Here’s the truth that any long-time meditator will confirm – it’s hard to find time for self-improvement. Like meditation for example, whose primary role is to help people evolve to higher states of mental, emotional and spiritual maturity. That’s at least our view and goal in Sahaja. We’re not in this for mere stress relief or making a fast buck. We have nothing to sell. And frankly, nothing to impress you into buying something from us.
So you should likely be happy that we’re giving you the unvarnished truth – meditation can be difficult and finding time for it can be hard. Especially if you are just getting started.
And for those who are already regular meditators, finding that time for getting to a new higher gear in their journey is hard too. They’re constantly fighting plateaus in their journey of self-improvement.
With spiritual evolution, there is no such thing as an “established meditator”, only an “experienced meditator”. Bruised and battled. Time-tested. In fact, the moment someone thinks they’re “established”, they’re already regressing or undoing some of the progress they have made because complacency has crept in already.
That’s because spirituality is very subtle, infinite and each higher personal state of existence is a new discovery and experience. It’s like climbing a mountain. As you go higher and higher, the view gets better. From below it’s hard to fathom what the view at the top looks like. The climb is treacherous and testing. There’s every chance that you may not make it. Or be forced to decide to give up.
Okay, if we’ve scared you enough, you can relax. We’re here to tell you why meditation usually eludes the time we have at our disposal and strategies to beat the elusiveness.
Reasons why the time for meditation is elusive and what to do about it
The game is rigged against you, sort of.
Nature designed the self-improvement of human beings as a challenge. Do nothing and you’ll not only stop improving but in fact actually regress. Examples are around us in abundance.
Stop going for that daily walk or jog and one week later you’ll struggle to walk or run for the same distance you were able to cover easily. Bodybuilders will tell you that if they keep off their strength training for more than 3 weeks, they begin to lose muscle they’ve built up. An artist will tell you how they struggle to get back on track if they fail to practice regularly. Their fingers aren’t nimble enough, their hands do not the have the dexterity they need or their vocal chords are struggling. Or in many cases, creativity is taking a hit.
Meditation is something similar. There are innate forces in nature testing you and working against your self-improvement. Whether you have it in you to push against them is the real test. If you do with your perseverance and hard work, you come out a winner.
So in the case of meditation, every obstacle will come your way as a test. But be firm and keep the higher goal in mind. Get to your meditation first thing in the morning. Make it a hygiene factor.
Your attention may be tired
Making time isn’t the only challenge. You can always put a reminder on your calendar, set an alarm and so on. If your attention is tired or not steady enough, your mind can play tricks on you. It can make you give excuses for not meditating even when you get to the scheduled time on your calendar. It can tell you that it’s okay to miss or that you need to rest or relax or go do something else. The more exhausted your attention, the harder it is to stick to your commitment.
The trick is to reserve meditation time for when you’re fresh and always raring to go. Maybe after your morning coffee. Or right after a nap. Whenever you feel and know that you’re less likely to cheat yourself and your self-discipline is intact.
Your thoughts may be getting in your way
Yes, too much reading and thinking or mental activity can be a strong deterrent to making that commitment to meditate. You need to switch off your thoughts soon as they start analyzing when to meditate, how long to meditate, whether to meditate at all etc..Just do it. Meditation is about going beyond your thoughts and getting to a higher state, surely spending more time with or in your thoughts isn’t going to help you carve out time to meditate.
Tell yourself to rise above your thoughts. Stay alert to keep your attention separate from your thoughts – enough to realize that your thinking is overpowering you. Snap out of your thinking loop and mire of thoughts. Just go sit down and meditate.
Focus on the experience and benefits
Different pursuits in life have different motivational reasons – many of them are driven by the thirst for success, wealth, power, position or happiness. The pursuit of meditation can only be for the deep experience and the life-changing benefits. The experience itself is easier to get and usually in a very short time. And it grows deeper with more practice and time.
In order to settle down quickly to a consistent routine and prioritize it in our lives, we need to seek the taste of the experience at all times. This means carefully watching the positive changes in us, and finding out the formula that gives us the best experience. It could the combination of the best time of the day, a particular technique or a particular type of setting.
Two such instances have been reported by a large number of Sahaja practitioners – the foot soaking technique and the experience during a group or a collective meditation session. The experience was profound in both these cases compared to everything else they tried.
And once they had a taste of it, they found it very easy to make time for it. For, who wouldn’t chase enjoyment and a deep experience that also worked towards a life of better health and happiness in the longer term?
Seek external help to establish accountability
One of the easiest ways of making time and getting back on track or getting set on a routine is to seek the help of a trainer or instructor and make a commitment for a couple of sessions a week. Once you do this, the worst case scenario is reduced to meditating twice a week and the best case scenario of making it a daily habit that is permanent.
We offer exactly that. We have our online sessions you can simply RSVP and attend. But if those times do not work, we’re happy to find an instructor who can help you meditate at other times by reaching out to you at the scheduled time, twice a week. While programs like weight watchers offer this type of service for physical fitness at a significant cost, we offer it free for meditators, with some caveats.
The time of our instructors is reserved for those who show greater responsiveness and progress in their meditation routine. And the sign ups for this personalized instructor coaching happens every 3-4 weeks. Just drop us a note via email. We reset the clock and look at a fresh set of requests every 3 weeks, diverting our limited instructor time to those who really need it. You can continue on the program if you’re making continuous progress and benefiting from it.
These sessions involve actual meditation as well as any tips you need or specific help for your problems. They are over phone or video conference for about 20 minutes or so. And you can ask for a specific instructor too if your experience was deeper in some of our online sessions. Or if you just feel someone’s background is more suited to you. You’ll find our instructor bios here.
With these strategies, making time for meditation should no longer be an excuse. If you have been waiting or struggling to find an opportune moment to get started, it’s now.