When is the best time to meditate? For millennia, mystics, sages, and teachers have told us that early morning is the most conducive time to meditate. But why is that?
I’ve tried meditating at all times of day. I once sat for 48 hours straight and I used to frequently meditate from midnight to 6 A.M.
Of course, those experiences were rich and incredibly rewarding in their own ways. But after 20 years, I’ve found from my own experience that there are some outstanding reasons to meditate early in the morning.
On Morning Meditations
I always meditate first thing in the morning after a small cup of coffee. That’s how I start my day and I love it. It’s not for everyone, but I do find it’s an extraordinary way to enter your day.
If you are thinking of starting a regular meditation practice, I highly recommend you try it for yourself.
And after extensive field research, here are my top 7 powerful and life-affirming reasons to meditate in the morning.
1. The world is still and quiet.
The way I think about it, when you wake up early in the morning, the mind of your “village” hasn’t stirred yet. So there is little friction or activity in the psychic space of the world around you.
The inner and outer worlds are calm like a tranquil lake. Your mind and body respond to this serene atmosphere. And for that reason, it’s a wonderful time to hit the cushion and commune with the silence.
2. Your mind is at rest.
Your mind is like any other machine. The more stimulated it is, the more it speeds up and churns out thoughts. In the early morning, your mind has been in retreat from the world of activity, motion, and stimulus.
And relatively speaking, your mind is still at rest when you wake up. That makes it a very conducive time to practice meditation. Once you are in the active flow of your day, your mind is busy making billions of connections so you can function at a high level. Not so in the morning.
3. Start the day with a clean slate.
We get a fresh start with every dawn of day. As much as it might feel like it, no two days are the same. You wake up renewed and refreshed, having taken a break from the momentum of your life.
That’s another great reason to meditate in the morning. You have a clean state and you can let go of yesterday’s problems. You have a chance to embrace the world with a fresh outlook.
That’s what meditation is all about—letting go of the past and the future and meeting every moment like a new day.
4. Create a positive momentum.
Practicing meditation puts you in touch with the still, calm center of your being. It’s there where you start to find a deeper connection to life.
Within each of us, there is a place that is always fresh and untouched by the world. Immersing yourself in that calm center restores your faith and confidence in the goodness and positivity of life.
Like a plant unfurling in the fortifying light of the sun, we receive this soul-level nourishment in the depths of silence.
5. Move from the center.
Meditation helps you root yourself in the present moment. It erases the distance between you, yourself, and life.
When you practice this present moment awareness in the morning through meditation, it creates a powerful momentum for your day. With practice, you’ll learn how to stay rooted in that center all day long and you’ll respond to life and the complexity of the day from your truest and best self.
6. Cultivate focus that lasts all day.
Starting the day with meditation gives yourself an advantage. Meditation is the best way to train and exercise your awareness. Think of it as physical fitness for your awareness.
Through the act of focusing on one thing—say your breath—and then bringing your attention back to that object of focus again and again, you’re building your capacity for focus.
Doing this first thing in the morning will improve your focus all day long. It will keep you from getting distracted, help you stay on task, and you’ll be more productive, less divided, and happier as a result.
7. Experience the sacred.
More than any other time, the early morning is when I experience something I could only call sacred.
I’m not religious, but sometimes when I meditate in the early morning, I am touched and moved by a quality of silliness and silence that evokes a powerful sense that all of life is holy. The echo of those experiences lasts for a long time.
Their impact cuts across all aspects of my life and my humanity feels renewed and empowered.
If you are new to meditation, I encourage you to give it a try. Maybe you aren’t a morning person, and that’s totally fine too. But for the record, I’ve also seen people who aren’t fans of the early morning get “converted” because of the incredible benefits that come from meditating in the wee hours.
What about you? When do you like to meditate? Can you relate to any of these experiences, or do you have more to add to the list?