Our food is digested and assimilated easily charging us with good health and energy and we will never suffer from digestive disorders like hyper-acidity, anaemia, diabetes, etc. We will also discuss in the coming pages the kind of food that is best for enhancing our awareness and concentration during meditation. A healthy and robust body or an unimaginative mind is a great asset to us on the spiritual path. Otherwise, till the age of 40 we lead a natural life and after we hit 40 we lead a chemical life depending on medicines and pills to bolster our health.
Just like fixing regular mealtimes, our sleep cycles should also be well regulated. All of us need good sleep to enhance our physical and mental health. Most of us require between six to eight hours of sleep to rejuvenate the body and mind. So, we should train the body to sleep at a definite time in the night and wake up at the same time every morning so that our bio-rhythms remain stable. Too much sleep increases the sloth and inertia in the body and mind, while too little reduces our attention span, depletes our concentration and finally leads us to apnoea. Likewise, the right kind and amount of exercise is also important to keep us fit. Only when we bring such discipline into our lives can we control the body. Once we discipline the body, it is much easier to discipline the mind. Then our thoughts and emotions become increasingly gentle and refined.
Besides all this, we should also fix a regular time for our meditation. This is extremely important. When we condition the body and mind to this, the mind begins to yearn for its daily dose of meditation when the hour approaches. It longs for the nectar of peace, solitude and bliss that revitalise it. So, we must choose the time for our meditation very carefully and then follow it punctually. If it is possible, the early morning is the best time for this.
How long we meditate depends upon our own discipline to remain focused. We can begin with half an hour and gradually extend this as our discipline improves. The slot between four and seven in the morning — starting from the time just before dawn to just after sunrise is most conducive for this because it is overflowing with divine vibrations and everything around us is quiet and peaceful.