Question: How long should we meditate?

Sri Chinmoy: Usually my disciples are not required to meditate more than half an hour daily. They meditate for half an hour very powerfully, but then after that they usually cannot maintain their intensity. At the maximum they can meditate for forty-five minutes. But if one tries to meditate for one or two hours, the mind does not cooperate.

If you have the capacity, you can meditate for hours and hours. Otherwise, if most of my disciples try to meditate forty-five minutes one day, they will be unable to do well after half an hour. If for half an hour you have meditated well, it is as if you have eaten a big loaf of bread. But if that is not enough for you, then you will try to steal another fifteen minutes. During those fifteen minutes, you may get only one morsel more, a tiny portion. You are still hungry, but you are not granted another loaf. But yet you are getting something during those extra fifteen minutes. Who knows, perhaps you will get another two minutes' worth of good meditation. On the one hand you could feel that since you are not meditating well, why waste your precious time? So you feel that it is best to just go away after half an hour. On the other hand, since you could have a good meditation the last two minutes, why act like a fool? Wait until the forty-five minutes is up. If you don't wait, then you will have no idea of what the outcome would have been. But you can't say, "If I stay for some more time, I will get an equal amount of Peace and Bliss." No. You may get just a small quantity although you are in a position to eat. Because you still have hunger, you can see if the divine waitress is bringing you a little more food.