Question: How many times should one meditate daily?

Sri Chinmoy: As I said in my talk, you have to know what you want. If you want the specific divine qualities that I mentioned, peace, power, joy, etc., then you can meditate at those particular hours. Again, if you want to meditate only once a day and you want power, for example, but cannot meditate at noon, no harm. You can knock at God’s door at any hour of the day or night and He will give you whatever you want: peace, light, love, bliss or power. But at those particular hours that I mentioned, it becomes easier. Everything has its own time. Early in the morning you eat your breakfast. At least you call that meal “breakfast.” But if you prefer to eat that food in the evening, you can easily do so. It is nourishing food and that is why you can take it in the evening even though you call it breakfast.

So let me come back to your question: how many times a day should you meditate? Please remember what I said in answer to Vijaya’s question. How many minutes can you meditate soulfully? That is the most important thing. If you can say that you can meditate devotedly for fifteen minutes and during those fifteen minutes you are sincerely crying for peace or light or bliss, then your meditation will be purposeful. If you are crying for Divine power, the power that will give you the inner strength to fight against ignorance, God will give it to you. Human power breaks, Divine power builds. Human power tries to possess and crush; Divine power tries to enlarge you, expand you and free you from the fetters of ignorance. So you can decide for yourself how many minutes you can meditate devotedly without being interrupted by the doubting mind, by the suspecting mind, by the unlit mind. If after some minutes of pure meditation, the mind starts functioning and disturbing you, you can say, “Let me stop now. It is useless to go on. I shall start again later when everything is pure and fresh.” So you will meditate as long as you can do so soulfully, devotedly and divinely. It need not be four or six times a day. People who meditate six times a day are not more spiritual than you people who meditate once a day most soulfully. Some people think, “Oh, God will be very pleased with us if we meditate five or six times a day!” It is not so. Meditate for fifteen minutes or half an hour, twice a day, morning and evening. That is more than enough for you at the present development of your consciousness.