Q: How long do I need to meditate?
A: Traditionally there are a number of meditations taught within the system of Reiki. We discuss this on our website under the heading Traditional Reiki Practices and you will also find meditations in all of our online courses where we teach of ways for to connect to the teachings and concepts of the system of Reiki.
There is also a routine for Reiki practitioners to follow in The Japanese Art of Reiki
In a lot of practices today students are told to meditate for a certain period of time whether it be 20 minutes, 30 minutes or more. But is this the best way to begin to meditate?
When beginning a meditation and trying to work to a set time period, difficulties can arise; your mind may loose concentration and become distracted. This is distracted meditation.
By sitting for long periods with a distracted mind you eventually become bored and there is a high chance that you will soon give up your meditation practice all together.
So how can you best meditate? When meditating your mind is open and spacious without any restrictions, including time restrictions. A restricted mind creates a restricted meditation.
As an example let’s use this grounding meditation from our website.
When you practice this meditation you can either set a time limit for yourself or you can meditate until your concentration weakens.
Ideally you should choose the latter and if after practicing the meditation you can no longer bring your mind back to your meditation after it has wandered then it is time to stop the session. This might be after 5 minutes, 10 minutes or 40 minutes; it doesn’t really matter. If you have only meditated for 5 minutes then you can also put aside some time later in the day to continue your meditation practice once you are refreshed and ready to do so.
So, you can see that it is more effective to meditate for a small amount of time with a concentrated mind than for a long period with a distracted mind.
To get the most out of your meditation practice it is also better to meditate everyday rather than once a week. It is a bit like cleaning the dishes; if you clean the dishes after a meal it is much easier to get the dirt off than if you leave the dishes overnight or for a couple of days and then try to clean them. It can also be quite overwhelming looking at that huge pile of dirty dishes!
So practice your meditation everyday without a time limit, just sit, practice and let it all happen.
Bronwen and Frans Stiene are the co-founders of the International House of Reiki and co-authors of The Reiki Sourcebook, The Japanese Art of Reiki, Your Reiki Treatment, The A-Z of Reiki Pocketbook and the Reiki Techniques Card Deck. Bronwen and Frans teach in the USA, Europe and Australia. Visit the Courses page to find a course near you.