Overdoing Good Things

A friend sent me an article by a meditator who took a break from meditation, and how the results surprised him.

She knows I meditate and have been at it for years.

I was not surprised by reading the piece and understood the writer’s plight. 

It confirmed my belief that we can overdo good things to the extent that they feel like a chore.

And, this is why when I restarted my meditation practice in January 2014, I kept it to 5 minutes in the morning, before adding 5 minutes in the evening. 

I quickly built it to a minimum of 30 minutes a day. After doing it every day for more than 3 years (1200 day streak), I gave myself permission to do it for 1 minute every day, and be fine with doing more on the days I could and wanted to. There have been days where I have gone for more than an hour. But most days I only do it for a few minutes, knowing it my heart that some meditation is better than no meditation.

This is only one side of it. There is a reason for enduring boredom and uneasiness. That’s what Vipassana retreats trains us for and that’s what Buddhist monks and those in other traditions do during their long-isolated meditation practice.

But for most of us, we should do anything to an extent that it does not burn us out. We’ll be fine as long as we are regular and do it long enough to see results.