Originally written in 2015, this is a message that I felt bears repeating.
One time, many years ago, I traveled to India to visit Swami Veda Bharati, my meditation teacher. I knew that he’d guided me to do my meditation at exactly the same time every day, but I was tired from the very long, 20-plus hour flight, and convinced myself that it would be ok to keep my meditation time as if I was still in California rather than in India. My body and mind were still on California time and although it was early morning in India when I’d usually do my meditation practice, every cell in my body just wanted to sleep. So, I did this for a couple of days.
When Swami Veda found out what I was doing, he lovingly yet firmly admonished me to always keep my usual meditation time wherever I was. So, if I meditated at 8:00 AM local time when in California, then I’d meditate at 8:00 AM India time when in India.
Swami Veda often tells a story about why it’s important to meditate at the same time every day, wherever you are: Your meditation time is an appointment with the Guru, the teaching consciousness, and that Guru, from time to time, comes to you at that time to deepen your meditation. But if you’re not there, you miss out on the infusion of Grace.
On a more mundane level, if one meditates at the same time every day, the mind, being a creature of habit, learns to be quiet at that time, and meditating becomes easier.
Out of great respect for my teacher, I followed his guidance. At first, I had to suffer through some discomfort. However, over the years, doing so has become easy. It has strengthened my will, cured me of my aversion of feeling sleepy, and helps me adjust quicker when in different time zones. Just as a bicycle wheel spins smoothly around its axle, my meditation time has become the dependable still center around which all of the activities of my day revolve. It’s a time to be quiet, to find my center, and to tap into the love that exists inside. Then I can carry that peace and love into the day.
Based upon my own experience, I highly recommend creating a fixed meditation time, and sticking with it.