Whether it’s losing weight, getting rich, or becoming enlightened, countless people are selling get-it-quick schemes. With smartphones and smart TVs and Amazon, we’re so used to getting what we want when we want. We’ve become an instant gratification culture and many businesspeople are more than happy to cash in on that. But, here is the truth about 2-minute meditation that everyone should know about.
Right now, there are people out there selling happiness and bliss in 2-minute, 1-minute, and even 5-second meditations. While it’s true that some are better than none, more is better than less.
It’s absolutely necessary, and I’d say vital, to take a few moments throughout the day to become centered and present. Take as many deep, conscious breaths as you can throughout the day. Take all the meditation moments you can and that you need throughout the day.
So while 2-minutes does have its benefits, if you stop there you will be missing out on some of the amazing benefits that longer meditation can provide.
Here are just 7 of the ugly truths about 2-minute meditation.
Ugly Truth #1: 2-Minute Meditation is Not Enough for Mind to Settle
Human beings are not robots. We don’t have a switch where we can go from our busy lives to a deep peaceful and relaxed state instantly.
The mind takes time to unwind. Many different meditation styles have practitioners sit for one or two minutes with their eyes closed before they begin their meditation. This allows the mind to settle a bit.
The first two minutes of meditation are really just the mind settling in and quieting down. Then the real magic starts.
Even after 10 minutes, your mind enters new depths and the benefits expand. This is where your mind may be screaming, “I’m bored!” But then, a few minutes later you forget all about the boredom and you’ve crossed over into a new depth. You are beginning to witness and also better understand the ever-changing nature of the mind. These longer meditation experiences produce greater insights and wisdom, as well as more peace and patience in the practitioner.
Ugly Truth #2: Full Benefits Start at 20 Minutes
Study after study shows that 20 minutes is the real sweet spot for meditation. This is where all the benefits start to kick in.
It can be divided up into two 10-minute sessions. Or it can be done all at once.
In 20 minutes, greater inner peace and joy are reported. Study participants report having more energy and focus. And ultimately, happier and more fulfilling lives.
You’re welcome to meditate for more than 20 minutes and many people choose to do so. It’s a very pleasant experience for them and it works for their schedule. But just 20 minutes a day can give you the infinite benefits that meditation has to offer.
Ugly Truth #3: 2-Minute Meditation Can Make You Lose Faith in Meditation
As modern human beings, time is money. We don’t have time to waste. If something doesn’t give us the results that we want, we quit doing that thing. It’s only natural.
That’s precisely the problem with snake-oil salesmen who push their miracle products. They’re wasting our valuable time on things that won’t work. Instead, we could be investing in ourselves in real ways that pay off huge.
Being burned too many times by misleading products and self-help solutions can lead to abandoning our journey of healing, growth and discovery.
The ancient practice of meditation was developed long before capitalism. It was also passed down for thousands of years simply because it worked marvels. And now, modern science is proving its benefits. It would be a shame to give up on something so transformative.
Ugly Truth #4: Ok to Start with 2-Minute Meditation, But Not to Do It Forever
If you are the most impatient, ADD person with an attention span the size of a goldfish’s (I’ve been there), 2-minute meditation may be for you. But, make sure that as your attention span and patience grow, so does the length of your meditation.
Starting with hour-long meditation can be just as futile as only doing 2 minutes. If you start off with too much, it won’t be sustainable and you may eventually quit. So starting off small and gradually increasing your time is a great way to go. This way, you’ll build up a strong habit and foundation for your daily practice.
Don’t increase your time too fast or too slowly. Listen to your heart when it comes to such things. It always knows best.
Ugly Truth #5: You Wouldn’t Train in the Gym for Only 2 Minutes
Sure, we’ve all seen the commercials. “Wear this miracle belt and lose weight while sitting on your couch eating Doritos.” Or, “Get a six-pack in just 2-minutes a day.” “Lose weight on the doughnut diet!”
But the truth is effort breeds results. There are no shortcuts to living a healthy and happy life. It takes eating well, moving around, sleeping well, building strong relationships, and also some time disconnecting, reflecting, and meditating.
Meditation is training for the mind. We train it to be more focused, creative, patient, and grateful. It also trains us to find peace and joy within. To be more loving, more mindful and more present.
That’s why 20 minutes isn’t just the bare minimum for cardiovascular exercise, but also for meditation.
Ugly Truth #6: The Mind Can’t Enter Low Brainwave Frequencies Where Deep Healing Occurs
When we sleep, our brains go through several stages of NREM and REM sleep. Similarly, when we meditate our brain goes through several stages as well.
Our brains are always producing brainwaves. These are divided up into five bands of wavelength: gamma, beta, alpha, theta and delta.
Beta brainwave frequency of our normal waking mind. When we start to meditate, our brain goes into alpha, which is slightly slower and occurs when our body and mind become relaxed.
As we continue meditating, our mind goes into theta, where creativity, insights, dreams, and reduced consciousness occur.
If we continue meditating, we enter delta, where deep meditation, as well as dreamless sleep, occurs.
Gamma, which is actually the fastest frequency, even above beta, is where problem-solving, altruism, and love occur. This can be reached by longtime meditators meditating on love and oneness.
The ugly truth is, 2-minute meditation can barely reach alpha brainwaves. While this may sound like pseudoscience, this is undisputed. Scientists can consistently stick electrodes to meditators’ heads and clearly see this change in brainwave frequency.
Ugly Truth #7: If 2-Minute Meditation Sounds Too Good to Be True…
If it sounds too good to be true… We all know the expression so I won’t even finish it.
There’s a big difference between what people want and what they actually need. What we want is advertised to us 24/7. But what we need, like fruits, vegetables and parks, never are.
This is the case with an actual, 20-minute meditation. It’s not as glamorous. Results aren’t immediate. It’s not fun to do. It’s simply going to the gym for your mind. Only this gym won’t give you a 6-pack.
But I promise you, like anything else, you will get back more than you put in. Since everything we experience stems from our mind’s perception, meditation (mind training) is the most important thing any of us can do. It will give us the skills to cope, manage our emotions and become our own therapist.
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