Because we are all time-poor, constantly busy and incessantly distracted, the most difficult part of establishing a meditation practice is – establishing a meditation practice.

The actual meditation is not the hard part. It is the discipline, making the time and space in our lives. So this commitment must come first: once the commitment is made, everything else will flow easily and naturally in time.

Meditation changes our lives for the better, true: but not by thinking or talking about it – only by practising.

To establish a meditation practice, there are two key requirements: a set time, and a set place. Once you have your set time and place and stick with them, it doesn’t matter what techniques you employ; if you practice with sincerity you are bound to make good progress.

The best time of day to practise is first thing in the morning, before we enter into the hustle and bustle of life.

It is said that “morning shows the day”. If we want more peace, poise, tolerance, patience or joy in our day, then let’s start by bringing these qualities forward right from the beginning. Of course it is also helpful to meditate at the end or at any other time of the day, but regular morning meditation provides the most solid foundation for progress.

So choose a time when you can realistically set aside 5 or 10 minutes to be alone, quiet and peaceful, before any significant outer activities.

It is essential to be awake and alert for meditation, so get out of bed, take a shower or wash and a few stretches or jog around the block before settling down to meditate. If this means getting up 10 or 15 minutes earlier than you were used to, then so be it. Do it.