A few years ago I was suffering from a lot of insomnia. It lasted about 2 years and was in the form of falling asleep just to be wide awake tossing and turning starting around 1 or 2am. Without getting into the details, because that is not the point of this post, I was eventually able to mostly solve this. Not surprisingly, meditation was a big part of the solution. At the time, my meditation practice wasn’t much more than 10-15 minutes of sitting silently or listening to classical music on the couch. It doesn’t take much meditation to start getting a lot of results. Fast forward a bit and recently I found myself with some insomnia again. My meditation practice these days is slightly more advanced with a normal session being 20-30 minutes of silent meditation while using thought processing techniques. However, could it be that recently I have been slacking a bit in the meditation department? I think so.
I decided to re-boot my practice by doing a bit of meditation right before bed. That seemed to make sense given I’d want to fully relax before bed with hopes of staying asleep. Unfortunately, after a few weeks I found that it wasn’t really helping. I continued a bit but had some resistance to getting back to my hearty morning 30 minute sessions. Finally, I was feeling crappy enough to really decide to get my morning routine back in motion. For me this is:
- Waking up and heating water
- Drinking a glass of warm water followed by warm water with lemon and apple cider vinegar
- Sitting for a 30 minute silent meditation
- Exercise for 30 minutes
I try to keep my morning routine simple. The more complex it gets, the more we don’t follow it perfectly and then feel guilt or failure even though we did way more than the average person and indeed had success. I consider things like yoga and journaling to be a bonus. I basically shoot to feel success every morning.
I wasn’t really expecting it, but my morning meditation session started having an immediate effect on the insomnia. I was really happy about it but wasn’t sure why it was so obviously helping. I mentioned this to a friend who actually had insight on why this would happen. Morning is the BEST time to mediate because we have not yet built up a big momentum from our day. We have the least resistance to life and stillness in the morning. So when we meditate in the morning, we set the best stage for our momentum for the rest of the day. This has an EXPONENTIAL effect on our energy for the day. It makes a lot of sense. If I don’t set my energy in the morning and my energy flows with the craziness of my email inbox or whatever else is going on, then by the end of the day my energy is in a flurry. Maybe not even in a bad way, maybe the day even felt productive and satisfying. However, there was still a momentum not built on a core of peace, allowing and love. No wonder why my wimpy 20 minute meditation didn’t do much at night. Those 20 minutes couldn’t really take on the momentum of an unguided day.
The point of this story is to provide an example of why a morning meditation practice could just about be the best thing you could do for yourself. Even if it is as simple as sitting and listening to nice music for 10 minutes while you concentrate on your breath. That is still a LOT more than nothing and will provide real change in your life.