Why You Should Meditate In The Morning
You really can’t talk about meditation without first speaking about orgasms. Great ones. Not the “yea, I’ve got five minutes before dinner so I’m going to knock this out” kind, but the ones that send you slow-crawling to your diary with a shaky hand to write the entry that starts with, “Dear…Baby…Jesus…”
This When Harry Met Sally moment is how I’m answering a question posed to me by the stunning woman sitting across from me at lunch. We go way back, I taught her how to swing a kettlebell; she’s forging me into a world-class public speaker. Her question is one that I get on a regular basis any time someone begins a meditation practice:
“Should I meditate in the morning or in the evening, and why?”
Any Time Is Better Than Never
Before delving into the specific question, let’s address some of the resistance inherent in beginning any new practice. Namely, having to have it all figured out perfectly before the practice can start. This is your brain’s way of saying, “When you find the perfect running shoes, we can start running, but not before,” and, “Until I know when the best time to meditate is, we’ll just hold off on starting. We wouldn’t want to be doing it at the wrong time, after all.”
A grumpy, foggy-headed, sleepy-eyed two and half minutes of meditation in the morning are infinitely better for you than ninety minutes of nirvana-filled, not-a-single-thought-having, communication with the heavens that never actually takes place. Don’t let the idea of perfection or anything close to it get in the way of beginning or continuing any practice, especially meditation.
Let’s dive into three reasons I believe the morning time is the best time to engage in your meditation practice, and the earlier the better.
The Morning Is The Golden Hour
Work In the basement:
Think of your consciousness, your being-ness, like a house. The basement is the foundation. If the foundation is weak or has cracks, the whole house is unstable. The basement is also where the deepest running programs of your software are stored. That’s the important shit. If there’s something off down there, or a glitch, everything above it goes a bit wonky.
When you first wake up, your consciousness is down in the basement. You haven’t yet headed upstairs to the first floor to make breakfast and feed the cats, nor have you had to sprint up to the top floor to shoot off an email putting out a fire in your business. Your kids aren’t fighting on the third floor yet, and your significant other, spouse, or whoever tickles your undercarriage hasn’t had a chance to push any of your buttons.
When you first wake up, you’re the closest to your unconscious as you’ll be for the day (unless you get knocked out, but hopefully that doesn’t happen on the reg) until you drift off again at night. You’ve literally just left the dream world, the portal your unconscious thoughts and behaviors.
When you do your meditative work at this time, at this level of consciousness, the effects are profound. It is like working out when you are naturally at your most limber and warmed up. By working when you’re already in the basement, there’s no extra energy required to get you there. You woke up there already and now can quietly stay in the basement, patching holes, reinforcing the walls and structures, and tidying up a bit.
Plug into yourself before you plug into the world.
My morning routine is the following: wake up, go to the bathroom, go to the meditation mat. That’s it. I do not make coffee, I do not do anything that takes fine motor skill (I can pee blindfolded), and most certainly I do not plug into the world.
Use your imaginations again and visualize one of those 1950’s telephone operator switchboards. The ones where the chipper and well-manicured young lady would insert a plug into the board when you needed to speak to someone.That switchboard is the world at large. You plug into it by stepping outside, turning on the television, or worse, firing up your phone. Once you do that, you’re in.
You’re now open and available for any and all input the world sees fit to throw your way. You’re forced to react to a stream of communications in the form of text messages, emails, Instagram messages, Facebook likes, and more. You have handed the keys to your consciousness bubble to anyone and everyone. This includes people you know and people you don’t. People trying to spam you, scam you, hurt you, and love you. You are now powerless to what arrives in the inbox of your mind.
Why not hold the world at a distance for a period of time while you get to the enjoy the forest of your being before the busloads of Asian tourists show up and start stomping around. Enjoy the quality of silence that can only be experienced when undisturbed. Explore what’s there underneath the noise, the reactions, and your conditioned responses. What gems lie there in the silence waiting patiently for you to find them.
The ripple effect, when Harry met Sally.
Put yourself in this situation in your mind. You’re at the post office and it’s crowded – twenty-people-in-line-ahead-of-you crowded. There’s one teller open, and she’s dealing with a woman in her late eighties who has lots of questions and is paying with coins. Lots of coins.
Now put yourself there in one of two circumstances:
Circumstance 1: You passed out last night after a mind-blowing orgasm. Earth shattering. Someone in your life has scratch marks tattooing his back at the office this morning. Someone in your life thought she was riding a mechanical bull on steroids last night.That shit. Yea, maybe you bit through your lip. I can go on, but my Mom reads this.
That’s circumstance 1. Clearly, it will color your morning more so than an evening of Netflix and peanut butter cups sans the lip biting.
Circumstance 2: The exact same scenario, but instead of it playing out at 11 pm before it’s time to count sheep, imagine your explosion contractions woke your neighbors up that morning. An hour or so ago.
Now put yourself back in the post office. With the line of twenty people. With the one teller dealing with the elderly penny saver. How many fucks do you currently give? Zero.
Meditating in the morning recalibrates your entire being for the day. It sets your volume at a one and meters how quickly your volume will shoot upward. It puts a governor on your reactivity and empties the rim-filled cup of stress you’re walking around with trying not to spill. Empties it.
I’d rather have an increase in patience, calmness, clarity, and peace during the conscious hours of my life – the daytime – when I have to deal with humans and make decisions that color my future. I’d rather have the benefits then as opposed to having them while I’m surfing double overhead waves and choking people out in my sleep.
Starting with the purposeful prescription of peace sets the ripple effect of that peace in motion throughout our day. Not only do we feel better about ourselves, but when we do allow the world in, we know we’re doing so consciously.
The best part of the morning practice is knowing we’ve given ourselves the huge gift of quietude and personal attention. We’ve spent the morning enjoying the world of our insides before the world of the outside gets a hold of our consciousness.
Some Things Only Happen When The Kids Are Asleep
Many of you reading this have been diagnosed with multiple children and the thought of accomplishing anything in the morning that involves quietude and peace is nothing short of a fall over, knee-slapping, cheek hilarious joke. The struggle is real, I know. Ok, you can stop laughing and wiping your eyes now.
Meditating in the evening may be all that your schedule allows, it may also be your personal preference. If so, please dive right in. Use the practice as a way to calm yourself before bed, a way to wash away the conflicts of the day. Doing what works for you is light years better than not doing anything at all.
While the morning meditation builds a calm and serenity that last throughout the day, think of your evening practice like letting the steam out of a tea kettle that has been brewing with the top firmly on for your waking hours. This is the time to release yourself from your to-do list, the challenges that introduced themselves to you earlier, and the potential bombs you have to diffuse in the morning. Let the peace you create in your evening sits be the state you lie yourself down with before falling asleep
One Day Stronger Action Steps
1. Tomorrow morning do one of two things – commit to 10 minutes of meditation or have an orgasm. Up to you. You can do both on your own, or enroll your partner, neighbor, or friend. Whoever you trust and makes your wheels slippery. Make note of how your day is. Are you less angry? More calm? Less reactive? More understanding?
2. Repeat the process in the evening the day after tomorrow – pick one, meditation or orgasm (or both, you little devil you) and then make note of how the next day. Was the effect more profound when your experience was morning based versus evening based?
3. When you’ve found your preference – whichever it may be – commit to 10 days of morning or evening meditation. This can be for as little as three minutes a session. You have three minutes. Commit to this and being to watch the life inside and outside of you heal and transform.