“Meditate every day for 20 minutes. If you do not have time, meditate for one hour.” ~Zen expression
This recommendation confounded me from the beginning. I couldn’t even find 20 minutes to meditate! How could I possibly find an hour???
It seemed so counterintuitive. Perhaps that was what made it so irresistible to me. Things do not survive for centuries if they do not work. Curiosity got the better of me, and I determined to give it a go.
I really couldn’t spare 20 minutes for meditation in my schedule, so I started with 5 minutes. I would set a timer, then vacillate between wishing it would go off, and hoping I still had more time to sit in peace. There really wasn’t a whole lot of peaceful time in there, with my busy mind scampering in all directions, but there was enough for me to get a taste for it.
Gradually, I began to make excuses to extend the 5 minutes to 10, then the 10 to 15, until I finally made it to 20. Actually, I think it was somewhere around the 15 minute mark that I stopped using the timer and my meditations would go anywhere from 20 minutes to two hours.
For someone who could barely find 5 minutes to meditate, that was quite a shift.
I could actually spend two hours in meditation, and get more done than if I didn’t meditate at all. How does that work???
For me, it is a function of how I function with or without meditation.
The more I meditate, the less I experience fear, anxiety, or worry. Fear, anxiety, and worry are just a few of the factors that go into creating ‘busy mind.’ A busy mind uses up a tremendous amount of time and energy in creating dramas that have not yet occurred. Unchecked, busy mind goes on to create conversations with others, which take up even MORE time, especially when echoes of those conversations come back to me.
Conversely, the deeper I go into meditation, the more I experience peace, calm, and assurance that everything is right and exactly as it should be. The peaceful mind is endlessly creative and productive. The peaceful mind accomplishes tasks with ease, grace, and flow. When issues do arise, as they will in a normal life, the peaceful mind immediately goes to solutions, completely bypassing drama, anxiety, and fear.
How much more time would you have in your day if your mind never created drama or scary stories? How much more time would you have for LIFE if your mind stayed in peaceful creativity?
It is counterintuitive but true: meditate more, worry less; meditate more, hurry less.