Question: At a recent seven hour meditation I found it difficult to meditate for the entire period.

Sri Chinmoy: From time to time we will have very long meditations. It is not that I expect all of you to meditate every day for seven hours — impossible. If you try to meditate seven hours a day, you will turn insane. But on certain days we shall invoke special Grace from the Supreme. At these times, only because it is a special day and there is a special force, nothing will happen if you try to meditate for seven hours. Special Light and special Power are coming from above. So on these days if you can meditate for seven hours soulfully, you are bound to receive Peace, Light and Bliss in abundant measure. We are having a seven-hour meditation on my birthday, and my request to all the disciples is that you practise at home and try to lengthen the time that you can meditate. Please try to meditate on weekends or at night, when you don't have anything else to do.

When you come to the meditation on my birthday and find that you cannot meditate well, my request to you is just remain silent. If you get up, then you will only make a noise and disturb the person who is beside you or you will attract the attention of others. They will see you and then, if they remain in the mental world, some of them will inwardly say nasty things about you. Either they will think that you are bothering them, or they will feel sorry for you, because they can meditate for hours whereas you cannot. In this way you will unnecessarily give them the opportunity either to criticise you or sympathise with you. So the best thing to do, if you can't meditate, is to remain in your seat. You can try to sing a few of my songs in silence, or do japa.

If you are tired and exhausted after an hour of meditation, and if I do not say that it is time for a recess, then you have to stay there. And if you feel that this will be impossible then please don't come. That is my request to each of you. If you feel that it is simply impossible for you to stay still after forty-five minutes or an hour, or if you have a serious cold or something that will unnecessarily draw attention, then the best thing is to do me a favour by not coming. I will be most grateful if you can meditate at home.