I normally meditate for 30 minutes but I cannot help but think about the time that the meditation is going to end and constantly thinking about the clock since normally you meditate to be in the present moment, but I am not in the present moment when I meditate. I appreciate any help.

Thank you :)

  • 1
    Your problem is perfectly normal. It will cease to be a problem at some point. .
    – user14119
    Commented Aug 16, 2019 at 8:40
  • Maybe just remember the fact that a 15-minute high-quality meditation session is still much better than a 30-minute low-quality one.
    – santa100
    Commented Aug 16, 2019 at 13:14

9 Answers 9


Focus on the clock, and you will find yourself getting distracted.


Do nothing. Maintain a daily meditation practice. Time will do the rest :)


Use a timer/alarm so you do not need to think about it.

If you still think about it bring back your mind to the object of meditation.

One's mind may be checking the time as you desire the session to end. This can be due to:

  • session is uncomfortable
  • you desire to do something else

The above reaction can be very subtle.

Look at what your mind is doing and get a handle on it. Don't despair if it is uncomfortable and desire doing other things while meditating.

  • Yes, a timer is very helpful. In the past I would still sometimes find myself checking even the timer. The solution that worked for me is to 'note' the arisen thought/desire to check the clock. Simply acknowledge it, but don't check the time. Develop restraint, and watch this momentary desire pass away and then return to your primary object.
    – Sun WuKong
    Commented Aug 16, 2019 at 10:45

Notice that constantly thinking about the clock is stressful and that letting go of it can be much nicer and calmer. Then you simply let go of it. Do this with all thoughts and distractions.


Is it possible to be ok with the reality of this. Can one become aware, of I am thinking about the clock, agitated figity. Even thinking about, thinking about the clock? It's ok, that may be a perfect meditation when you realize that it is this not that. Even reading these words, this is the only reality, trying this advice later is not a reality. The conflict of what is and what should be is very real difficulty in the world, that difficulty is here, and now. So many people living in a rush, want to rush off to the next thing. Take pictures to enjoy later and always miss out on the powerful presence of reality. Whatever the reality is.


try what is in https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.020.soma.html

you can also think about the past, future and the currently changing phenomena. Experience changes as soon as it arises, like a monkey swinging from one branch to another, grabbing on to next one before letting go, so the expression of conditions coming into play is preceded by what has been and not of what is or will be.

Therefore the line of thinking; 'I am [feeling] bad because of this circumstance having to do with having sat for a long time is going to be changed eventually because the development i described counters both the perception of 'i am', establishes perception of inconstancy and changes how we think about time and how we think and what we know about that which is 'thinking'.

think about the thinking itself and of that which you think about; feelings, thoughts & perceptions.

This could calm it and give a new perspective on things.


Count your breaths.

For example, if you breath once every 15 seconds, then you would count up to 120 for 30 minutes. After decades of meditation, I still count my breaths. This is actually how I know when to ring the bell at the end of meditation during zazenkai. I'm going blind and can't see any clock or watch.

After practicing counting breaths, you may find that you can simply sit for 30 minutes without counting and know when to get up. It is an aspect of mindfulness to gauge time.

That internal sense of time even works for sleeping:

And then the Buddha spread out his outer robe folded in four and laid down in the lion’s posture—on the right side, placing one foot on top of the other—mindful and aware, and focused on the time of getting up. DN33

Practice your internal sense of time.


That is default behaviour of mind, don't think about " I'm thinking about the clock " just focus on the meditating mind, if it still coming neglect that thought. Don't fight it just forget about the interfering thought.


Remember we are not our body. Our body is just a cloak we wear for this incarnation. Thus within us is a spirit. When we meditate, we leave our conscious surroundings and (hopefully) get into this world/this space. In essence, we are spirit. You are spirit, as am I.

Having laid that foundation, when I meditate if I want to time my meditation, or I have somewhere to be, I set a specific time /duration for my meditation by voicing it out within my mind. e.g. "I want to meditate for 30 minutes. At the end of 30 minutes I wish to get out of meditation". I repeat this at least 3 times for it to sink in.

When I started this, it was eerie to come out of meditation to discover the time was exactly as I had asked... It is also one more point of proof (to yourself) if it happens again and again (skeptics will always doubt you, even if they're the ones asking for proof - without even putting in the effort to try it out for themselves). I just had someone in this group call/discount my (repeated i.e. replicable) experiences during meditation as "magic", asking for the 'confidence interval' of my 'scientific mathematical proof'. And yet, magic is nothing more than anything whose workings we do not understand, "Science yet unknown".

One tip is to do your cleansing breaths and relaxation first before setting the time. This will ensure that you are somewhat into the trance of meditation, to where the communication is effective.

It's also an amazing feeling. One second you're deep in meditation/trance, the next, you're out and wide awake/conscious. And then you look at the clock....

Once you achieve this, you can go into meditation any time, set your internal alarm, and let go completely, confident (from the result of previous experiences) that when it's time, you'll pop out of meditation.

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