One thing I’ve found about meditation is that the end of a meditation session is much more effective than the beginning. The last 5 minutes are often much quieter and more clear than the first 5 minutes. I’ve wondered how to get to the last 5 minutes sooner, but it does seem that I do need to do the work and meditate for the entire session.Oh well.
So sometimes I try to convince myself that “I’ve been here long enough, right? so let’s trim the end now.” But having noticed that that last few minutes is where the action is, I push that “stop now” thought aside and keep on meditating. And I’m always glad I did.
There’s a power to finishing something, whether it is a run, or a meditation, or a class you take, or a home project you start, or a New Year’s resolution you make. A sense of correct completion. We’ve all seen a movie that suddenly just ends, and it feels so false — the movie makers didn’t finish the film properly. As the poet W. B. Yeats may have said, “A great poem ends like the click of a well-made box.”
I also find that it’s helpful to have something other than a clock or watch to help time my meditation. Like if you are meditating to music then you can set the length of your playlist. Or use a kitchen or smart phone timer and then just focus on your meditation until the timer starts to beep. When I started meditating I used a clock, and found myself peeking at the clock way too much, so I switched to a timer. Much better solution. Gets me to the those last 5 minutes much more often.