You should not be carried away by the dictation of the mind, but the mind should be carried by your dictation.
--A.C Bhaktivedanta Swami1
Answering the question,
When is the best time to meditate? is a lot like answering the question,
When is the best time to exercise? Anytime! In fact, meditation is a lot like exercise in that you won't experience the benefits by doing it just one time. The best results are achieved by meditating on a regular and consistent basis.
At a minimum, I recommend meditating once per day for 20 minutes. Twice is even better. I find that a great time to meditate is right after I wake up in the morning but really, anytime is fine. It helps to establish a routine because it will become easier to allot the necessary time.
The most important aspect of
when is to simply make sure that you meditate at least once per day. This will accomplish several objectives. First, you will become a much better meditator. It will become easier and you will get less distracted. Second, you will quickly discover the benefits of your meditation and this will compel you to stay with it which will, in turn, provide you with even deeper benefits.
In order to decide if meditation is right for you and give it a fair assessment, you need to spend an intensive period of time forming the habit, and perfecting the techniques. To do this, I urge you to take the 100x challenge.
Please consider approaching meditation with an open mind and giving it a chance to improve your life. Commit to taking the 100x challenge. The challenge is simple: Complete 100, twenty-minute meditation sessions in a maximum of 100 days. Log the results and diary the experience. That's it. Note that you can complete the challenge in less than 100 days. This is accomplished by meditating more than once per day. You can also do this to make up for missed days.
The 100x challenge is meant to do several things. First, by meditating 100 times, you will form a habit. Just like physical exercise, it can be tough to get started and then stay at it. By committing to the 100x challenge, you set a goal for yourself and through your willpower and determination, you will achieve the goal. Secondly, after you have completed the 100x challenge, you will have given yourself enough time and exposure to see and feel the benefits of meditation. Finally, after experiencing the benefits first-hand, it is my hope that you will find a way to incorporate meditation into your life permanently.
I suggest using a log to keep track of your progress in completing the 100x Challenge. Write down the date, time and location of your session. It's also good to jot down a short note about the session. Following this discipline will not only motivate you but will allow you to see patterns and progress as you develop your meditation skills.
Get the 100x Challenge Log