How many minutes do you aim to meditate daily?

Chris Carney ‏@ctcarnes: how many minutes do you aim to meditate daily? I sit for 20 mins but feel like I’ve hit a plateau

ANSWER:

Meditation is ALL DAY LONG. Most people think this: If I sit in the lotus for 20 minutes then I have meditated. Done for the day. But that sitting is just a practice. It’s practice for the rest of the day. Eventually, all day long you will be in a state of meditation.

And what state is that? It’s not a state of enlightenment. There’s no such thing. Even the quest for enlightenment is imaginary. When you quest for such a thing you are saying you don’t have it. But every second of the day we are enlightened. But thoughts and emotions and misery cloud that enlightenment, hiding the flame from us so that we can’t see it inside of us.

Meditation is a way of life. It’s walking around being aware of everything around you RIGHT this second. It’s recognizing the thoughts and negative emotions you come up as useful or not useful every second. It’s a constant state of surrender that the best things will happen to you if you let them. Whether you sit and practice this for 5 minutes, one hour, five hours, doesn’t matter. Ultimately, you do it all day and that’s when life is special every moment.

For me, personally, I find it difficult to sit in a half-lotus for a half hour and focus on my thoughts. I’ve done it. I’ve done very style of meditation imaginable. What I like to do is when I wake up, still lying down but maybe my knees up to prevent falling back to sleep, I try to observe my thoughts for about a half hour. Then I try to catch myself observing those thoughts. So now I’m observing the observer. Then I try to go deeper than that and observe that observer. Ultimately the observer doesn’t exist. Just like the thoughts don’t really exist. Then after a half hour, I’m ready for my day. And hopefully throughout the day I’m in a better spot to observe.

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