Question: It seems that during our group meditations, especially the early morning meditations, everyone is falling asleep instead of meditating. Why do we have so much trouble staying awake, even if we have had five, six or seven hours of sleep?

Sri Chinmoy: More individual aspiration is necessary. As soon as you come to meditate you should feel that you have come to the starting point in your race. When you sit down to meditate, feel that the starter has just fired the gun and now is the time for you to run the fastest. Instead, what most of you do is feel that once you have gotten out of bed and taken a shower and come to the meditation room, you have played your role. You feel that the race is over and now you can relax. But this is absolutely the wrong approach. These things are not even the preparation. The runner does not feel that as soon as he arrives at the track he has run his race and now he can relax. No, he comes to the track with utmost eagerness, and once he arrives there, his eagerness increases. All his energy is focused on running the race, and he does not relax until the race is over.

So please do not feel that you have done your part just by coming to the meditation. You must also run the inner race with utmost eagerness and inspiration. If you feel that you have played your role just by getting up so early in the morning, or just by coming to the meditation, you will never be able to meditate well.