Make Time for Formal Mindfulness Practice - dummies

Make Time for Formal Mindfulness Practice

By Shamash Alidina, Joelle Jane Marshall

Consider different times you could practice meditation every day. If you think you don’t have time for even ten minutes of daily meditation, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you manage to find time to eat every day?

  • Do you find time to brush my teeth every day?

  • Do you find time to sleep every day, no matter how busy things are?

Meditation is just a question of priorities. Make mindfulness really, really important to you, and you can find the time.

So, you need to make a clear decision in your mind to try out meditation for a few weeks and for how long each time. Just notice what excuses are popping into your head as you read these words. See if you can, just for today, let those excuses go and make a commitment.

It’s your choice of course — you don’t have to do this. If you choose not to take time to meditate daily, that’s fine. But if you do want to learn to meditate, a clear decision and commitment is required.

You need to find the best time to meditate for you. Experiment with times that could work particularly well for your lifestyle. The amount of time you actually meditate for is up to you, but you should aim for about 20 minutes a day to start with and see how it goes. Ultimately anything is better than nothing — just like physical exercise.

Take time out to practice mindfulness daily isn’t an easy discipline. If you just can’t seem to do it, don’t beat yourself up. Just begin with a little of the informal mindfulness and feel your breathing every now and then as you go about your daily activities.

Set realistic expectations for yourself — you don’t need to turn into a Zen Master! Start small and work your way up, gradually increasing the time you practice and how often. Stick to your discipline as best you can and observe whatever arises with curiosity.