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Author Topic: How long before I see benefits from meditation?  (Read 1036 times)

Cyath

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How long before I see benefits from meditation?
« on: April 13, 2017, 05:21:33 PM »
I will first admit that I am not a frequent meditator - I try my best to do at least 10 minutes a day but sometimes I can't even manage that because I get swept up in the tumult of the day. But I would like to try doing it more consistently.

I started meditating for various reasons - to try to become more relaxed, see reality more clearer, health reasons etc. But I don't see much improvement in any of those areas, and so I often get discouraged.

Realistically this is probably because I am not consistent enough in my meditation practice - I know some people practice for years! But encouragement and advice goes a long way, which is why I am here. :)

Manohar Shrestha

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Re: How long before I see benefits from meditation?
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2017, 05:45:58 PM »
Hi,

You have answered yourself. Try to be much more consistent and make it part of your life.

All the best

BeHereNow

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Re: How long before I see benefits from meditation?
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2017, 10:41:03 PM »
Hi Cyath,

You may want to look at your time spent in meditation as an opportunity to just be with yourself, to give yourself space and attention.  It is a time to become friends with yourself, curious about your mind, breath and body just as they are.  In this way, the benefits are inherent in the time spent just being, rather than doing.  The less expectations you place upon your practice, the easier it will be to just sit without an agenda, and ironically, the benefits will start to flow :-) 

Much metta,
Paula
"You are the Sky.  Everything else is just the weather." - Pema Chodron

Cyath

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Re: How long before I see benefits from meditation?
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2017, 02:30:33 AM »
I guess I do get impatient from time to time. I will try to continue with less expectations. :)

stillpointdancer

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Re: How long before I see benefits from meditation?
« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2017, 01:14:18 PM »
The key thing is to get to the point that when you stop, your life becomes a little less rich. Kind of like when you change from from stereo back to mono. You can still enjoy the music, but it's not quite the same experience. Until you get to that point you need to find a meditation that you find easier to keep to in this particular phase of meditating. Try a few others and see if you find something.
“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” Franz Kafka

Matthew

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Re: How long before I see benefits from meditation?
« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2017, 07:13:46 PM »
I guess I do get impatient from time to time. I will try to continue with less expectations. :)

This is good :)

A simple reminder that helps ... I would bet you spend much more than ten minutes a day on bodily hygiene ... meditation is "mental hygiene" ... which is of greater value to YOU?

Metta,

Matthew
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kcarneglia

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Re: How long before I see benefits from meditation?
« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2017, 02:47:20 AM »
Hi There,
It can take a little time before you see any tangible benefits from meditation. Of course, relaxation is the most obvious one that can come right away. As you said, consistency will also speed up the degree to which you feel you're benefitting. If the session feels too long for you, you might want to try spreading it out into several sessions throughout the day. I've also noticed that the more you get into the habit of doing it, the easier and more "second nature" it becomes. After a few weeks, I was able to meditate for longer and longer periods of time. One thing that really helps for me is to use a guided meditation audio, where a narrator will tell you how and when to breathe to maximize the benefits. Relaxing music without narration may also work if you're having trouble concentrating.

As for how long until you see benefits, that will depend on how consistently and deeply you are able to meditate. If you don't have time on a regular basis, setting even five or ten minutes aside can be helpful. I hope this helps! Please feel free to get in touch with me at Mod Edit: email removed. No self promotion is allowed on this website if you have any other questions or concerns.

Sincerely,
Kevin Carneglia
Mod Edit: website removed. No self promotion is allowed on this website
« Last Edit: April 20, 2017, 02:09:58 PM by Matthew »
Personal info removed. Read forum rules.- Moderator.

Middleway

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Re: How long before I see benefits from meditation?
« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2017, 03:03:47 AM »
Hi there,
I think the reason each person meditates is probably personal to them. For me, it was the start of going down a spiritual road and hoping to one day find what some call Enlightenment, Christ Consciousness, Buddha Consciousness, etc. Another big draw was the increased compassion for all living things, but I also meditate because it has practical purposes (better sleep, more energy, and general feelings of being more focused for starters).

I can't say whether I've found that "enlightened" state or ever really will, but I have learned a good deal about myself and the world in the process. For that matter, I've also begun to realize that we don't need to seek Enlightenment but rather let it come towards us as we continue in our spiritual journey. Hope this helps! You can always message me directly on here if you want to discuss more.

Sincerely,
Kevin Carneglia
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juntjoo

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Re: How long before I see benefits from meditation?
« Reply #8 on: April 24, 2017, 08:26:24 PM »
In my experience I'd say it's a matter of hours clocked in. And I've been "meditating" for years but as far actual hours spent doing it, not nearly what I need to have accomplished based on my goals that I've set for myself a long time ago. It seems only the tougher life gets the more I dedicate myself to this but I expect myself to be more dedicated to a preventive approach rather than waiting til tragedy strikes my life to encourage me to meditate. Last few months I've been trying to do it daily and only maybe this week have I been doing night and day every day but only because I HAVE to just to feel good enough to go throughout my day. And in my opinion that's a bit too late. Like, I wonder how I'd be today if years ago when I started I made a habit of doing this daily. Obviously way better. With all better things in life I guess it takes a deeper appreciation and understanding with patience for the long term fruits of your investment to receive them. Habits. You know what the good ones are and how they'll bless you and it's never immediately. Discipline to form the right habits, and this one is by far the most important. I just feel it to be true and have a long time to fully understand it. Stick it in your digital to-do list or calender, upon awakening and prior to sleep and mid day optional, whatever. Actually, if you really force the habit, you'll definitely notice a change within a week. Good luck.

Matthew

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Re: How long before I see benefits from meditation?
« Reply #9 on: April 25, 2017, 05:05:45 AM »

What part of "Kevin, don't use links to your websites again." don't you understand?

Seemingly nothing - he has been banned from the forum (not by me).
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

dharma bum

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Re: How long before I see benefits from meditation?
« Reply #10 on: April 25, 2017, 06:59:49 PM »
Quote
Actually, if you really force the habit, you'll definitely notice a change within a week. Good luck.

be warned. if you use the word force, you will incur Matthew's wrath.
Mostly ignorant

Matthew

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Re: How long before I see benefits from meditation?
« Reply #11 on: April 25, 2017, 10:25:36 PM »
Quote
Actually, if you really force the habit, you'll definitely notice a change within a week. Good luck.

be warned. if you use the word force, you will incur Matthew's wrath.

:)

It's not wrath .. it's kindness! Being kind to yourself in the practice is of ultimate importance. Yes, some discipline is needed in life towards moral/virtuous living and a modicum of force is required to maintain concentration - yet this must be balanced with calming/relaxation/self-caring if your inner workings are going to be revealed to you and not "shoved in a box".
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

dharma bum

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Re: How long before I see benefits from meditation?
« Reply #12 on: April 26, 2017, 05:02:02 AM »
 :)
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stillpointdancer

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Re: How long before I see benefits from meditation?
« Reply #13 on: April 27, 2017, 12:06:48 PM »
I started meditating for various reasons - to try to become more relaxed, see reality more clearer, health reasons etc. But I don't see much improvement in any of those areas, and so I often get discouraged.
Realistically this is probably because I am not consistent enough in my meditation practice - I know some people practice for years! But encouragement and advice goes a long way, which is why I am here. :)
Meditation is a bit like physical exercise, it only helps if you keep it up. Stop exercising for a few weeks and the health effects fall off rapidly. You don't have to meditate every day, and a couple of times a week seems to be a good compromise in a busy life. People do use things like mindfulness practice for a given period, such as an 8 week MBSR course, and it does have some permanent effects, but those who get the most out of meditation do so when it is a permanent part of their lives.
“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” Franz Kafka

Ben-meijer

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Re: How long before I see benefits from meditation?
« Reply #14 on: May 02, 2017, 10:14:11 PM »
Two sides to this.

1. lets be honest about your expectations. Most expectations are not what you are going to want, and not what you are going to experience.

2. if you really want results, sign up for a 10 day (100 hour) vipassana course. you will get results!

BeHereNow

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Re: How long before I see benefits from meditation?
« Reply #15 on: May 03, 2017, 03:44:22 PM »
There are times in your meditation when you won't want to sit with yourself.  Like this morning, I felt so afraid for no apparent reason that I just wanted so badly to do something else.  Then the thought came, if I can't even sit with this, imagine that I go around all day doing things, and dealing with other people with this fear inside me!  How am I managing that?

As the layers come off you will see that you are walking around in the world with all this unnecessary baggage, and it is causing suffering for yourself and others.  Once you see this for yourself, the benefits of letting these habits go through meditation and seeing through them to your inherent goodness become self-evident.

"Practice, Practice and All is Coming."  - K.P. Jois

Much metta,
Paula
"You are the Sky.  Everything else is just the weather." - Pema Chodron

Antigone

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Re: How long before I see benefits from meditation?
« Reply #16 on: June 01, 2017, 11:10:35 PM »
You may want to look at your time spent in meditation as an opportunity to just be with yourself, to give yourself space and attention.  It is a time to become friends with yourself, curious about your mind, breath and body just as they are.  In this way, the benefits are inherent in the time spent just being, rather than doing.  The less expectations you place upon your practice, the easier it will be to just sit without an agenda, and ironically, the benefits will start to flow :-) 

Thinking of meditation as spending time with yourself is nice, but when there's other tasks to do or other people I want to be with...meditating feels like procrastination and a little antisocial. I've tried to meditate without expectations, but yes, I expect, and if it seems to do nothing, I feel guilty about it. So I'm in a similar situation as the original poster of this thread.

I tried an 8-week MBSR program last summer, following a book and using MP3s, and then I started meditating half an hour every morning--Shamatha meditation in particular. Then early last month I stopped. While I may be able to point out some changes, I'm not really sure if there were benefits. Now granted, it's only half a year I'd been doing that, but I had tried other meditation routines throughout the year before and felt similarly discouraged. Meditating also became frustrating sometimes, making me want to do it less or for less time...or not at all. It's not wise but it's easy to think that meditating isn't that helpful and I'm using that time for better things.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2017, 11:12:56 PM by Antigone »

LoneWolf

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Re: How long before I see benefits from meditation?
« Reply #17 on: June 09, 2017, 04:56:55 AM »
This is a tough question to answer, because it really does depend on the individual.

To give you a scientific answer, various studies have found that less than even an hour of meditation a day for two months had a statistically significant impact on brain chemistry of individuals who participated in meditation programs as compared to controls.

I'd say do it and don't be too focused on the benefits, but to be more focused on the way meditation teaches you to change your perception (if that makes any sense).

stillpointdancer

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Re: How long before I see benefits from meditation?
« Reply #18 on: June 09, 2017, 12:08:32 PM »
Good answer, LoneWolf. Changes will happen, the brain will change and there will be health benefits, especially stress-related. But specific benefits are a different matter. To sit in expectation is often counter-productive, since things tend to happen in their own time. The other thing to consider is how will you know that you've changed? Your brain changes every day anyway, so how will you judge when the changes you want to happen have happened, when the 'you' doing the thinking has changed too? It's often the case that meditator's friends and family notice changes way before the meditator, and often not the changes looked for.
“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” Franz Kafka

dharma bum

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Re: How long before I see benefits from meditation?
« Reply #19 on: June 09, 2017, 03:59:31 PM »
Quote
Good answer, LoneWolf. Changes will happen, the brain will change and there will be health benefits, especially stress-related. But specific benefits are a different matter. To sit in expectation is often counter-productive, since things tend to happen in their own time.

I find this to be the biggest impediment to my own progress - the expectation that meditation ought to bring benefits. Once in every few months, I have to reset myself and start from scratch almost as a beginner.

That said, I feel calmer after even 5 minutes of meditation, but I'm willing to accept the theory that everybody is wired differently and it might not be the case for everyone.
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Antigone

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Re: How long before I see benefits from meditation?
« Reply #20 on: June 09, 2017, 06:10:00 PM »
I find this to be the biggest impediment to my own progress - the expectation that meditation ought to bring benefits. Once in every few months, I have to reset myself and start from scratch almost as a beginner.

Thanks y'all for the responses. They're motivating and uplifting! I expect that as I continue meditating, I may need to "reset" every now and then due to my own impediments.