Convinced of its benefits, meditators are always on the lookout for ways to improve and increase their meditation practice. It’s okay to be a glutton for goodness. When we’re happy and peaceful within, those qualities rub off on others. Our personal meditation practice is a subtle—but powerful—way to make the world a better place.
Most yogis know there are certain times of the day when meditation seems more effective. The Brahmamuhūrta is one of those times. But it’s not always practical to meditate at ideal times. Some people have late-night or early-morning responsibilities that make it very difficult to meditate at dawn. However, yogis also know that any time is better than no time. We must find other opportunities.
The Power of Group Meditation
Practicing yogis know that group meditations are very fruitful. A group’s energy is often more powerful than a single person’s. This is true for any activity, whether it’s spiritual or mundane. For example, corporations invest in team-building activities for their employees. They know that employees work more effectively when they experience the unity of their group. We’re a social species. We know we’re stronger when we do things together.
When we meditate with others, it’s easier to stay committed. It’s like having a workout buddy. There’s encouragement and support to show up and perform as promised. Also, a group’s energy, whether it’s two or ten, helps create focus. All participants are in agreement with the purpose of the moment. Always take advantage of opportunities to meditate with others, whether physically or psychically.
Invitation to Mini Meditations
Several years ago, my Guru initiated a practice of mini meditation sessions throughout the day. He invited us to meditate with him at set times. During those times, from wherever we happened to be, we stop what we’re doing and sit for a few minutes of meditation. Closing our eyes, we imagine the presence of our fellow meditators and turn within. Group meditation doesn’t require the physical presence of others.
Following is a copy of the letter Gurudev sent, inviting us to join him:
Your nature is bliss, but to find it you have to turn within. At the day’s end, you go to sleep to rejuvenate your whole system. Similarly, you should turn within with full awareness. Meditate to find your bliss.
In the Bhagavad Gita Krishna tells Arjuna, “Everything in the world is constantly changing. Nothing is permanent. If you live continually for external things, your life will be sorrowful. For a few moments every day, turn within. One who goes within does not know misery and sorrow.”
My Guru once told us this story: There was a man who was afraid of his own shadow. All his life he tried to get rid of it. But, no matter what he did, his shadow always chased him. One day while he was walking he saw his shadow sneaking up behind him. He was scared. He walked faster, but the shadow followed him. He started to jog, but the shadow was still there. He ran, and the shadow ran too. He ran faster and faster until he collapsed and died.
This man lacked intelligence. If instead of running he had found a tree and rested in its shade, his shadow would have automatically disappeared. Our condition is the same. We run to get things: to find love, to meet friends, earn money, and still we have no lasting happiness. Enter the inner space and repose under the beautiful tree of peace to overcome anxiety and find the source of peace you’ve been looking for.
Whatever satisfaction we get from worldly pleasure is only a small ripple of the deep inner peace you’ll find in meditation. Outer happiness is a mere reflection of the wealth of joy that exists inside us. That is why it is so important to have a genuine interest in meditation.
Besides your daily meditation, dive into your inner Self for a few minutes at 9:00 a.m., 12:00 noon, 3:00 p.m., and 9:00 p.m.
My Invitation to You
Including mini meditations throughout your day is a helpful reminder of what’s most important—peace, happiness, and brotherly love. You can discover the benefits of mini meditations by starting today, right now. Before you leave this page, close your eyes, take several full breaths, and relax. Give yourself five or ten minutes of peace, and then return to your work. Don’t worry if your mind is racing—just observe that activity and continue to breathe and relax.
Ever since receiving my Guru’s invitation years ago, I’ve been meditating at 9:00 a.m., 12:00 noon, 3:00 p.m., and 9:00 p.m. Now I’m inviting you to join this group. I live on the west coast of America, in the Pacific Time Zone.
Always remember that any meditation is better than none. If you can’t make it during these times, choose your own—a time when you can commit and stick to it. If you’d like to have a meditation buddy, please contact me here. I might be able to help you find someone to whom you can report and support.
Chityānanda has been a disciple of Svāmī Gurupremānanda Sarasvatī since 1975. She teaches meditation and yoga as a spiritual path in Santa Cruz, California.