Question: For a disciple of yours, is two hours of meditation per day too much?

Sri Chinmoy: Your Guru used to meditate for a minimum of eight or nine hours a day, sometimes even eleven or twelve hours. Either seated on my bed from two o’clock in the morning under the mosquito net or on the roof or while cycling I used to meditate. So I feel that two hours is not too much for any disciple unless that disciple has joined the path only a few months ago. If you have been on the path for seven years or more, two hours is not too much. On the contrary, two hours is too little! But because of the hustle and bustle of life in the West, you may not get two hours at a time. In that case you can meditate for half an hour four times during the day or you can meditate two times a day for one hour. I feel that it is not too much. But this meditation has to be real meditation. While meditating if you are allowing the whole world to enter into you, or if you are entering into the whole world, then this is no meditation.

Again, there are two ways of approaching meditation. One way is to feel that if we can meditate for five minutes most soulfully, then it is infinitely better than meditating for five hours and allowing the whole world to enter into us. But some people cannot meditate for five minutes with utmost intensity. In that case, what will they do? They will act like fishermen who spend quite a few hours with the hope that they may catch some fish. If powerful meditation is not at your command, then spend half an hour in order to meditate five or seven minutes properly. During that half hour, God will definitely bless you. Thoughts will be coming, this and that. Then all of a sudden, you will be very strict with yourself. You will say, “Now I do not want those thoughts,” and then you will easily be able to meditate for five minutes. But if you know that at any time you can meditate and reach your highest, then do it, for five minutes or ten minutes or however long you wish.