One of the questions we often get, especially around the Equinox and Solstice, is “When is the best time to practice Meditation and Qigong?”
There are indeed times the ancient Chinese considered better for certain types of practices. But the answer we give usually surprises them. “The best time to practice is whenever you can!”
“But, I’ve heard you should practice meditation at Midnight!” They’ll often say.
That is true, but what if you cannot practice at Midnight? Suppose you fell asleep, or you are a nurse who works third shift. What would you do? Would you not practice?
You see, what they are really asking is “when is the ideal time to practice?” But that question is not easy to answer.
In the beginning, practicing when you can is better than not practicing, even if it means you cannot practice at the “ideal time.”
In the end, all your daily activities can be a form of cultivation, no matter what the time. Ideal practice times simply have no meaning at this stage.
It’s the middle stages where timing the practice can be helpful given the right set of conditions. To practice during the ideal times means that you have enough influence over your lifestyle that you can reliably set those times aside for your practice. This is hard for most people to do in the beginning. But it is a worthy goal.
For those of you who can structure your life in such a way as to set up a practice routine, you would ideally practice 4 times a day: 11pm to 1am, 5am to 7am, 11am to 1pm and 5 to 7pm.
For most people it will be a great task to get even one or two of those times allocated for dedicated practice. If you can only practice one time per day, then the 11pm to 1am time is ideal for meditation or Internal Alchemy.
So don’t worry about it if you can’t practice at the ideal time. Practice whenever you can! You’ll see the results for yourself.