How often should I meditate?

I got this question in response to my email yesterday about the meditation timer:

“This might be a dumb question so feel free to roast me. Do you recommend any particular schedule for starting out? Every day? Once a week? Whatever you want? As often as possible?”

To which I replied: “Once a day, idiot.”

Meditation isn't going to help you if you don't do it.

By “do it”, I don't mean once a week. Lots of people do that, and although it might make them feel like they are meditators, they're not spending much time meditating, and thus aren't getting the benefits of meditation.

You have to do it A LOT.

I have done 10-day silent meditation retreats where you meditate for 10 hours a day. And that's just the sitting practice. You're also meditating the rest of the day while walking around.

Every single moment you spend meditating is contributing to your overall meditation skill level.

So, it's a good idea to maximize that time.

But, there's a problem…if you can't stand meditation, you aren't going to do it.

The solution is radical acceptance of whatever comes up during meditation.

It's a skill that must be practiced. There's no other way to learn it. Moment-by-moment, you must practice.

Fortunately, meditation itself is the way to practice radical acceptance.

But, there's another problem…it can't just be any old kind of meditation. If you're spending your time trying to zone out, or trying to imagine yourself on the beach, or trying to work out why you can't get along with your neighbor, you're not practicing acceptance.

Your meditation practice must be based on acceptance.

This is the thinking behind the millennia-old techniques from Buddhism, such as vipassana meditation. There's nothing woo-woo or religious about it. It's just the practice of sitting down and paying attention to what's happening, without trying to change it.

Long retreats (at least a week) are great for learning this. It's an intense environment and it's hard not to benefit from it.

But, that's a commitment (and especially in these times, most retreat centers are closed or operating at limited capacity).

I made No Problem for people who have time constraints and/or short attention spans (like me) but who still want a taste of what acceptance-based meditation can offer them. It's short and gets right to the point. And, it has cool piano music I recorded myself. And, you will get a hand-lettered certificate upon completion.


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