just 3 minutes a day

I’ve been asking people I meet–friends and new acquaintances–about the things they do daily. I’m curious about the idea of actions and rituals that become “everyday sustainable” in the ability to be sustained (i.e., daily activities or habits) and also as they relate to the concept of sustainability, related to the impact on environment and health.

My friend F’s “everyday sustainable” is a great answer to the common lament, “But I don’t have time!” Before heading out to her demanding job where she works long hours, F does her daily meditation practice. How long does it take?, you ask. 3 minutes! That’s right, 3 minutes.3-minutes

F notices that she’s able to be more focused at work. And this is with just 3 minutes a day, an amount of time that she can manage. The impetus to get started was joining a pranayama breathing class in her apartment complex. Even though her husband had encouraged her to meditate for many years (he has a regular practice), it was her own experience with the benefits of paying attention to the breath that actually got her started.

From F’s story we know that 3 minutes a day can make a difference. Leo Babauta suggests starting with just 2 minutes a day. We hear so much about starting small with new habits, but I find myself resisting the idea that tiny is good enough. It’s time I take this advice and re-boot my 15-minute a day meditation “practice” (which is currently at 0 minutes a day) by accepting that 3 minutes is as perfect an amount of time as 15 minutes or 2 hours. And tomorrow will be another day, to continue the practice. Excuse me, I have to find my seat.