Many people say, “I would love to practice meditation but I really don’t have the time.” After studying their lifestyles, we usually find that they are so busily occupied doing so many useless things, that they have no time to do the one thing that really matters. The petty, the trivial, the frivolous and the unimportant claims their attention. They dare not sacrifice even one moment of playing a round of different ‘games’ when the greatest game of all – life itself – is still to be played! They can’t find the time to reconnect with themselves, go within and connect with the inner supreme reality, and yet they manage to find time for whatever else they regard as necessary. They do not realise that a much more necessary task than self-knowledge cannot be discovered.
Everybody has time for the things he or she values most and if you value your mental peace, quietness, centeredness, you will find the time. It doesn’t matter whether that time is the morning, afternoon or night. It doesn’t matter how short a time you give it (though 20 minutes is the most practical minimum since it takes several minutes to get started and get going before you can enter proper practice). Surely, twenty minutes a day out of 24 hours is not too long a period but if you really can’t spare them, then 12 minutes would matter profoundly if you sat down and thought… For these 12 minutes, I shall blot out everything. I’ll forget my personal life totally and seek the ultimate truth.
Anyone can do this. I can’t imagine any human being who is in such an unfortunate position of not having 12 minutes to spare. When we have no time to meditate, we don’t grasp the tremendous value of physical existence. We must try to find some fair proportion between activity and repose (to connect with higher realms) or we lose the only good which life has to offer us. We always find time to indulge in eating, drinking, going for parties and engaging in meaningless cocktail-conversations and chit-chats of who wore what at which party. We have time for movies and TV!! Some women waste several hours at kitty-parties, shopping, race-courses and beauty parlours. We accept blindly and without question the society in which we are born and submit freely when it impounds and imprisons us – it’s as though we set our own traps and select our own poisons to obtain a recognised place in society, but commoner or king, we pay the price of freedom with the words, “I don’t have the time.”
It doesn’t matter when you practice meditation but if you have a choice, then choose one of these three periods – Morning: the mind is free, less burdened and fresh. Ideally, one should meditate in Brahma Muhrat (4:30 am) according to our ancient Indian religious literature. The mind, at the moment of awaking, is like a delicate thread tied to your spiritual self and hence, the first activity of the day must be to get in touch with this spiritual self because at this moment, your effort will meet the least resistance. The second time which is conducive to the ‘seekers’ is the mysterious hour of twilight or sunset, simply because nature once again experiences a hush, a pause in her external activity, during the union of day with night. The third time (not as good as the previous two), is noon.
However, if your life is so disorganised that dawn, sunset and noon are not available for practice, even then, it doesn’t matter. Just find a few minutes any time of the day when you will be alone, quiet and undisturbed, and meditate. Find an environment that will help and not hinder your practice. It’s very important that once you set aside a time, keep that (same) time every day because this will help in eventually making meditation easier for you.
It is also useful to keep one room or a corner reserved. If you can do this, you will build up an invisible mental atmosphere in that place and every time you enter that corner, your mind will revert to the tendency of spiritual-awareness. The place becomes your shrine where your entrance raises your mental vibration. If any other like-minded persons enter this corner, they too will feel spiritually uplifted because the sublime atmosphere created by you, still hovers over this sacred space.
Now that you’ve finished reading this article, meditate on it. Your time starts NOW!