something, to run, to create. Indeed, without them, the world will definitely collapse! Therefore, getting them to meditate even for 10 breathing cycles can be difficult. But to focus on 3 breaths - it’s real! And the better way they will calm their minds on three cycles of breathing than they will not calm down on ten.
Well, given our pace of life, information load, and so on and so forth, modern “adults” are just as restless as children.
3. The book of psychologist Kelly McGonigal “Willpower. How to develop and strengthen "
Despite the fact that the book is intended for a wide range of readers and even has become a bestseller, Kelly McGonigal is indeed a recognized expert in the field of psychology, scientist, researcher. She is far from the concepts of Buddhism, but came to about the same conclusions. True, they are based not on observation of human nature, but on analyzes. In short, she suggested that the development of “willpower” helps strengthen the brain in some areas. This is due to the development of nerve cells and the connections between them. The more developed and branched neurons, the more dense our brains. Then an exercise (concentration on breathing) and several groups of volunteers who devoted a certain amount of time to practice were chosen. As a result, when comparing the density of the brain substance “before” and “after” the experiment, the minimum practice time was revealed that has at least some effect. So she got the notorious "5 minimum minutes."
I note that in her book there is no talk of samadhi, enlightenment, or superpowers. Just observing a change in brain density during meditation on breathing.
4. My personal experience
Five minutes of meditation! It is so ridiculous, absurd and ridiculous that the practice simply did not have a chance to evoke a sense of importance and resistance with its presence. As a result, I spend it even several times a day. Why not? As a result, after a couple of weeks I noticed that I had really become calmer, more thorough, focused and energetically capacious. The state itself has also changed during meditation. It became somehow deeper, fuller, relaxed. Concentrating on breathing has become very simple and high, the breath itself has changed. In general, I recognized the experience as successful. The time of meditation, by the way, gradually increased. He meditated the “obligatory” five minutes and then sat still while the mood was on. The results were not long in coming.
5. Counterargument on “long meditations”
The bulk of the angry messages are very, very similar: “How can you talk about five minutes! I’m tearing my veins here, trying, and all this in vain? Any fool, perhaps, can meditate for five minutes and be well done? Well, I do not! So I sit down, twenty minutes diligently tune in to meditation, and only after that comes the long-awaited “she”. How to achieve this in five minutes? ”
Here I would like to refer not even to the works of eminent monks and psychologists, but to specialists in time management. It just so happened that things tend to spread out over time with a thin-thin layer. Often, if we set aside a job that takes an hour, say, six hours, it will take up all the space provided to it! You can check it yourself. Therefore, it is usually recommended to devote a limited number of minutes to your work, but use it effectively. On this subject, for example, you can read Brian Tracy or Gleb Arkhangelsky ... well, and any other specialist in time planning.
From my experience I will say that at one time I was very interested in the tradition of dream hackers. In the book of the same name, they have a recommendation to meditate for at least two hours a day, contemplating various objects. No sooner said than done! I took a rock crystal druse, sat down and peered into this beauty day after day. An interesting fact here is that relaxation and meditation came about after about an hour and a half of contemplation! You may not take my word for it. Just increase your practice time to two to three hours and make sure that you will need proportionally more time to set up.
In the end, I want to note that you do not have to take my word for it! Do your research on the topic and don't be afraid to experiment in areas that can change your usual practice. All the arguments presented here can be easily cross-checked using the Internet. If my memory serves me right, Ajan Poe is still alive and you can visit him at Suan Monk Monastery (located near the city of Surat Thani in Thailand). Tan Hubert, although he had cut himself off from the monks, is still alive, he has a Facebook page and a bunch of very good lectures on YouTube. Nat Tit Han seems to be still alive (at least Wikipedia claims that he is 91 years old and does not have a date of death), and his books are available for download and often even in audio format. The same goes for the books of Brian Tracy and Gleb of Arkhangelsk. The latter, incidentally, regularly holds seminars and master classes. Kelly McGonigal continues his studies and still teaches, however, in the United States. But her book is more than accessible.
So research and remember that personal experience, unfortunately, is a very limited thing and cannot be considered objective knowledge. Including my personal experience.
Author Negoc (Pavel Fedorov)
Learning to meditate profitably
Many believe that this process is a kind of magical state, filled with a sense of calm, which comes by itself. In fact, this is not so: to achieve this bliss, you must carefully prepare your body and mind and tune in.
To understand the essence of this action, first we answer the question: what is meditation? From the point of view of Hinduism, this is a state of complete contemplation and relaxation. On the other hand, it is a process of deep reflection on something. Today, most people prefer to meditate in order to put their thoughts in order, balance their temperament, and relax after a working day.
In order to meditate correctly and with understanding, it is important to know the purpose of this process - it is the acquisition of healthy thoughts, spirit, organism, calmness, balance. At its core, this process is a set of certain positions of the body and the concentration of thoughts on relaxation. Keeping one's attention on one thing or situation is already the ability to meditate correctly, however, in this form one cannot achieve relaxation of all parts of the body.
Of course, each person has his own goal in this process, but most people begin to engage in meditation in order to:
- Get rid of depressive conditions.
- To find inner peace.
- Improve your health.
- Find yourself in creativity.
- Develop intuitive abilities.
- Clear thoughts.
- Gain bliss and delight.
Those who nevertheless were able to comprehend this sacrament speak of the ability to meditate correctly, as a process of deep immersion in unknown roads of the mind of the Universe. To convey in words what a person feels when he begins to enter a state of relaxation is impossible, it is necessary to understand this yourself.
Everyone can learn the practice, but it is necessary to approach the matter with responsibility. There is nothing magical and supernatural in this, for starters you just need to conduct the technique regularly. Gradually, the body and mind will begin to independently demand repeated sessions, realizing that the procedure is a necessary part of finding peace.
In addition to the goals pursued by people, coming to this practice, there are a number of positive aspects that a person receives with the daily application of the acquired skills of the procedure. Before you learn meditation, you should understand what it gives:
- restoration of brain cells.
- brain rejuvenation.
- reduced risk of heart disease.
- strengthening immunity.
- lower anxiety.
- compensation for lack of sleep.
- exacerbation of tactile sensations.
- improved breathing
- getting rid of stress.
- networking with the inner world.
You can do the technique at any age, both for children and the elderly. The sooner you begin to comprehend the ability to meditate correctly, the faster you will feel the improvement in your body condition.
Tip: You can meditate both at home and in nature - this is where the situation is most conducive to calm.
At the time of the practice of this technique, you may feel that this is a complex process. Over time, when thoughts begin to sink into a meditative state, there will be no difficulties. Before you learn to meditate, you need to properly prepare. It includes such stages:
- Decision-making. This stage was partially realized when a person realized for himself that he would practice meditation. The next thing to do is to understand why this is necessary. Of course, you can meditate without a goal, it will still be right, practice will give positive results, but it will be better if that makes sense. Human psychology is structured in such a way that the best reward for him is achievement of the assigned task. Think Mentally: What Do I Receive When I Meditate? This is what will be the motivation for the daily implementation of the procedure.
- The choice of place and time. Most yogis who have attained the ability to meditate correctly claim that the most suitable option is a quiet and peaceful place. Therefore, many choose classes at home. But not always a home is a place where you can relax. If possible, the methodology can be carried out outdoors, or in the courtyard of a private house. The best option would be a separate room. The time at which the session will take place must be the same. For example, early in the morning and before going to bed. If a person is constantly at home, you can practice at any convenient time.
- Determining the frequency of classes. The rules state that it is best to meditate twice a day for 10-20 minutes. Compliance with this statement is optional. Each person determines the frequency of classes on the basis of how much he needs meditation at the moment. If now it is important to focus on some business, then why not do meditation: how to meditate properly can be found in the next section.
- Final preparation. For initial classes, it is recommended to use a timer that will help track the time. Often, during the first dives, time flies slowly, during the subsequent dives - too fast. Slow, pleasant music should help to relax and tune in the right way. Do not forget to air the room if classes take place at home.
When returning home from work, being in public transport, you can also do practice. All you need is an unhurried melody or traditional tunes in the headphones. It is not necessary to sit in the lotus position, as is widely shown in the illustrations. It is enough to take a comfortable position of the body when all the muscles are as relaxed as possible.
Important: Having a quiet, comfortable place to exercise the ability to meditate correctly is optional. The practice can bring efficiency, even if it is practiced in the midst of a noisy crowd.
Mastering the technique: basic principles
The main question that interests everyone standing in the way of studying meditation is how to meditate. The first thing you need to learn to do is focus your attention on the subject. To make it convenient, we suggest focusing on the tip of the nose. If this option is not suitable - just imagine any subject and think about it.
The method that helps to master the concentration faster, called the "fire path", is performed as follows:
- Focus on the crown and tailbone.
- Imagine a small burning ball in your head.
- Inhale and imagine how this ball rolls down the spine.
- Exhaling, imagine how it rolls back up.
- So it is necessary to do so until the thoughts come to order.
Over time, this idea can be abandoned, because such meditation involves the concentration of thought on the subject.
The next stage of meditation, which is important to master - will learn to control your thoughts. It so happens that an obsessive problem, task, or just an idea constantly climbs into your head. No need to try to overcome her - anyway, she will not leave her mind so simply. You can do the right thing only by thinking it through to the end.
An equally important stage is the stability of breathing in the process of learning the ability to meditate correctly. At first, it is unlikely that it will be possible to work out the rhythm of the respiratory cycles, but over time, it will itself enter the right track. Practice has made many people calm thanks to proper breathing. It is based on the following principles:
- The passage of energy along with breathing throughout the body.
In addition, the steps of meditation include the ease of the body, the retention and implementation of the topic, as well as awareness and aftereffect. The correct position of the back, crown and chin during the process is associated with the ease of the body. If the whole organ is in the proper position, then achieving results will be easier.
Keeping a topic - focusing on one subject or thought. During the practice, one cannot depart from this postulate. The implementation of the topic refers to the experience that a person receives from a technique.
Awareness is a person’s state after leaving meditation. It is right to make the mind and body remain in the same frame of mind as they were when a person meditated. The aftereffect involves the sensations and actions of a person after exiting a state of immersion. People who engaged in sessions and went through all their steps cease to be self-centered.
Important: In the process of meditation, a person experiences 3 states: bliss, clarity and thoughtlessness.
Tips for beginners at home
Before you start doing meditation at home, you must go through all the stages of preparation described above. When the body is relaxed, thoughts are concentrated, then we can proceed to practice. First, it’s important to choose a comfortable pose. This can be both a lotus position and a body position, sitting on a chair, lying down or any comfortable position. The main criteria for the correct location of the body are as follows:
- The crown reaches up
- The chin is a little down
- The back is aligned, if you can’t do it yourself, you can sit near the wall,
- Turn your shoulders before you begin to meditate.
Masters who have learned to meditate correctly advise beginners to pay attention to the arrangement of hands and fingers, which is called wise. There are several options that are responsible for a certain aspect of life:
- Knowledge. When positioned with the palm up, the thumb and forefinger form a ring, while others are freely positioned.
- Force. The ring is formed from the thumb, middle and ring finger. Мизинец и указательный немного вытянуты вперед.
- Спокойствие. Ладони направлены вверх и находятся на животе, при этом одна кисть лежит на другой, а концы больших пальцев соприкасаются.
- Жизнь. Кольцо образовано из трех пальцев: большого, безымянного и мизинца. Указательный и средний вытянуты в горизонтальном положении.
Before doing meditation, you can experiment and choose the option that suits you. If not one of them is closely watched, simply place the hands on the knees with the palms up.
Many are interested in how to do meditation on a condition. For example, a person complains that he suffers from insomnia, and wants to try to learn how to meditate correctly on sleep. The procedure is performed in the evening, before you go to bed:
- Take a comfortable pose, you can do it on the bed. Disconnect from extraneous noise - for this you can listen to pleasant slow music.
- Imagine a cozy place where you want to relax: the sea, mountains, forest. To improve the effect, turn on the sounds of birdsong or the sound of the sea.
- Close your eyes.
- Breathe deeply and rhythmically.
- Thoughts emerging bypass and do not focus on them the mind.
- 10 minutes after the dive, smoothly exit the session.
After the session, complete relaxation comes and a healthy sleep comes, in the morning a person feels awake and full of energy.
Beginners are wondering: how to learn how to meditate effectively in order to get a positive stable result from this. The answer will be: practice regularly. Do not give up classes, even if at first nothing comes out, try to relax as much as possible and after the first week you can feel the effect.