Morning Meditation: How To Meditate Better Than a Tibetan Monk
Are you wondering if doing a morning mediation is the best time to meditate? There are some pitfalls you want to avoid if you want to learn to meditate better than a Tibetan Monk but they are sometimes hard to spot.
Meditating early in the morning helps you to clear your mind and set the tone for the day before you get distracted by things that are outside of your control.
If you are not a morning person, getting up early enough can be a little bit of a challenge but it’s worth it.
Don’t tell anyone but here’s a little secret: Morning doesn’t mean the same thing to everyone.
The word “morning” comes from the Middle English word, “morn” which can mean either the hours starting with midnight and ending with noon or the hours from dawn until solar midday.
It can easily refer to the moment of your usual rising until the middle of the time that you are normally awake.
For example, a person who works from 8 PM until 5 AM, might easily refer to 6 PM as his or her “morning” in the sense of that is the best time to start the day. If you wish to be strict about having a morning meditation that coincides with first light, then you could schedule it at the end of the day instead of the beginning. There are some things to be said for both.
5 Meditation Tips for Beginners
Regardless of the time, you choose to meditate there are a few things that you will enhance your experience.
- Find a quiet, safe space. People who are experienced with meditation can do it in a crowded room, on a busy street or in a noisy airport. But if you are just starting out, it can be a lot harder to clear your mind and find peace under such circumstances.
- Find a comfortable place to sit or lie down. Again, those with experience can meditate on the edge of a cliff in the biting wind or lying on a bed of nails. That isn’t most of us. Those are mad skills for people who’ve practiced meditation until they have it down to an art form.
- Set a Timer. The purpose behind meditation is to clear your mind of extraneous thoughts so your brain cells can rest. A timer allows you to focus on the meditation process without keeping one eye on the clock. Your computer, cell phone or a mechanical timer will work.
- Have Patience. Don’t get discouraged when catch yourself thinking about the things that lay ahead. It’s part of the process. Just focus on your mantra on counting your breath again.
- Practice.There is little benefit in mediating once a month for 4 hours. Try to integrate your mediation into your morning ritual just like you brush your teeth.
Optional Meditation Aids
Meditation is essentially a mental exercise that requires few props. If you are new to meditation or you want to use meditation to focus on a mental goal, props can help with the general process.
- A candle that can be placed at eye-level.
- A design or picture on which you can place your attention.
- Words or sounds that you can say aloud, sometimes referred to as a mantra.
You don’t have to have any of those things for successful meditation. What you will need most is the ability to sit quietly and let your mind be empty. In our modern world where everyone is connected by phone, Internet, television or radio, perhaps one of the hardest parts will be turning off all your media. (See requirement #1: a quiet place.)
Why You Should Start Your Day with a Morning Meditation
Meditation is a good way to clear your mental decks for your day. There are a lot of ways and places to meditate.
If you have a busy household with frequent demands on your time, your bedroom or bathroom might be a good place.
If you are fortunate enough to have a balcony or porch on your home, that can often be a pleasant location.
When meditating outside your home’s four walls, it is a good idea to make sure that you are in a safe area. You want to be able to retreat into your mental spaces without fear of being mugged or arrested for vagrancy. (See Requirement #1).
Meditating with First Light
While you do not have to be up with the first songbirds, there is a joy to meditating in the early morning.
The world is getting a fresh start on a new day. The air is usually at its cleanest and freshest – even in the city. Sunrise can be beautiful.
Who needs pictures to look at Instagram or Facebook when nature provides a gorgeous array of colors just for the price of getting up at sunrise?
Certain flowers bloom only in the early morning, such as morning glories, while others are at their best before they are toasted in the heat of the day.
If you live in a warm climate, or if it is summer, morning is usually the coolest part of the day, before the sun has had a chance to turn the world into a bake oven.
If you live in a cold climate, morning meditation could have different aspects. Early morning is when you are most likely to see snow in its crisp perfection. It is the time when you can witness feathery frost paintings on window glass.
If you do not have central heating, it could be the time when you rise and kindle the fires for the rest of the household.
Sitting with your feet on the hob, watching fireplace logs turn into coals that can be used for cooking and cradling a cup of tea in your hands can be a marvelous time for meditation.
Evening and Nighttime Have Their Own Charms
If your “morning” comes later in the day, you don’t have to short yourself on natural charms.
Depending on your location, there are all sorts of sights and sounds that can be incorporated into letting your mind relax and just roam for a little while.
For example, if you live in a high-rise apartment, a view from above tends to mellow a cityscape and lend it a surreal aspect. That front or back porch might be a place to watch hummingbirds or bumblebees buzzing through stands of flowers.
You could join a yoga or martial arts group and do your meditating in company with others.
There is something to be said for companionable support. When all else fails, the inside of your bedroom or your bathroom is going to be pretty much the same regardless of the time of day.
Beginning Your Day with Meditation
Beginning your day with meditation allows you to set your mental spaces in order.
- First, turn off your electronics. If you need to be “on call” through your phone, email or social media, create a message that says something like this, “Hi! Taking a fifteen-minute mini-media vacation. I’ll be back with you at: and give a time.”
- Turn off the phone, close or walk away from your computer. While listening to music can be incorporated into meditation, as can recorded voice-guided meditation, you will derive the most benefit from this mental exercise when you can do it on your own.
- Sit somewhere comfortable. You can meditate while lying down, but let’s face it: if it is first thing in your morning, lying down is an invitation to falling asleep – not the thing you need to have happen.
- Find something on which to fix your attention. The lovely thing about meditating is that it doesn’t need to be noisy. If you have a spouse, partner, child, or roommate who has a schedule opposite yours, you can easily engage in this little mental sorting without disturbing the person or people who share your space.
- Place your gaze on something. It can be a picture, birds at a feeder, a mandala, a candle flame or a flyspeck on the wall. In point of fact, you don’t even need that. You can just close your eyes, but there is that going back to sleep factor.
You want to avoid that. With your attention on your focal point, let your mind go blank. That is going to be harder than you think. Thoughts will intrude. Don’t let that worry you. Just shoo them away.
Imagine a big whisk broom sweeping those unwanted thoughts into a dustpan. Your goal is to have only the view of your focal point and the empty space in your head. If you wish, you can place a piece of paper and pencil at hand, and make a mark when your attention strays.
But this can be distracting for beginners. It is a useful tool later when you are working toward perfecting your ability to clear your mind.
Three minutes is a good amount of starting time.
It works very well with gentle exercises such as yoga stretches (not the extreme poses, just gentle stretches) Tai Chi Short form, or ballet stretches or plain old calisthenic warm-ups. Do the exercise first, then settle into a seated position for your cool-down and meditation.
Design Your Environment
If staying on schedule and on track is difficult for you, use a software program as an assistant.
Since one of your directions was to turn off your media, this might seem counter-intuitive, but a program such as FindFocus can remind you to meditate, help with putting your media on “hold” and getting back out of your meditative state in time to get on with the rest of your day.
Use Guided Meditations From Youtube
Meditation is a skill you can practice. But please don’t fall for the headline of this article. There is no way to meditate better than a Tibetan Monk.
If you compare yourself to anyone you missed the point.
Meditation Has No Goal
Yes, for many people it’s end goal is to relieve your mind of the many busy thoughts that scramble through it all day.
It is an opportunity to organize your mind so that you will be able to create a plan for your day.
I certainly welcome these benefits. They are probably the reason why I meditate but once I got started I noticed there is so much more behind it.
It’s a way to get out of my head.
Mediation Is a Way to Realize That You Are Not Your Thoughts
It's a way to experience the world without judgment. (And that includes judging yourself).
So whatever time works best for you, take a moment to reflect why you are reading this article.
Take a deep breath and notice your intentions.
- What do you feel?
- What does your posture look like?
- Do you feel tense?
- What sounds do you hear?
- Are you worried?
- What do you think about?
Only you know the answers to these questions but when you meditate in the morning you can start every day with this kind of awareness.