“I have no time” is a common phrase that you hear a lot these days. Whether it’s work responsibilities, family activities, or school obligations, there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of free time in our days. Unfortunately, with time being on short supply, finding time to spend with God can suffer and be put on the back burner. This is disappointing because spending time with God through Japa meditation or Gauranga breathing is very important as it provides the transcendental nourishment our soul needs to be happy. I have found a few ways to carve out extra time throughout the day to remember God.
Freeing up Time for What’s Important
Firstly at work. Working in a laboratory, I find myself sitting at a lab bench or computer quite often. I make sure that I take breaks every few hours to either stretch or walk around. Taking these short breaks is not only allowed by my employer but recommended because they will help to reinvigorate my body and mind and help prevent repetitive stress injuries. During these short 5 minute breaks, I like to take a walk outside. I make sure to take my japa beads with me and chant “Gopala Govinda Rama Madana Mohana”. Even for just a short period of time, the power of the mantras will make you feel happier and less worried about anything that may be causing stress. I usually do this 2-4 times a day depending on my work load.
Secondly during exercise. I enjoy working out and trying to keep physically fit. I usually like to lift weights and I found that if I cut down my “rest” time between sets, I’m able to free up time. I used to rest about 60 seconds between sets, but recently I’ve cut that down to 45 seconds. I do 4 sets of an exercise and at least 5 exercises, so that totals 5 minutes. I like use this 5 minutes to find a spot to sit and quietly do Gauranga breathing. Doing Gauranga breathing after a workout is good because it helps my body to cool down from the physical stress it just experienced. In addition to the spiritual benefit, cutting down the rest time between sets is also good for my workout as it keeps my heart rate up which increases the cardio benefit.
Watching television is not something that I routinely do but there are a few programs and shows that enjoy watching each week. These shows are either 30 to 60 minutes in duration. However, I have learned that by utilizing my DVR to record the show, I’m able to cut them down to about 25 and 45 minutes. Usually I record the show and watch them on another day, fast forwarding through the commercial breaks and freeing up extra time for myself. If I do watch the show on the day it’s recorded, I will wait about 15 minutes before I start watching, this allows me to fast forward through all the commercials. I use the extra time I have freed up to finish up chores I would do prior to sleeping for the night, such as cleaning dishes, tidying up the house and showering. That way once my show is completed, I don’t have to worry about household chores and can focus my attention on doing my nightly japa meditation and Gauranga breathing before sleep.
Finally, I have heard that a good night’s rest is usually between 6-8 hours. I’m lucky to be able to get 6.5-7 hours of sleep each night. In addition, my daily schedule allows me to have regular sleeping and waking times. That being said, depending on how my day went and how tired I am, I will try to stay up for an additional 5 minutes doing Gauranga breathing before I go to sleep at night. Also, if I don’t feel extremely exhausted when going to bed, I will set my alarm 5 minutes earlier in the morning and use that time for an extra 5 minutes of japa or mantra meditation practice. I have been able to do this occasionally and don’t feel that my body is exhausted or sleep deprived because of the 10 minute deficit.
As you can see, just by making slight changes to some of my daily activities, I can find 25 – 40 minutes of extra time each day. And being able to use that time to spend time with and remember God has made a big impact on my happiness. I hope that everyone can find a few minutes here and there to free up time for japa meditation practice or Gauranga breathing. No amount of time is too small because of the immense power of God’s Holy Names!