Meditation minimizes inner friction and maximizes outer contribution
“I have so many things to do. How can I spare time for meditation?” This apprehension often troubles aspiring spiritualists.
Paradoxically, it is when we have too many things to do that we most need meditation. Why? Because that’s when inner friction takes the maximum toll.
In a machine, friction among its parts wastes valuable energy and decreases productivity. Similarly, in the machine within us – the mind, friction among its desires to do various things takes a heavy toll.
The Bhagavad-gita (15.07) indicates that we are souls, parts of Krishna, who struggle and suffer (karshati) in material existence due to the mind and the senses. This struggle is caused largely by the friction in the mind among its many desires as they fight for supremacy. Even when one desire gains an upper hand and impels us towards action for fulfilling it, other desires still allure and distract. The resulting friction slows down or even sabotages our outer contributions.
To minimize inner friction, we need to meditate on an unchanging spiritual reality transcendental to the mind’s many material desires. The topmost spiritual reality is Krishna. When we lovingly meditate on him by chanting his holy names or studying his sacred message, that meditation calms and cleanses us. It calms us by providing a profound non-material enrichment that makes the glamor and the clamor of various material desires irrelevant and insignificant. It cleanses us by subduing and exiling our lower, shortsighted desires, and by strengthening and establishing our higher, principle-centered desires as our life’s priorities. Ultimately, this intelligently prioritized life helps us attain eternal love for Krishna – life’s supreme accomplishment. Additionally, it streamlines and focuses our inner energy, maximizing our capacity for constructive actions. Thus, the time spent on meditation doesn’t subtract from but adds to our outer contribution.