A little of both? I try to meditate regularly, in the evenings, but there are moments during my day when I might have 5-10 minutes to myself, so I take the opportunity to spend it on my mental health.
This far I have used a timer most times. But now when I have advanced a little bit and become more comfortable with meditating, I feel more and more like leaving the timer and just sitting for as long as I feel like😊🧘♀️
No I don’t play the meditations by ear or time my meditations 🧘♀️. I always put in the time and effort to do my meditations.
I do my meditation by time because it helps me to focus on what I will be actually meditating on rather than merely squandering around in empty mind space.
It is somewhat better to be aware of the time you spend meditating, because you can try and push yourself a little longer at the beginning. I prefer to play it by year, only then you will be able to enter a truly deep state of meditation and lose sense of time.