80/20 Meditation

Part of our 80/20 series

  1. sit on a cushion for 20 mins per day
  2. focus on your sensory experiences (touch, sight, smell, sound). Try to perceive them as accurately as possible [1] [2] [3]


  1. is that really all? on one level, yes -- both in the sense that formal meditation instructions (of which there are many) can often be something as short or simple as that, and in the sense that if you actually sit for 20 mins per day I think you'll inevitably end up reading around that, and in that process find the meditation instructions that work for you. I'm a little reluctant to put specific recommendations, but possibilities include The Science Of Enlightenment audibook by Shinzen Young, and the Mindful Glimpses app by Loch Kelly ↩︎

  2. is this really an 80/20? On the one hand, it's probably less than 20% of the effort, because "full" effort is more like 2 hours per day + some weeklong retreats. But also it's probably less than 80% of the benefit, because the full benefit is supposedly a completely altered state of being such that you wouldn't trade one day of enlightenment for a whole lifetime of conventional success and happiness. ↩︎

  3. I'm wary to say much more, partly because I don't know much more. But as a very rough sense, some impacts I have felt after doing this for a month or two: occasional spontaneous smiling for no obvious reason, like a teenager in love; being drawn into sensory experiences in moving life, like the air on my hands while I walk, or the sound of detergent falling into the washing machine; time slowing down briefly when I throw rolled-up paper in the trash. This is all to say that your experience of sensory reality may be impacted by meditating, and if it's being impacted negatively then please talk to an experienced meditator immediately. While I know almost nothing about them personally, I've heard good things online about Cheetah House. ↩︎

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