Once you start with meditation, it’s hard to stop. The hard part is the flow state, and for a good reason.
How long you meditate will often have a direct correlation with the benefits you experience, that’s why you rarely see individuals who have practiced meditation for years that would choose a short meditation over a long one.
Now, it does take time to get to a stage where you can meditate for hours on end while keeping yourself focused, or allowing yourself to feel a deep sense of peace.
Many overlook the benefits of meditation. For the mind, it’s something new and at times, can be too good to be true unless you put your skin in the game.
I could tell you all day about how great meditation is and how it’s gonna change your life, but you may not believe me unless you experience it by yourself.
Is It Possible To Meditate For 24 Hours?
How you see the practice of meditation at first will determine your motivation to do it to begin with.
But just how long can you meditate? Can you actually meditate for 24 hours? While meditating while sitting down for 24 hours straight meditating would be quite difficult, considering you still need to sleep, eat and possibly work, it is possible to remain present throughout the 24 hours, and it’s something you can do while consistently meditating every day.
When it comes to childhood, we’re often more present than in our adult lives, since we don’t have the same worries or responsibilities. With meditation, you’re able to retrieve that peace, perhaps you don’t even remember such peace because your mind has made it a habit to worry about the past or the present.
If you’re starting out, you may be looking for guidance on where to start, perhaps your goal is to meditate for longer periods, and it’s something you can train yourself to do, and as mentioned at the beginning, your perspective on meditation can influence your incentive to do it.
Over time, you’ll be more drawn to it naturally, instead of feeling like you have to force yourself to meditate like it’s some sort of discipline. That’s at least how it was for me.
How Long Should You Start With?
If you’re setting a goal that’s too high to achieve right from the get-go, you may abandon the practice, despite the life-changing benefits a 3-hour meditation can have for you. If you’ve never meditated before, I would recommend you take one step at a time and start by meditating at the very least for 20 minutes.
If 20 minutes is too much for you, (even if it shouldn’t and should be the bare minimum) you can start with less. But I wouldn’t recommend starting with anything less than twenty. Somehow, you need to feel a deep sense of peace, even if it’s just a small one.
A short meditation is of course better than no meditation, but it isn’t in my experience gonna be enough if you want to see substantial changes in your life.
I understand the practice can be overwhelming, but rather than being concerned with how you start or which meditation to pick, feel free to try different ones, sitting in different positions, but do get started. Meditation can be as simple as trying to do it before you go to sleep.
The drawback is that while the minor benefits will still be there if you fall asleep to meditation, you subconsciously start associating the practice to sleep and you don’t have the deep sense of peace you otherwise would feel while being mindful about it.
Are Longer Meditations Better Than Shorter Meditations?
The answer to this is gonna be an obvious yes. But for novices, meditating for three hours can be overwhelming and isn’t gonna be feasible.
When you meditate for longer periods, you start to question this reality, being more conscious and present. It will help you make better decisions and a whole lot more things will go your way than if you were to not meditate for longer periods.
But how long is a long meditation? A long meditation tends to be 2 – 3 hours. Some monks meditate this amount or even longer. Here is a list of things you’re more likely to experience if you meditate for longer periods.
- Finding your purpose
- Your day to day becomes easier
- You’re less troubled by things
- Longer spans of focus
- Becoming fearless
- Rewiring the brain
- Easier to lucid dream
Believe it or not, meditation can help you find your purpose by giving you more clarity in life. Imagine your life metaphorically speaking, walking through a dark tunnel. With short meditations, you have a light that shines that gives you some direction, whereas, with longer meditations, you illuminate the entire tunnel.
Then, let’s talk about the second point. Your day-to-day life becomes a whole lot easier. When you meditate, you are more detached from negative emotions that would otherwise make your day harder for you. How many times have you found yourself making an emotional decision? In the end, it’s all connected.
The more aware you are while taking the decision, the higher quality your decision is gonna be. With long meditations, you give your mind a thorough break to come back stronger and analyze things from different angles. Angles you possibly thought weren’t possible.
Another point I touched on that I want to expand on is becoming fearless. We don’t often talk about meditation and fear. But if you’ve ever wanted to overcome fear, meditation can be a great tool for it, given how it lets you let go of things. Sometimes the fear can be subconscious, but fortunately, meditation can help you rewire your brain to steer it more in a direction that’s favorable to you.
Now, can you actually meditate too much, and if so, what would happen? Well, one of the things you’re likely to feel during long meditations is questioning reality. So, in that sense, you may feel like you are disassociated from reality.
Generally, it’s not a bad thing, it only means your consciousness is being expanded beyond the scope of what you thought was possible.
Lastly, a major benefit of doing meditation for longer periods is that they allow you to experience more lucid dreams.
When you become present, and you don’t let your mind run on autopilot, it carries on to the dream world, and it’s easier to become aware when you’re dreaming, thus interacting with your dream.
The practice of lucid dreaming on its own requires concentration and focus. Meditation gives you more of that, so if you’re fascinated by the idea of experiencing conscious dreams, it’s one of the major bonuses you can experience if you integrate long meditations into your day-to-day life.
Not Doing Meditation Becomes Hard
Remember when at the beginning, you thought meditation would be hard to get into? Once you start embracing the practice of longer meditations, you’re not gonna want to stop, because of the deep levels of peace it brings you.
Levels of peace that would be inexplicable through text, but something you would need to feel on your own to understand why it’s so good. If meditating for three hours a day becomes the norm, you will pretty much start living life in easy mode.
Part of what contributes to that is that you become less troubled by things. You navigate your day-to-day without the burden of stress or negative sensations that would otherwise make you feel hindered in making any progress.
Not doing the meditation for longer periods can make you feel more stressed throughout the day, and things start to go less in your way.
So you become dependent on that feeling of peace that you can find while doing deep levels of meditation.
Dependency doesn’t have to be a bad thing. All you sometimes need to do is shift your dependency to a good habit, like meditation in this case. Now, longer meditations aren’t exclusively reserved for long-time meditators, but it’s more recommended by them.
Deep levels of meditation expand your consciousness, and as a novice, it may be too much for you to take in if we assume you have the discipline it takes to meditate for so long.
But the beauty is that once you build the habit, you no longer have to force yourself to meditate, you’ll want to do it on your own instead.
Surface Meditation vs. Deep Meditation
Surface meditation is when you become present in your day-to-day life, rather than being overwhelmed by the future or past. It’s something you can achieve with short meditations, and it’s only the tip of the iceberg.
Deep meditation is when you start experiencing substantial life changes and quality of life improvements. But that’s not to say surface meditations are bad.
They’re useful, as they allow you to take notice of the present, learn to be comfortable with it, even if what’s happening at the time isn’t your favorite thing, and allows you to change things.
It gives you a good level of focus that makes the problem-solving part easier. The goal should be to go from being a surface meditator to a deep meditator. But you still can achieve all your goals while being a surface-level meditator.
Deep meditation is the meditation that’s taken to a next level, sort of like something you’ve never experienced before. And the major differentiator is generally time.
The more you meditate, the longer those benefits are and the more additional benefits you’re prone to experience.