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The 5 Key Benefits of Morning Meditation

Let’s talk about the five top benefits of morning meditation. We’ll focus on why you might choose to meditate in the morning rather than other times of day.

As far as I’m aware, the benefits of meditation apply regardless of when we meditate. You can learn about the general benefits in the following articles: The Benefits of Vipassana Meditation Told From Within, The Science Behind Meditation In Beginners, and The Stunning Long-Term Benefits of Meditation.

That said, the experience of meditation changes a lot depending on the time of day. Though morning meditation isn’t a different kind of meditation, the challenges and opportunities you’ll meet are different.

Let’s dive into the benefits of morning meditation.

Benefits of Morning Meditation #1: It Makes Meditation Your Top Priority

This is my favourite benefit of all.

How often have you already started your day before you even get out of bed? As soon as we wake up, we’re already composing a mental list of the day’s tasks. Before we know it, we’re out of bed, doing tasks, organising breakfast, and getting dressed. That is, before we’re even aware that a new day has started, we’re on autopilot mode.

Practicing morning meditation is a way to take a stand. By taking the time to do this mind-body work rather than immediately starting the to-do list, you’re making it a priority.

You’re taking a major stand against your habits and ordinary state of mind, and I’m sure this has a subtle but significant impact on your engagement with the practice and how you live your life. It’s not just another item on the to-do list, but your first port of call, not only for your day, but your entire life.

What’s more, if you have the mindset “meditation comes first, before anything else”, you’re glimpsing the long-term path, when meditation becomes your go-to way of living. Meditation literally comes first, before everything else, simply because it is your way of being in the world.

In my case, meditation now informs and guides so many of my actions and I can’t imagine living life without it. It comes before everything else because during the majority of my moments, I go to meditation so that I can live each one more fully and skillfully. What’s more, I meditate every single day, with no exceptions. Every session is a homage to its power and to my commitment.

Even if you’re yet to develop this relationship with your practice, you can get a taste of it by making meditation the first thing you do every day.

Benefits of Morning Meditation #2: Helps Build Routine

Habit experts repeatedly tell us that a great way to install a new habit is to do it at the same time every day. The reason? We begin to associate that time of day with our new habit. Like Pavlov’s Dog, the arrival of that time triggers us to repeat the habit once more.

Meditation is no different. To get the juice out of meditation, it needs to become a routine. This doesn’t mean you whip yourself into meditating every day no matter what, but that you recognise its power and use that to motivate your regular practice.

By choosing to meditate every morning, we have a definite time when it’ll happen. It’s less likely to get buried under the rest of the to-do list. You’re not leaving it to chance. When you wake up, you know you’re going to meditate. Simple. Bell rings, dog salivates. Wake up, start meditating.

When it becomes as ingrained as this, you’ll rack up the hours without noticing too much. A student of mine does his practice every night at 8pm, once the kids are asleep and the to-do list is complete. He has found that this consistency helps him sustain the habit over the weeks and months, and it’s obvious to me that he’s reaping the benefits.

To start with, it helps to actively maintain your habit by inspiring yourself, being disciplined, and setting targets. Once you’ve done a lot of this, you’ll start seeing the benefits and you’ll be consistent without having to enforce it. Eventually, it’ll simply be a part of your day, just like eating, washing and dressing. It becomes part of who you are.

Morning meditation can help you reach that level of consistency.

#3: Helps You Infuse The Day With Meditation

In meditation, particularly in mindfulness meditation, we’re cultivating attention, awareness, presence, wakefulness. The more we practice, the bigger our attention muscles grow, and the more we can tap into their strength whenever we want, wherever we are.

It’s not enough to believe this: you have to taste this heightened attention. You can cultivate it through working with a slew of different techniques, whether it’s mindfulness of breathing, the body scan, mindfulness of thought, mindfulness of emotions, or any other attention-strengthening technique.

By tapping into it early in the day, we gain momentum and our muscles are a little bit bigger for the rest of the day. You might notice that you’re more in control, feel more present, and more awake to your senses.

This makes it more likely you’ll automatically drop into this awareness during everyday situations. And even if it doesn’t happen automatically, you’re likely to remember then consciously decide to tap into it.

Sure, you’ll forget and go unconscious. But know that you’re slowly altering your everyday operating system. As your practice progresses, you’ll increasingly want to bring meditation into your daily life, and doing it in the morning can help you get there.

#4: Alertness

My students often complain that meditating after work is too challenging for them. They find themselves exhausted and unable to focus their attention. I can relate. Mind-wandering is part and parcel of meditation and not a problem, so long as we’re still trying to focus, but it can feel frustrating and pointless to meditate when our attention is all over the place.

Another of the key benefits of morning meditation is that you’ve just come out of a long period of rest. This is a good state for meditation because you’ll find it easier to maintain attention and have clarity. If you usually get a good night’s sleep and feel refreshed in the morning, give morning meditation a try.

That said, it’s worth giving yourself at least five minutes to get out of sleep mode before you start. Splash cold water on your face, have a drink of water, and walk around a little. Let the light in or turn on a lamp to improve your alertness. Once you feel fully awake, you’re ready to start.

One of the benefits of morning meditation is that you might have greater alertness at this time of day, and you can exploit this to have more productive meditation sessions.

Benefits of Morning Meditation #5: Get Inner Intel

Another of the key benefits of morning meditation is that it helps you get a clear picture of what’s going on inside before you start the day.

I like to say that meditation is a coming back to ourselves, regardless of what technique we’re practicing. We’re coming home. We’re realising who we really are, on many levels. We sit with ourselves, without running away, or trying to change anything, or denying or wishing it were different. We sit with whatever comes up, whether it feels good or not.

This is in stark contrast to how we start the day. Often we rush out of bed and start getting things done without being aware of our inner state. Make no mistake, though we’re sleeping, plenty goes on during the night. We go between various states of dreaming, process the day, worry, plan, fantasise and imagine. This leaves residue, and if we’re not careful, we’ll start going about our day without fully processing it. It’ll be there nagging at us.

So before you begin your morning meditation, take a moment to ask yourself how you are today: “How am I today?” Don’t answer this by seeking intellectual answers. Feel it, live it, embody it, know it. It’s all revealed by your body and mind. “How am I, really?” This inner intel can make a big difference to your whole day.

And looking at the bigger picture, you’re always gathering inner intel during meditation. In every moment, in everything that happens during the session, you’re discovering how you are. Do this consciously, and use your secrets to inform how you approach the rest of the day.

5 key benefits of morning meditation

Keen to get going with meditation? In my online Mindfulness Meditation for Beginners course, you master the essentials of mindfulness meditation, build a solid daily habit, and glimpse the power of this work.

online mindfulness meditation beginners course

Master The Essentials of Mindfulness Meditation and Build a Solid Foundation in Spiritual Practice

The online Mindfulness Meditation For Beginners Course gives you 20+ lessons packed with techniques, advice and discoveries.

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