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Mindful : June 2018
A Q I meditate for 15 minutes every morning, and I’ve become pretty comfortable with that routine. Should I increase the length of my sessions? If you’ve developed a solid routine like this, of sitting for any amount of medi- tation every day, the first thing you should do is to pause and take that in. That is an important and noteworthy accomplish- ment that many people only dream of. Great work! There is some emerg- ing evidence that more benefits may result from spending more time in mindfulness practice, but I would suggest letting your experience be your guide. What feels right to you? Do you notice the impact of your practice on the rest of your life? Would you appreciate more of what- ever it is that you notice? That could be the answer to your question. But curiosity should really be your guide in this situation. See if you might look at extending your practice as a kind of exper- iment or adventure—try adding 5, 10, or 15 min- utes—letting go of specific expectations about what that longer practice might yield, and simply show up and be curious. See what you notice, just like you always have. Some people find that when they prac- tice for longer than 15 min- utes, they face challenges that never arise in shorter practice sessions. That may or may not be your experi- ence, but you’ll never know unless you try. And as far as science knows, you’re very unlikely to overdose on a little bit of regular meditation practice! ● By Steven Hickman PHOTOGRAPHYBYRUTHBLACK/STOCKSYUNITED Am I Doing This Right? The latest installment in our ongoing series of helpful answers to common meditator questions. ABOUT THE AUTHOR Steven Hickman is a clinical psychologist and founder of the University of California, San Diego, Center for Mindfulness and executive director of the nonprofit Center for Mindful Self-Compassion. LIVING | the mindful faq 30 mindful June 2018