Question: As you evolve spiritually, does your meditation become longer, and does it change its focus or orientation?

Sri Chinmoy: A person who is highly developed spiritually will naturally be able to meditate for a longer time than a relative beginner. But meditation is not a matter of time, but a matter of aspiration. If one has true aspiration, deep aspiration, one will be able to meditate for a longer time, because meditation will be easy for him. He will feel that to realise God is the only objective in his life. Someone with just a little aspiration will meditate for five or ten minutes as a discipline or an obligation, but with little joy or inspiration.

Many people believe that a true seeker must meditate at least eight hours a day. I did it. Even though I attained realisation in my past incarnation, when I was thirteen years old in this incarnation I was meditating for eight, nine, ten, thirteen hours a day. But I had the capacity. I don’t advise my disciples to do this, because I know the capacity of my children. They would have a mental breakdown. It would be simply impossible for them. It would not be true meditation. It is not that I am saying that they are insincere. No! They are most sincere. But capacity is like a muscle. One has to develop it gradually. You start with fifteen minutes and then go on to half an hour. Those who are now meditating for half an hour will soon be able to meditate for an hour or an hour and a half.

Gradually, gradually, your inner capacity will grow. At the proper time, your inner being will tell you or I will tell you when you can meditate for eight hours. But right now, do not even try. It will simply create a disaster in your life.

After one has achieved realisation, it is not necessary for him to meditate the way an aspirant or a seeker meditates. When one has attained realisation, which is oneness with the Supreme, his meditation is continually going on — in this world, in that world, in all the worlds. When one has realised God, he does not meditate to achieve something or to go beyond something. He meditates to bring down peace, light and bliss into humanity or to awaken the consciousness of his disciples.