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Best time to meditate?

Discussion in 'Meditation Chatter Box' started by Cody, Apr 26, 2010.

  1. Cody

    Cody Member

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    I was wondering if there is a certian time of day that would be most benificial for meditating. I know that anytime is a good time, but is there a certain time that is best for maximum results? For example - would it be best to meditate in the morning before you go to work or during the day when you are feeling stressed? - in the evening as soon as you get home or just before bedtime? - when you are at your most stressfull point of the day or most relaxed? Does anybody have a favorite time that seems to work best?
     
  2. Bonski

    Bonski Member

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    Hi Cody:
    I am not a morning person, so I meditate when I get home from work. And than I meditate before bed.
    I am really new to meditation and so far this is working for me.

    Bonnie
     
  3. oneflewover

    oneflewover Member

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    When it suits......

    I guess the best advice is ' Whatever suits you'
    We can differ a lot in our daily routines, some people feel good in the morning, some people take a while to warm up. The important thing is 'turning up' for meditation, on a regular basis, at ideally the same time each day. Some people can fit in two sits during the day. You might find that when you've been meditating a while and you start to gain the benefits this becomes a possibility for you :)

    Graham
     
  4. Edwin

    Edwin Member

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    20.16 and 43 seconds !

    No later, no earlyer !








    :D
     
  5. oneflewover

    oneflewover Member

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    The right time ?

    There is of course no answer to that Edwin! ;)
     
  6. Ta-tsu-wa

    Ta-tsu-wa Member

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    The biggest obstacle most folks new to meditation encounter is sitting down consistently for meditation at all. They tend to be hit and miss in their practice which is a great part of the reason so many report lack of success with meditation. The benefits of meditation are cumulative, not just over the course of a few days, weeks, months or years, but over one's entire lifetime. Inconsistent practice yields equally inconsistent results. So for newcomers it's true that the best time for meditation is whenever you can find or make the time, but that should happen more or less every day. It's far better to practice at a different time each day than it is to always practice at the same time but to manage practicing only 1 or 2 days per week. Like the Nike slogan says, "Just do it."

    Is there "a best time" in any absolute sense? I don't believe so. Like OneFlewOver said, everyone is unique and meditation practice reflects this uniqueness. Some teachers advise always doing your practice in the morning, some say before the sun rises, others say do it at night before bed. Every teacher has an opinion based in part on how they were taught and in part on how things have worked out in their own practice. I cannot find any substantiation for the idea that there is one "most perfect" time of day for meditation.

    Meditation does have different qualities that vary throughout the day depending on what time it is. My experience suggests that these variations are probably also somewhat unique from person to person. In my own case my favorite time of day for meditation is in that hour or so right at dusk. This time of day for me is deeply still and rejuvenating. It has been so all of my life. In fact quite often I find I slip spontaneously into a meditative state at this time of day even when it was not my express intention to do so. During that magic hour I feel quiet inside; lighter, both physically and emotionally. It is a short step for me to enter meditation at that moment. Indeed, simply by visualizing and imagining this time of day in detail I am able to recreate much of that same environment of calm at will. I normally do just that before entering meditation regardless of the actual time of day.

    My next favorite time for meditation is morning, again, right around that hour or so as the sun is just below the horizon until it has risen and the last of the stars have faded from view. This is also a very powerful time for me, though it feels decidedly different from the way the evening hour feels. The sense of stillness is not quite as profound in the environment around me, and I feel naturally more active yet, oddly, not quite as alert. Still, for me personally, if I had to choose just one time for meditation it would be that evening magic hour, and if that was not available my next choice would be its morning magic hour cousin.

    I believe there is a rough pattern to how our meditation practice develops over the course of our life.

    For beginners, do it whenever you can find or make time but do it as close to every day as you can manage so that it becomes a habit.

    Once you become somewhat proficient at the art of meditation you will probably find it helpful to pick a particular time each day and try to be consistent in practicing at that time. I think that preference will vary from individual with some preferring mornings, some evenings, others at various times throughout the mid portion of the day.

    When your practice has deepened sufficiently you will likely revert back to meditation quite naturally throughout the day at any time.

    And when you've reached the final stage (if there is such a thing,) you will remain in some form of meditative state more or less at all times. Meditation becomes your native environment. This, I think, is the state that many masters reside in. You recognize this quality in them because whenever you're in their immediate presence they radiate a deep peacefulness to everyone around.

    Being new to meditation, if you have the option to pick a particular time for your practice (many people don't) then let your own feelings and experience direct you as to what time it will be. A good place to begin if you have no immediate preference would probably be either morning or evening practice since all the spiritual texts, as well as the historical experience of many practitioners, suggest these are optimal times. However, if you end up feeling drawn to something different, by all means follow your own instincts and go with that.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2010
  7. Ta-tsu-wa

    Ta-tsu-wa Member

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    Oh, by the way, Edwin, that should have been 20:16 and 48 seconds. You were five seconds off, my friend.
     
  8. Edwin

    Edwin Member

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    I guess I should have bought that alarmclock that syncs with the atomic clock in Germany :rolleyes:
     
  9. Midnight

    Midnight Member

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    Agreed with Edwin. I was once a second earlier and I'm still recovering from it.

    :p

    Personally, I meditate at night around 9:00 or 10:00. I've tried other times before, but it never really worked out. After school left me feeling a little too tired (was new to LF at the time). In the morning I couldn't focus properly because I always want to go back to sleep. Strangely, I'm more alert at that time at night so it works perfectly for me.

    Point being, you should experiment before you find one you like.
     
  10. Itlandm

    Itlandm Member

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    Religious traditions tend to favor the morning. Then again religious traditions tend to favor getting out of bed at an ungodly hour, as it were, so young people often find this hard. In defense of the practice, morning is the childhood of the day, so that your experience at that time may color the whole day.

    Conversely if you meditate for the purpose of relaxation, it might be fruitful to do so in the evening. Or in the afternoon to recover from stressful work. It is hard for others to know why you meditate. It is often difficult enough for oneself to know.
     
  11. GilesC

    GilesC Member

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    It is said in the Advaita Vedanta tradition that meditation in at sunrise and sunset are the best times. This is because the Sattwa (Sattva) energy is at it's greatest at these point.

     

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