You should sit in meditation for 20 minutes a day, unless you're too busy; then you should sit for an hour. (Old Zen saying)
More on mindfulness...what else is there to do during this long January but focus on mindfulness and try to see all the Oscar contenders. (Sidebar - The Wolf of Wall Street is a must see!)
You look in the mirror everyday but have you ever, really, noticed yourself? Your breath, your emotion, the way your body feels? This is mindfulness.
It only takes 15 seconds of breathing space in the present moment: thinking, emotion, sensations in the body. Sitting, walking, breathing - these are ideal chances to practice mindfulness. Focusing on the senses is a quick tip to mindfulness, because, of course, sensory experiences exist only in the present moment. Another incredible opportunity happens 3x/day, or in my case, 6x/day, when eating. Mindful eating trumps weight watching every day.
Of course all this mindfulness doesn't give me a pass to zone out and pass on participating in my life. Decisions need to be made! (Yes, I must set my alarm and wake up and go to work.) But mindfulness is a choice, too. It encourages me to take a moment to check in with myself and really see what's going on: Where is the acting and doing coming from? What am I acting out? Why am I acting up? Why can't I stay away from the Malbec?
I'm learning to take 5 minutes a day to move from doing to being. What emotion is visiting me right now? And where did that emotion go in my body? As they say, pain comes and goes, but suffering is optional. I'm checking my posture, my intention, focusing on a primary object like sound or breath, and then, I'm listening...listening to what my wisdom is telling me, considering my intention, kicking away the judgment, practicing lovingkindness: to be happy, to be healthy, to be at ease and to have a sense of well-being.