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How long should Meditation practices last in order to get a good result?

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Melbourne Meditation Centre

You can get a good result in as little as 30 seconds once you know how. One conscious breath is sufficient to trigger your relaxation response - and that might be all you need to bring yourself back towards balance.

Short 'spot' meditations of between 30 seconds and 5 minutes duration are ideally suited to regular use throughout the day - when you're stuck in traffic, waiting in a queue or just twiddling your thumbs wondering what to do next. Such practices can help to keep you physically relaxed, emotionally calm and mentally clear.

Longer meditations however, also have their uses. 5 to 10 minutes of meditation can relax you to the point of sleep (ideal if you suffer from insomnia) and if you allow yourself a little over 12 minutes, you'll find that any lingering stress hormones may be washed completely away, leaving your nervous system in the optimal condition for rest and repair.

So, there's no 'right' length of time to meditate. It depends entirely on your purpose. You certainly don't have to be religiously disciplined about the practice. Of course, the more your practice, the better you'll get; but quality of your meditation is more important than the quantity. An effective two minute meditation is much more useful than forcing yourself to struggle through 30 minutes before you have the skills to comfortably do so.

Mary Woolley

Great questions - consistency rather than the length of your practice is what matters most so it’s important you start with a timeframe that you know you will be able to commit to every day, ideally at a similar time. Depending upon your lifestyle this may be 10-15 minutes in the morning or evening - or both if possible. This can increase over time & as time allows however you minimum time should be a given - just like cleaning your teeth.

What is a good result? Meditation is not a goal to be achieved - it is a practice that enables you to connect with & become more aware of how you are thinking & feeling. Over time the practice enables you to more consciously choose the quality & quantity of your thoughts.

A 'good' result is that you notice the difference in your day when you don't take this time for yourself & that you find yourself being more aware of yourself & what is happening around you - meditation increases the clarity of your thoughts. Sometimes this is not a particularly pleasant experience because you may not like the thoughts & feelings you start to notice you are having. That's part of the process, there is no such thing as a good or bad result - what is, is.

Meditation is a bit like learning to drive a car. Its unfamiliar & challenging when you start & it feels like you will never get it. To get your licence however you keep getting back behind the wheel because you want the freedom & control having your licence will bring. You practice & practice & practice & even when you get your licence you still feel a bit uncertain & then a few months later you realise how natural & automatic everything is starting to feel.

Meditation is the same - it feels awkward & you are not sure you are doing it right however stay with the practice because the freedom to choose and control of your own thoughts is amazing.

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