In a CNBC Make It interview with Oprah Winfrey, the famous talk show host pointed out the importance of remaining in the present when talking to people. A very good point but not so easy, I thought. But then she explained that her meditation practice helped her to do this. The article quoted her saying, in 2018, that meditation was “one of the more life-enhancing things I ever did.”
Of course, if you have followed Oprah over the years, this is not news. Oprah was initiated into Transcendental Meditation, a mantra-based meditation technique, years ago and even incorporated it into her TV production schedule. She gave her staff two 20-minute breaks to meditate which she explained was more important than the production work they were doing.
Two 20 minute periods is the key here.
Most serious meditation schools will recommend that you meditate twice a day. Why? Research has shown that sitting for meditation even for 5 minutes in the morning can be beneficial. However, once we start up our regular activities, the mind can easily lose some of the focus and the calm that it had acquired during meditation. By returning to the meditative state in the evening, we can eventually establish a rhythm in our practice that can help us maintain its benefits and eventually experience the deeper treasures that meditation has to offer.
Although the recommended length of time for meditation varies, 20 minutes is often the standard for beginners. It takes time to disconnect oneself from external “stuff” before you can really get into the technique. Often, the common response to this is, “Where on earth will I find 20 minutes twice a day for this?” Well, as a meditation teacher for the last 40 years, I have known many busy people who have been able to do this, including poor villagers who toil all day in the fields, struggling city-dwellers working 2-3 jobs, 5 year old children, 90 year old seniors, and people from diverse cultures and backgrounds. It is not easy but they have been able to meditate twice a day regularly, and sometimes for more than 20 minutes at a time.
It’s all about priorities.
For Oprah, spending a little time twice a day with her “self” is the most rewarding work you can do. Like eating regularly, we need to nourish our inner being in order to live fuller and more balanced lives.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ramesh is the Director of the Prama Wellness Center where lifestyle is considered our best medicine. Ramesh is also a writer, yogi and workshop leader. He studied yoga therapy in Nepal and India, Ayurveda at California College of Ayurveda and is a certified yoga detox theraphist from the AM Wellness Center in Cebu, Philippines. He has taught workshops in many countries and is the author of four books, including Sacred Body, Sacred Spirit (InnerWorld) and Tantra:The Yoga of Love and Awakening (Hay House India).