Question: How soon should one eat before and after meditating?.

Sri Chinmoy: If you want to meditate after eating a full meal such as lunch or dinner, you should wait at least two and a half hours. If you have had a very light breakfast, you can meditate after an hour and a half. Before that you will not have a deep, true meditation because your subtle nerves will be very heavy and sluggish. The major cords — Ida, Pingala and Sushumna — find it extremely difficult to allow the cosmic energy to pass through them if the body has just taken a full meal.

If you want to meditate most sincerely, it is always advisable to meditate on an empty stomach. Now, empty does not mean totally empty. If you are pinched with hunger, eat something very light: otherwise, your hunger will disturb your meditation. You can have a cup of juice or water. And after meditation, you should try to wait for at least half an hour before you eat, for it takes this amount of time to assimilate the spiritual forces that you have received.