In the beginning you can meditate twice daily, from 4 to 6 in the morning and 7 to 8 at night. As you advance in your practices, you can increase the duration of each sitting, little by little, using your common sense and discretion, and also have a third sitting either in the morning between 10 and 11 or in the evening between 4 and 5.

In the Yoga Vasishta you will find: “The right course to be adopted by one who is in his novitiate is this: Two parts of the mind must be filled with the objects of enjoyment, one part with philosophy and the remaining part with devotion to the teacher. Having advanced a little, he should fill one part of the mind with the objects of enjoyment, two parts with devotion to the teacher and the remaining one part with getting an insight into the meaning of philosophy. When one has attained proficiency, he should every day fill two parts with meditation and the other two with devoted service to the guru. This will eventually lead you on to meditation for twenty-four hours.”

Sitting in your favourite meditative pose and keeping the head and trunk erect, close your eyes and gently concentrate on either the tip of the nose, space between the two eyebrows, the heart lotus or the crown of the head. When once you have selected one centre of concentration, stick to it till the last with leech-like tenacity.

Meditation is of two kinds, namely, saguna (with gunas or qualities) and nirguna (without gunas or qualities). Meditation on Lord Krishna, Lord Siva, Lord Rama or Lord Jesus is saguna meditation. It is meditation with form and attributes. The name of the Lord is also simultaneously repeated. This is the method of the devotees. Meditation on the reality of the Self is nirguna meditation. This is the method of the vedantins. Meditation on Om, Soham, Sivoham, Aham Brahma Asmi and Tat Twam Asi is nirguna meditation.

If you want to keep the mind charged with the fire of Brahmic wisdom, you must always keep it in contact with the Brahmic fire of knowledge, through constant and intense meditation.- Swami Sivananda


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