By Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj
As people around the world focus on the economy and in budgeting their finances to make ends meet, there is another budget that each of us can consider. Besides what we amass in this physical world, we also are given a certain number of breaths by God to use in our physical existence. We analyze how we are budgeting the use of our finances, but how often do we look at how we are budgeting the capital of our life’s breaths given to us as a gift of the Divine?
This is a good time to analyze how we have been spending our precious breaths and time, and whether we can make better use of them. Are we spending our time haphazardly and wastefully, or are we spending it with purpose?
How can we make best use of our time?
We have twenty-four hours in the day to budget to our life’s purpose. Just as some of our finances go to the necessities of life such as food, clothing, and shelter, so do some of our breaths go into activities relevant to our physical survival. We have to spend time taking care of the body, such as in eating, bathing, dressing, sleeping, and other bodily activities. We also need to spend time earning a living to pay for the necessities of life. We have to go to school or college or get training for our jobs as well. If we have a family, we need to take care of them. We also want to be a contributing member of our community and be of service to others. Beyond this, we are left with time we can spend any way we like. How can we budget that time to make the best use of it?
Those on the spiritual path have set self-knowledge and realization of the Divine as a goal within this very lifetime. Saints and spiritual Masters teach that we do not have to wait until this life ends to discover what lies beyond. We can witness the realms beyond in this lifetime by sitting in silence, focusing our attention within, and exploring the inner spiritual treasures. This involves spending time in meditation whereby we invert our attention to find the Divine within us. Do we budget enough time for this?
Caring for the soul
Meditation takes practice, whereby we can connect with the divine Light and Sound within and soar on it to explore realms beyond. The practice of concentrating within takes repetition to become adept at it. As in all tasks in life, daily practice will help us achieve success. In planning our spiritual budget—the capital of our life’s breaths to achieve the goal of union with the Divine—we need to allocate some time daily for meditation. Just as we want a balanced financial budget, we also want a balanced budget of our time. Balancing our time means spending time developing our physical, mental, and spiritual side of life. While attending to our responsibilities of taking care of our body and mind, we also need to care for our soul.
As we look ahead to 2013, let us spend time analyzing how we want to budget our time. We can make a chart of how much time we need to spend in the various activities necessary for our life to survive in this physical world and how much time we need to put into our spiritual practices. Mostly, we allocate everything on our to-do list first and then put in the time for meditation last. This year, we can try allocating our time for meditation first, and then fit in all the other responsibilities we have. In this way, we can ensure that our meditation is not an afterthought, but as important a part of our day as our other duties.
Some people find that meditating in the beginning of the day, right after we awaken, ensures that we always get that meditation time in and do not leave it for last, when other responsibilities may take so long we never get to our spiritual practices. If we make meditation an essential part of the day, we will find it becomes a habit. We will be making the best use of our time and find that the spiritual gains we achieve will enrich all aspects of our lives.