It’s true that grabbing that meditation pillow and finding a quiet and peaceful place in which to cultivate meditation for 20 to 30 minutes has value. The question is, can those same effects be gained by sitting for a lesser amount of time, say one minute? As most know, all originates in the mind, the center of perception. So if a person can tap that space of awareness in one minute, why not?
Martin Boroson, author of the meditation book, “One-Moment Meditation: Stillness for People on the Go”, pens this recent Huffington Post on his belief that meditation benefits can be obtained within moments. According to Boroson, the belief that meditation takes a lot of time turns many people off to the practice. That said, through his seminars and teachings he has found that when people recognize that they can change their state of mind in an instance, meditation becomes much more accessible.
We sure do have a tendency to project our ideal of peacefulness onto some other time or place, when the conditions will be “perfect.” We imagine being peaceful sometime in the future — when we get home from work, after the kids grow up, when we retire. We imagine being peaceful when we find the perfect place — deep in the forest, on that private beach, on top of a mountain or maybe only in the afterlife.
The belief that meditation takes a long time in order to be effective can become an excuse just like these — it lets us off the hook of being a bit more peaceful right now. For the moment in which we most need to be peaceful is the very moment in which it is not so easy to be peaceful. And the most important time to meditate is the very moment when we think, “I don’t have time to meditate.”
It is true that meditation practice was developed primarily by monks, nuns and ascetics — people who considered it necessary to spend many years in silent retreat, far away from the hubbub of life. But in general, what all these great teachers learned from their lengthy, faraway training is the importance of being present in this moment, right now. So, I figure: If meditation ultimately teaches us to be present right here and now, then why don’t we start meditating right here, now? Why not start with this moment?
Read more about Boroson and his one moment meditation here.