To answer this question we need to know how much time you have, what your goals for meditating are, and how experienced you are at meditating. And, because we are all different, we may all get a different answer to How Many Times Can I Meditate In A Day?
And that is perfectly ok! Because there are no hard and fast rules about this. Meditation is a practice with which you build momentum. So you begin with fewer sessions of shorter duration.
And as you begin experiencing the benefits of meditation, you will naturally want to try to fit more and longer sessions in.
However, our emphasis should be on the quality of our meditations, as it is the ‘quality time’ spent in meditation that returns results, not the length of time or number of times we meditate each day.
So, let’s see if we can discover what is going to work out best for you…..
How Many Times Can I Meditate In A Day?
When beginning to meditate, it is advisable not to overdo it. Like learning anything new, your physical, mental, and emotional states will need to adjust to the new experiences. And if you overdo it, you may have some adverse reactions and give up. However, as you progress, you can add any number of sessions during the day to fit your lifestyle. The ultimate goal for serious meditators is to be living in a hyper-aware meditative state most, or all, of the time.
Important Factors To Consider Regarding How Many Times To Meditate A Day Are:
1) What results do you want to achieve?
For relaxation, you can take a few moments to consciously release tension from your body many times a day. A few moments here and there may only add up to twenty to thirty minutes during the day. However, huge benefits are achieved and maintained throughout the day because you have engaged in twenty to thirty mini-sessions.
If you are seeking a ‘spiritual awakening,’ you will probably have to relocate to an isolated forest, a monastery, or a cave in the Himalayas. Here you can engage in serious meditation for at least 8 hours a day. And you should also be mindful of your every thought, feeling, and action during your remaining waking hours. In other words…. Meditation will take all of your time!
2) How much time do you have available?
People with hectic schedules may only have a single block of time available at a specific time. Maybe ten or twenty minutes in the morning, after lunch, or before sleeping? Great! Just do it!
Whereas others, like myself, are able to take the time when we feel the desire to meditate. Typically, I will do approx. twenty minutes upon waking, maybe another thirty minutes during the day, and then again before going to sleep.
And throughout the day, I will do some short (five to ten minute) exercise routines which involve breath awareness as well as taking a break from my computer every hour to close my eyes, focus on my breath, and connect with my body and mind (meditation in short doses.)
This is a routine you can never do too much of! And it helps promote mental, emotional, and physical balance, strength, and awareness throughout the whole day, rather than in isolated chunks.
3) What type of practice you are doing?
More intensive practices like rapid breathing techniques…… are practiced for less time as they build up energy in your body. If your body is not properly prepared to receive large amounts of energy often, there will be negative consequences for you.
Whereas, if your practice is for relaxation and you are just being aware of your natural breath, you can potentially do this all day, every day.
4) Can you add a few minutes of meditation to the end of other activities you currently do?
It’s easy to take a few minutes at the end of a yoga class to practice body or breath awareness. And it’s easy to add to other things you normally do as well. Maybe you have never thought that meditation can be that easy.
Why not take a few moments when you arrive at your desk in the morning to check in with how you are feeling, mentally, emotionally, and physically…. Then repeat after you complete each significant task, before lunch, after lunch, before leaving your work for the day, etc….
A few moments here and there add up to significant long-term health benefits.
5) What situations are you going to deal with today?
Meditating any time before going, whether it be five hours before or five minutes before, can help you mentally and emotionally prepare for what is to come.
Make the effort to try and fit these preparatory sessions into your day, and you will find that your days flow a lot easier. And at the end of the day, you will not be feeling exhausted and depleted like when you don’t meditate.
Just being aware that meditation is not ‘all about sitting on the mat’ in the lotus position and humming OM for twenty minutes takes away the pressure of trying to fit it into our busy lives.
Why not just take a moment now…. Close your eyes and fully experience a few deep breaths…..
…… I just did it! And I feel better for having done it as the tension in my mind and body just dissolved away. What about you???
Our Practice Doesn’t Have To Be The Same Thing At The Same Time Every Day!
Practice incorporating different types of meditation into different situations throughout the day and you will benefit exponentially, (basically because of the extra time you are spending meditating.)
I know there are going to be many ‘purists’ out there who will disagree with me on this point, some to the degree of becoming angry over the idea of mixing practice styles…. And I say unto them…. Wow, you really need to chill out…. have you tried meditation for relaxation??? Hahaha!
Ok, serious again! Yes, have a core technique that works for you, and practice it regularly until it becomes a firmly established habit. It may be something like twenty minutes sitting in the morning, immediately after waking up and chanting OM.
Or it could be coming home from work, showering, and laying on your bed for fifteen minutes, focusing on your breath, or ‘observing the thoughts traverse your mind’ (without attachment or judgment) before getting up and preparing the evening meal.
Whatever it is, it doesn’t matter, as long as it works for you. Then, add to this, becoming mindful of your thoughts, feelings, and emotions, as often as you can throughout the day. If you can take your meditation into your ’normal’ lives, it is ‘icing on the cake!’
Your goals for meditating will end up playing the biggest factor in determining how many times you meditate each day. And if you achieve your goals in one session or ten, it doesn’t matter, because you will have achieved what you set out to do.
However, it is my experience that more frequent shorter duration sessions are more beneficial than one long session once a day….. for most people.
And as mentioned, we are all individuals, so there is never going to be one answer that will suit us all.
Therefore, you should experiment to find out what works best for you and your lifestyle.
The goal is to come up with a meditation style, length of sessions, and frequency of sessions that make it easy and desirable for you to want to continue your practice.
And remember…. Every day is not going to be the same… so chill out, listen to your body and intuition, and ENJOY THE EXPERIENCE!
Not sure what to do with your hands while meditating? Check out this post for some ideas: What Do I Do With My Hands While Meditating?