Jerry Seinfeld memorably said to Howard Stern several years after his hit TV series ended, “I’ll tell you my biggest regret: I didn’t know the importance of morning TM. If I’d had two [meditations a day], I would still be doing the show now!”
Research shows—and we’ve all experienced—that practicing the Transcendental Meditation technique twice a day increases our energy, creativity, health, and effectiveness. But busy lives and competing demands can make it easy to forget how beneficial our TM practice is for meeting those demands.
To help you keep your meditation on track and maximize your benefits, we’ve collected a greatest-hits list of why twice-daily TM practice is important, and how to fit it into your schedule on a regular basis.
To start, check out Seinfeld’s routine for a David Lynch Foundation benefit, in which he explains (among other things) why he never misses a meditation now.
We’d love to hear from you too! Share tips from your own experience in the Comment section below, including the benefits you notice from meditating consistently.
Does TM Practice Twice a Day Really Yield Twice the Benefit?
Yes. Dr. David Orme-Johnson, one of the preeminent scientific researchers on the TM technique, explains why in “How Important Is It to Practice TM Regularly? What the Research Tells Us”:
“Multiple studies have shown that benefits from the Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique are directly proportional to regularity of practice. Anything less produces fewer benefits.
“Research shows that people who practice the TM technique twice a day, every day, experience a greater decrease in neuroticism, heart attacks, strokes, and death. In addition, they gain much more in autonomic stability (indicates less stress), resilience, intelligence, and sociability.” —David Orme-Johnson, Ph.D.
To Reinforce This Healthy Habit, Try Logging Your TM Sessions
Since it takes 30 to 60 days to establish a new habit, many TM instructors recommend using a TM Log to check off your A.M. and P.M. sessions each day for the first couple of months.
Los Angeles TM instructor Jesse Berkowitz suggests, “Create a progress sheet to chart how regular you are. Like using an app to record workouts and meals, it’s nice to be able to tick a box off for doing TM consistently and seeing that over the course of a week or month.” Karen Sugden, a TM instructor at the Princeton, New Jersey, TM Center, gives a TM calendar to new meditators. To make your own, use Google Calendar or any free calendar program.
Or download this Daily TM Log, created by Enjoy TM News designer Stuart Friedman. Print it on 8.5 x 11 paper and try using it for a few weeks, then tally your monthly total.
As Miami-Dade TM Center Director Kiki Ellenby says: “It can be challenging to establish two regular periods of TM twice a day, but if you do, your body will thank you. Just as you wouldn’t think of skipping brushing your teeth, you won’t think of skipping your meditation once you get into a regular routine.”
Here are 20 time-tested suggestions—some from our most experienced TM instructors—to help you establish this super-healthy habit in your life.
20 Tips to Meditate Twice a Day and Maximize Your TM Results
1. Ensure your TM practice remains easy
First of all, be sure your meditation is effortless, easy, and comfortable. You’ll naturally make time for your TM practice when it’s more enjoyable and effective. To reestablish easy, effortless practice, call your local TM Center for a free, personal or group TM Checking appointment or “tune-up.”
2. Set aside enough time
Be sure to take the proper amount of time to come out of meditation. You will feel better throughout the day if you take time to transition from the quietness of your meditation into dynamic activity. It’s important not to jump out of meditation suddenly.
3. Make twice-a-day TM part of your routine
Sticking to a regular TM time each day, whenever possible, is helpful in establishing a solid routine. Meditate in the morning, usually before breakfast, and in the afternoon or early evening, usually before dinner. Take a look at your daily routine and consider how to schedule in two TM sessions. Could you:
- Get up earlier for a regular 6:00 a.m. meditation?
- Move a chore to the night before so you open up more time in the morning?
- Take a regular mid-afternoon work break at 3:00 or 4:00 p.m.?
- Use a private office before going home?
- Wait till you get home from work?
See what works best for you!
4. “Anchor” your TM practice to another activity in your day
“This could be anything that happens regularly, such as breakfast, dinner, a workout, commute, errand, kids’ practice, etc.,” says TM instructor Jesse Berkowitz. “This way your TM session is not a free-floating thing to do but is connected to something else that is already a structured part of your day.”
5. Make an appointment for your TM practice
Just as you would for a meeting, lunch date, or doctor’s appointment, enter your morning and afternoon meditations in your digital calendar or planner. Try using text or email notifications to remind yourself it’s time for a break. And turn off your cell phone ringer or set to Airplane Mode when it’s your TM time.
6. Be flexible—meditating at the same time every day is helpful but not necessary
For days that aren’t routine, just do your TM twice a day, with at least a few hours between. As TM instructor Jeanne Ball of Asheville, North Carolina, suggests, “If your morning meditation is very early, it’s fine to do your second meditation on your lunch break, before you eat.”
7. “Don’t delay for a more ideal setting or time”
“Just sit anywhere and start meditating, anywhere, anytime,” says John Butler, a New York City TM instructor. “Sometimes the hardest part is feeling there isn’t time to start, but once started, our meditation goes easily and automatically. Meditate any time it’s close to your morning or evening meditation time and you find yourself between things—between meetings, between buildings, between classes, between errands…”
And as Kiki Ellenby points out, “Since TM is portable and goes with you anywhere you go, you don’t have to skip it just because you don’t have a quiet or private place. Those things are nice, but they’re not required, so there’s no reason to miss a session.”
8. Plan ahead
If you have an especially busy week of meetings, classes, or travel coming up, think about when and where you could take a break to meditate and recharge for the next phase of the day. See 20 Places to Meditate on the Go for suggestions—with lots more great ideas from meditators in the Comments.
9. In a pinch, 10–15 minutes is better than nothing
A 20-minute TM session is optimal for best results, “but 10 minutes is better than nothing at all!” Kiki Ellenby reminds her students. Just be sure to take enough time to come out slowly. And when you have another break in your schedule, you can finish with another 10 minutes of TM.
10. Meditate on public transportation
If you commute on a bus, train, or subway where you can sit undisturbed and have enough time, you could practice TM on your way to and from work or school. Because TM is effortless, you can meditate just as well in a noisy place as a quiet one.
11. Meditate in your parked car
Think of your car as your mobile meditation room. Take a TM break between appointments or before you head home from work. “You can meditate while waiting to pick your kids up or during their athletic practice. Wear sunglasses, and no one will be the wiser,” Jesse Berkowitz suggests.
12. Meditate with your family
If others in your family practice TM, pick a time to meditate together, every day, or on certain days of the week. This can be wonderful family time and will encourage everyone to be regular with their meditation.
For the importance of “radical downtime” for families, see 7 Ways to Help Your Kids Be Happy and Successful—Now and for Life. Neuropsychologist Dr. William Stixrud and test-prep expert Ned Johnson give practical advice. They also recommend tips for inspiring your children to meditate in How Teens Can Sculpt a Happier, More Resilient Brain for Themselves.
13. Trade off with your spouse or partner
When both parents of small children meditate, you can alternate your meditation times so you each have a chance to recharge while your partner is taking care of the family. See Meditating Moms and Meditating Moms 2 for real-life advice from other Enjoy TM News readers.
14. Enlist your family or housemates
Let your family or housemates know that TM is an important part of your day. Use a “Meditating: Do Not Disturb” sign for your door. “Often this is all that is needed to enlist support from family members who may otherwise interrupt you,” notes long-time TM instructor Keith DeBoer. Ask your local TM Center about the “Meditating/Refreshed” doorknob hanger or print one out here.
15. Enlist your coworkers
Meditation is becoming more and more common in the workplace. If your workplace allows for a meditation break, let your coworkers know you’ll be taking a TM break. Here again, you can use a “Meditating: Do Not Disturb” sign for your office door, which is often enough to enlist coworkers’ support.
If others at work practice TM, consider setting aside time to meditate together on regular basis. Some businesses offer TM instruction to their employees as a benefit and provide a meditation room, while others have spaces that would work for your TM session.
16. Meditate at your TM Center
Check with your local Center about TM group meditations. Some Centers even offer a TM Yoga Hour in the morning and evening. Also, take advantage of Knowledge Meetings and the Nationwide, All-Americas, and Global TM Group Meditations that are held regularly at TM Centers around the country.
17. Meditate with friends
Do you know other people who practice TM? Think about getting together to meditate on a regular basis. Meet at each other’s homes or reserve a conference room at your local library. Many people enjoy meditating with others for the extra boost that comes from the shared experience of transcending.
18. Too busy? Try a time swap
Just don’t see how you can possibly fit in a second meditation every day? Look at some of the things you spend discretionary time on, like checking Facebook or browsing online. Could you swap 20 minutes for a TM session? Try it for a few days and see how it feels. Many people report that their twice-daily TM practice is a time-saver for them, since they’re more efficient and effective after meditating. Check out Too Busy to Meditate? Think Again.
19. Notice the positives
Do you have more energy or stamina when you meditate twice a day? Do things go more smoothly? Are you more efficient and effective? Is your mood better? How are your relationships? Your creativity and ideas? Taking a moment to notice the results you experience helps reinforce regular practice.
20. Gain the “support of nature” and your environment
“Your meditation does not just make you more effective at what you do, it also enlists nature’s support so that your good fortune increases, and the results of your actions often exceed your own planning,” shares TM instructor Jim Meade of San Fernando Valley, California, who has taught TM for decades.
Bonus Tip — Help create a more peaceful world
And as Jim Meade adds, “Your TM meditation is benefiting you, but it is also good for the world. When you think you might have to skip a meditation, you might remind yourself of all the good a single meditation does for the world.”
What Are Your Tips for Meditating Twice a Day, and What Benefits Do You Find?
Now it’s your turn. What are your favorite TM scheduling hacks? Have you tried any of the above suggestions? Which worked best for you? We welcome your tips for how to consistently schedule in your A.M. and P.M. TM sessions.
We also invite you to comment on what you experience when you meditate regularly, both day to day and over time. What changes do you notice, at work, at home, in your health, and in life?
Feel free to post your comments now, and then again in a week or two to let us know how it’s going. It will be inspiring for all of us fellow TM meditators to hear about any changes you notice from meditating twice a day on a regular basis!