To make progress in meditation it is important to meditate at least once a day. If you are inspired then it is good to meditate 3 times a day. Regularity is very important for increasing your meditation capacity. Some people may say it is very hard to find time in a busy day to meditate. However if you really value something then you will find time. 3 times a day we find time to feed the body. We should also feel the necessity of feeding our soul, our inner being. If we value meditation then we will not want to miss our regular period of silence.
The best time to meditate is early in the morning. Early in the morning the earth is restful and more peaceful. Also there are less demands on your time. Therefore the morning consciousness is more conducive to meditation.Sri Chinmoy says:
“If you meditate in the morning, you will find that your meditation will be most fruitful. Before the sun rises, the earth -consciousness is not yet agitated.”
In the Indian scriptures it is said the absolutely best time to meditate is between 3am and 4am. This is known as the Brahma Muhurta or hour of God. However in the west if we go to bed at 11 or 12 then this will be too early. If we try to meditate very early we may find our mind is sleepy making real meditation very difficult. However it is beneficial to be able to meditate early in the morning as the peace we feel will remain with us for the rest of the day. If it is possible to meditate facing the rising sun this will also be very beneficial as we will derive energy from the sun.
The next best time to meditate is in the evening. In the evening the atmosphere becomes a little more restful as we forget the troubles of the day. However if we meditate straight after finishing work then we may still have thoughts from the days activities going around in our mind. Before meditating it is good to take a shower and clear our mind of what has been going on during the day.
If you have time to meditate during the day that is good, however it may be difficult to go deep, so a short meditation may be appropriate. Whatever time you meditate it is important to give the meditation a high priority. It is better to meditate once a day with our full attention and focus, rather than sit down several times a day with thoughts going through our mind.
Whatever time you choose and this may vary depending upon personal circumstances it is important to try and stick to your fixed time. Like regularity, punctuality is also very beneficial for making our meditation more powerful. It is like eating food, at a certain time we become ready for food. At another time we may become ready for meditation. Our inner being will be more receptive.