How long should I meditate to get “meaningful” results?

How long to reap the benefit depends, of course, on the goal and the approach, but the list of potential benefits is long!

  • MBSR (mindfulness-based stress reduction) will show results in 15 minutes to an hour, but for mindfulness in general, you might want to give yourself a couple of days. Keep a journal to show yourself in writing how mindful of this and that you are becoming. That’s also an excellent way to keep track of your progress.
  • For personal, physical healing, depending on the condition of your body, and the application of your intention, coupled with your inner dialogue during your non-meditative hours, expect tangible results within a week. Again, depending on the condition. Verify progress with your feeling, of course, but don’t neglect proper testing by a physician either.
  • Regarding self-inquiry results are rather immediate, depending on the volume of your mind chatter, then it may take weeks or months. You’ll need to hone your approach.
  • Achieving an equanimity of mind, finding Silence so to speak, learning to refrain from judgement and just be, well, this can take a bit of practice. There are techniques in several traditions to help you slow down.
  • To train the breath, for energy artistry, for focused application of the mind to purpose, for health, for tantric ritual – perhaps a few weeks will see you moving in the right direction.
  • To achieve visions and connection with the subconscious, your very first session should do it. Again, keep a journal. See the patterns. How many years did it take CG Jung to compile his little red books? Analysis and cross-reference take time. Acquiring wisdom from this approach could take a lifetime!
  • Attainment of psychic awareness, entrance into the Akasha and what not, is rather hit and miss. Some are ready and already manifesting this consciousness while the brainwaves fluctuate throughout the day, and especially at night. Practicing with focused intention over some months, however, will certainly see one wielding the Philosopher’s Stone to effect in good order.
  • To calm the mind for problem solving or clarity in the moment, a few minutes will do it, a few days to get the knack and a few mindful weeks to make it a habit.
  • Pain relief and sleep disorders – adept meditation may yield benefit in moments. Overcoming anxiety, however, has been known to take months and even years. Sometimes a good coach can serve as an able second to your meditation and help you along the way.
  • Finally, the nine levels of Samadhi, all the way to Nirvikalpa and back again should you decide a life is worth living, well, you might want to give yourself a few years. No hurries, no worries.