Timing the stages

pile of stonesBeginners often assume that timing how long they are meditating for will be very distracting. They sometimes wonder if they should use an alarm clock, or some other mechanical method.

Actually, an alarm clock or beeper might be rather jarring and unpleasant. Most meditators just have a clock or watch sitting in front of them. They’ll open their eyes from time to time and see how long they’ve been sitting.

It really isn’t a great distraction. Just make sure to place your clock or watch somewhere that you can see it without having to change the angle of your head or move your eyes. Also choose a clock or watch that doesn’t tick, and that has a face large enough for you to see without straining.

There are also some specialist timers available that make it even easier to keep track of the time without having even to open your eyes.

For example there is the Invisible Clock timer, which can be set to gently vibrate and which can mark off stages or simply the start and end of your meditation practice. This is an excellent product, although a little tricky to get the hang of.

There’s also an attractive Pyramid Meditation Timer that simply sounds a gong at the end of a preset period.

3 Comments. Leave new

Hey Bodhipaksa,
Just wanted to let you know that the link to the Pyramid Meditation Timer on Amazon is dead, perhaps this is the one you mean? http://www.amazon.com/Shou-Pyramid-Meditation-Timer/dp/B000Y9NRUW
Anyways, the site is great and I really appreciate you putting all of this together so that everyone can experience meditation and its benefits, the practices have really helped me get through some issues in my life.


Hi Bodhipaksa,
First of all I’d like to say what a wonderful resource the site is. Thank you so much for sharing all of your insight.

I’d like to bring to attention an app I find essential (for me) for meditating. It’s a free download which can be configured to ring bells at different intervals and can be set up with different profiles for different practices.


I hope this provides some help for people.
With metta,


I have found a brilliant smartphone app for timing meditation called ‘Meditation Timer’ – it allows you to set a start & rest period & interval period. You can pick different sounds as well, although i’d recommend the bell as others can be quite jarring.


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