Is there an ideal time to meditate?
In truth, meditation can happen any time. It’s possible to practice morning, noon, or night. I find that I drop into meditative awareness at the most unexpected moments.
You Can Meditation Any Time of Day
You never know what can trigger it. It can be the play of light reflecting off a window while you walk down the street. Maybe it’s the chorus of songbirds in the tree outside your home at twilight.
And that makes sense to me, because meditation is about tuning in to the essence of your own awareness. And you are never separate from your own awareness. You take it with you everywhere. Of course, because awareness is who you are.
So before recommending a particular time of day for meditation, it’s important to be clear about this one point. You can meditate at any time of day.
Morning Is Still the Best Time to Meditate
But I agree with the great meditation masters of the ages that some times of day are more conducive than others for meditation.
In particular, I find that morning is the best time to meditate. Almost every authority on meditation that I have ever read recommends that you practice in the pre-dawn hours.
So how early are we talking about?
I think that really depends. I like to get up and have a cup of tea or coffee before I start. Sometimes it’s 5:30am and sometimes it’s 7am. But I think it’s best if you experiment and find out what works for you and try to be consistent. I meditated for 15 years at the same time every morning and now I vary the time. For me, both of those strategies have their own benefits.
More importantly, let’s look at why it could be good for you to meditation early in the day. Here are the top 5 reasons why I find that it’s best to meditate first thing in the morning.
5 Reasons to Meditate in the Morning
1. It’s helpful to meditate when the machinery of your mind hasn’t ramped up yet. When you wake up, your brain is still quiet. It may start to tick over, but if you start meditating soon after you get up, you are going to benefit from the natural quiet that comes with a good night of sleep.
2. It’s good to focus your awareness in the morning before you do anything else. Your are going to be exercising your attention all day making choices, consuming information, bringing order to your world. You use your awareness all day to do that.
Why not prime the pumps first. Meditation is to your mind what yoga or exercise is to your body.
It’s kind of like calming the inherently choppy waters of your mind. You are optimizing your experience when you do this. Whether you feel it or not, that meditation practice will support you all day long. How? By giving you space from the often manic nature of your mind.
3. In the morning, the world is quiet. Nearly everyone is still asleep. So there is a quality of deep peace and quiet that permeates the larger field of human awareness in the early morning.
I think of it like this. If all our minds together create a larger mind, that larger mind hasn’t revved up yet. I think that’s why the yogis and saints have always recommended meditating around 4am. That ensures that almost everyone around you—in your home, in your neighborhood, in your town—is asleep.
That has a real effect. It means there is pretty much no external distraction and very little friction in the greater field of consciousness.
4. Meditation is an incredibly positive way to start the day. When you start the day with meditation, it’s a statement to yourself and to the universe. It’s also a powerful expression of intention. It means that you are putting meditation first. If you do this regularly, you will continue to strengthen and build that intention.
That will have all sorts of positive trickle down effects.
5. There is nothing like starting your day with an experience of pure awareness. Even better than a great cup of coffee, meditation can bring clarity, lightness, and deep ease.
When you enter the day having bathed in the bright light of meditation, you feel free. It’s amazing what this can do for your outlook on the world.
In time, meditation is like a perfume that infuses your experience and your perspective all day. What’s the smell of that perfume? It’s one of pure positivity. You know that life is good, no matter the daily dramas, and that gives you confidence all day.
So we just covered 5 reasons why it’s optimal to meditate early in the morning. There are certainly reasons to meditate at other times in the day. But for all the reasons listed above, meditating in the morning remains my favorite.
I recommend you follow the advice of the time-honored mystics who have come before us. Meditate in the morning and carry that inner silence with you into the day!