My Answer: This depends on a person’s state. It takes me at least 20 minutes, sometimes up to 40, to begin feeling The Zohar and connecting to it, to begin working together with it in one shared breathing, floating on its waves.
One has to keep reading and wait for it to happen. But the time of preparation is not a waste. It is great work, a time when a person must have faith that The Zohar will soon be revealed to him. You already have experience and you know how it happens. You understand that all you have to do is continue and eventually some sort of connection will open up.
By virtue of this connection, we begin to feel The Zohar, to perceive it closer to us. We begin to receive a greater illumination from it as the text “plays” with us, awakening inner changes.
This takes time; the time of preparation is necessary to establish contact with the book. This time is very important and you have to be patient, giving it as long as necessary. After all, it is very important for this to happen, and one has to be certain that it definitely will happen. You have to wait for it and desire it; by so doing you will connect with the book.
Later on you will feel that it isn’t just some picture becoming clear to you, but that you are entering an ocean of sensations and inner changes. You start to experience many ascents and descents as The Zohar makes you shift to the left or the right (with regard to your spiritual sensations). You will feel very clear and drastic phenomena taking place within you and will feel how the Upper Force operates within your matter.
Throughout it all, one’s advancement lies in the fact that one waits for the study to correct him, meaning to bring him to unity, love for the neighbor, and unity with the Creator. It is for this sake that one reads and makes efforts. In that case, one moves along in one intention with the Light.