On some mornings I just can’t seem to find time to meditate. And for me, if I don’t meditate early in the morning, I will likely not meditate at all.
What does it mean that I cannot find time to sit on a pillow, close my eyes and ponder?
I’ve been around long enough to realize that not finding time, stands for having other priorities. It simply means that meditation is no high enough on my priority-list, compared with other items such as, well, heading to the office to take care of business…
I know I should meditate. It does me good. Thus, I cut a deal with myself; if I cannot find twenty to thirty minutes for that pillow, I sit for at least five minutes.
“Ha!” you may say, “what can five minutes do for you?”
Curiously, that was my response as well, so I am glad you’ve asked.
Here is what I answered myself, or, in other words, what five-minute meditation taught me:
1. It is truly not about ‘size’ i.e. length. Yes, more time may be helpful, but the mere fact I made time, never mind how much, to meditate, means I care enough about my well-being and that is a good start.
2. It is not about nothingness. True that within the space of five minutes, it is challenging most days (although not always,) to reach ‘nothingness’. But, and I can testify to this from personal experience, nothingness is not really the ‘goal’ of meditation. If there is an aim for this practice, the practitioner is missing the point. Meditation is a practice, nothing less, nothing more.
3. When I cannot have everything (enough time) to obtain nothing (which is anyhow not the goal,) sometime something (5 min) is enough.
The above may beg another question: if one can obtain in five minutes what others require in thirty minutes, why would one even want to spend more than five minutes meditating?
Using love-making as a metaphor, I can say this: climaxing is lovely, but as I age, I realize how much it is also about what comes before and after. When I meditate, it is not about achieving anything during those moments on the pillow. Many people who attempt meditation, suffer from a misconception related to the notion of obtaining nothingness. Funny how that is an oxymoron all by itself: gaining nothingness… But wordplay aside, meditating, whether with a quiet mind or one that keeps wondering, changes something inside; call it brainwaves, alpha, theta or anything else meditation scientists wish to name it. And that something that shifts inside, stays with me throughout the day. If I can allow time to prolong the process a little longer during my mornings, all the better. I much enjoy it. But if I cannot, five minutes will do just fine.
Learned from: reflections on my five-minute meditation