How Long Can I Meditate For?


Is there a maximum time limit for mediation for beginners? I have been practicing it for a week now started with half an hour for few days and As I felt like extended to sit for 1 hour changing position of sitting cross legged to vajra asana after the first half an hour just to make myself more comfortable to continue meditation.

I feel like extending the time more but want to know if I can or is it best to continue for 1 hour for some more days ?

—Ramya , United States of America


Dear Ramya,

You can meditate as long as you like: the key is that word “like.” If you are pushing too hard your subconscious mind will rebel, perhaps so much so that you might be unable meditate for a long time afterward. So make sure you are emphasizing RELAXATION both in the beginning of EACH meditation AND as a beginning meditator. If, after meditating, you feel energized, refreshed, and joyful, this is a good benchmark, at least for a beginner.

Over the years, one learns to meditate through the ups and downs of meditation but without being discouraged or getting a “push back” from the subconscious mind. Will power must be combined with relaxation, devotion, and receptivity. We have to carefully walk the “razor’s edge” between ego and soul, using the ego as a booster rocket but letting soul be the navigator!

Make sure, therefore, that there’s an element of self-offering, giving up, and surrender. The terms may vary, but the effect of dissolving the ego is the same. Yet you must never lose self-awareness, going into a subconscious or empty trance state where, when you come out of it, you don’t know what happened or where you went.

Let “joy be your guide” to meditation.

Blessings to you on the path of meditation!
Nayaswami Hriman