In the 1960’s gurus and ashrams first appeared in the United States. Along with yoga, meditation began to become a household word. The reality is that hundreds of thousands of Americans were already practicing meditation in an unpublicized way. They were members of twelve step programs and meditation was a foundation stone of recovery. Of course, when newcomers came into the program, meditation was a foreign concept. They often turned to their sponsor for clarification. Their conversation began with the sponsee asking for how often and long they needed to meditate. Usually they were told to meditate daily for about 20 minutes. Invariably, the sponsee would say, “well, what if I have a busy day ahead”? To which the sponsor would say, “then you’d better meditate for an hour”. That answer seemed counter-intuitive but the reality is that time spent in meditation is time well spent. Those few minutes help set our mood for the entire day. When we meditate, we feel calmer and more present. A more stressful day requires greater preparation. Beyond that, many of us find solutions to problems while sitting; that we believe are Higher Powered.
Personal Reflection: How long do I need to meditate for today?