How Long Do Monks Meditate?

How Long Do Monks Meditate?

Many of us look up to monks for their ability to retain peace and always seem peaceful. When you’re no longer bound by the worries of what you can’t control, you naturally start having a deeper sense of peace. 

But that brings the question, for how long do monks meditate? This depends, but generally, anywhere from 1-3 hours is an average time that many monks meditate, but there isn’t an exact time that applies to every monk. This time can be more or less.

When you’re starting out, if you start off meditating for one hour, it may not suit you. Because while meditation is a life-changing discipline, it’s a practice that’s best introduced in a subtle way. 

However, I will provide a realistic timeline for how I would go about meditation when starting out, all the way to reaching an advanced stage. Keep in mind that this timeline will vary from person to person. 

Beginner MeditatorIntermediate MeditatorAdvanced Meditator
5 – 20 Minutes20 – 40 Minutes1 – 3 Hours

Extending The TIme of Meditation and Why

There’s a correlation between increased time meditating and an increased sense of peace. As much as meditating for one hour is life-changing, it’s hard to build consistency, especially pushing through all the mental barriers that often present themselves, because let’s face it, we simply are imperfect. But that doesn’t mean the way to go is to have an all-or-nothing mentality. 

Meditation gets easier the more you do it, because when you actually start meditating is when you lose the notion of time. 

The moment you’re meditating and you’re asking yourself how much time there’s left for you to finish the meditation, you’re not meditating. 

Now, while it doesn’t take a monk to meditate for three hours, something I’ve categorized as an advanced meditator, you’d need to have monk-like discipline if you wanted to start out meditating for one hour straight, something that isn’t recommended unless you’re guided and commit yourself to sit through the entire session. But meditation teaches you to build consistency. Sometimes it does take to sit there and learn to love boredom. 

As in, redefining what you see as enjoyable, making meditation seem more recreational. The less meditation becomes something you do because you have to, seeing it as a chore, and the more you look forward to it, the less resistance both on a subconscious and conscious level you’ll be presented with. 

You’ll be given countless reasons for the mind to do something else than meditation, or what’s actually hard for that matter and you’ll many times believe it. 

However, what you may not realize is that you’re being tricked and aren’t really free. The longer you meditate, the longer you train your focus, and the more you become more conscious about your day-to-day choices, as opposed to being this robot with pre-programmed instructions to execute throughout the day. 

Meditating for longer time trains you to wait for something better, rather than having something that’s only perceived to be good in the now, when the cost of that is giving up the greatness of the benefit what you’re about to get holds, is far greater than what you can experience now for the mere sake of pleasing your brain. 

How many times have you felt bad because you gave in to your mind, and did something you know was bad for you, still went ahead, felt great at the time, and once you were done with it, ended up feeling worse? 

We don’t always have control over that. But you do have control over things that affect that indirectly, i.e, meditating. Even if that means going through the pain the mind sets up to obstacle the practice, once you push through, you set yourself free. 

Rather than caring about how long you do it for, build a habit first. You’re not gonna build a house from the top. Even if the meditation in question is short, it sets the foundation and framework for you to gradually expand the time, and thus, experience intensified benefits with meditation. 

Even if the meditation you’re starting out with is as short as 5 minutes, it’s still better than nothing. Start with what you can, the consistency will end up allowing you to build a discipline that’s monk-like. 

Self-Love and Monk-Like Meditation

For many starting with meditation, as mentioned at the start, we look up to these monks for being able to meditate for so long. The more you take inspiration from this beautiful characteristic, and the more you practice it, the more you’ll have more of it in your life. Let me explain. 

By meditating, you put yourself in a position where you train your mind to be as calm as a monk’s, so long as you are meditating correctly, and if you look up to a monk for their ability to do so, you’re showing love for yourself as your ambitious enough to reach a certain result, and model it after someone else. I believe having a goal in meditation makes it more purposeful. 

Part of self-love is also facing the pain and fears you’ve suppressed throughout these years, something that’s very challenging for many individuals, but upon observation of these thoughts during meditation, these thoughts remain present until confronted with awareness. We cannot change ourselves without facing ourselves first. 

It’s also harder to practice any form of self-love or care without confronting the fears or pains that have been suppressed. It’s like not wanting to enter a room because of the dust and expecting the dust to go away on its own.

Monks and Their Devotion to Meditation

The reason many monks turn into monks is so they can have more time for meditation. Some understand the importance and the impact meditation could have, even if they have other circumstances in their life where they’re more surrounded by materialistic gains or achievements, they give it up to instead devote their lives to meditation or other spiritual practices. 

Picture this, you have the choice of sitting in nature every day or commuting to work in a 9 to 5 where you may have to deal with people you don’t want to deal with. 

Of course, putten like this the idea of becoming a monk becomes attractive, but it doesn’t have to be that black and white, just to put into perspective why the meditation life makes sense for many looking for tranquility. 

I’m not a monk myself but admire many of the monk traits pertaining to their discipline, and the good news is that you don’t have to become a monk or renounce anything in your life to experience the same benefits monks experience, unless what you’re giving up in question serves you no purpose, you want to give it up or obstacles you in any way. 

And rather than getting a tangible achievement from meditation, it’s more of a weight lifted off your shoulders, i.e significant reduction in stress and worry as well as a happier, more focused life, which at the surface sounds generic unless you realize these are things we take for granted but are robbed away from us when our mind isn’t in the now, even if we’re physically there. 

Monks often seek a higher spiritual purpose with meditation which is why it motivates them, for instance, to attain enlightenment. No matter which goal you have, it goes to show that if your motivations are strong enough, you can set up a system in your day-to-day that facilitates your ability to meditate. 

Even if you have to start off with a short minute count. When you’re tapping into yourself, you’re tapping into another world where you’ll break many of the preconceived notions you had about yourself, because your meditation allows you to get to know parts of yourself that previously were repressed, thus, allowing you to grow, perpetuating that cycle and replicating an average meditation time for many monks.