How to Form the Habit of Getting Up Early for Meditation
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Spoken by Supreme Master Ching Hai, Auckland, New Zealand, April 27, 2000 (Originally in English) Videotape No. 686
Q: What can I do to maintain a daily meditation schedule, when there aren't enough waking hours in the day?
M: You can't wake up? Me, either. No one likes to wake up when we're snug in bed, but we have to try. Suppose you have a job and you have to get up to go to work, then you must. For something like two thousand dollars per month, you wake up every morning at five o'clock. But for God, you don't wake up! So what am I to do? You make your own priorities. We can wake up a little earlier than usual and then get used to it.For example, say it's too early to get up at three o'clock; then don't wake up three o'clock. If you normally wake up for work at five o'clock, then wake up at twenty to five the first day, or ten to five, or even five to five, and the next day or next week, at ten to five. Get yourself used to the idea and reward yourself abundantly. Tell yourself, "If you wake up early today, I'm going to give you a double bagel or one more cup of cafe latte." Whatever your mind loves to have, reward yourself with it. You must also love yourself because let's face it, we have only this one physical body, and we're very tired sometimes. We work hard for eight or ten hours a day, just to keep this machine running. And then we sometimes have to attend to other work such as family: a wife, children, parents, friends, neighbors, relatives, and so on. We really make very hard demands on this physical body. So of course, if you can't wake up in the morning for meditation, forgive yourself. Don't be too hard on yourself, but train yourself slowly. Watch less TV, go to sleep a little early so you can get up better. Whatever activities you used to do too much before to pass the time when you were bored, use that time for knowing God. It's a matter of organization. I'm also pretty busy. You don't believe it; I sit here and look pretty, but I'm very busy, too. And it's also hard for me to get up early sometimes. But you have to put on the alarm clock. Sometimes it's like that. In the old Indian tradition, there was a saint who could wake up all night, but he slept sitting instead of lying down, so it was just the same. (Laughter) Our people are the same. When they go to our retreats, they sit there and look very good, but they sit in any fashion. (Master humorously drops Her head to one side to show someone "nodding off.") So never mind. Try your best; that's what counts. The saint in India had long hair like me, and he tied his hair to the ceiling. I'm not kidding! And then he became a Master, because he tried so hard. He tied his hair to the ceiling, so whenever he nodded off: "Oh! OK! Ow!" (Laughter) I'm not saying that you should grow your hair long or do that. But find your own way. Like you can wake up early; for example, in the beginning I had to put a flask of ice water next to me. And then when the alarm rang, I would reach for the ice and throw it on my face: Oh! The ice comes through your clothes and everything, and you just have to jump out of bed. You don't have to do that; you'll have your own way. But when you want to do something, you can. Believe that you can because you're God. There's nothing impossible with God. Just remember that you have God inside you and no one else there. Don't listen to the mind and the brain; it's just a computer. The mind tells us, "Oh, sleep. Sleep is good for you." But that's not God's voice. God's is behind that.
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