In my professional career of over 13 years, there has been lot of meetings with clients and stakeholders, some of them were important, some of them were a waste of time and so on.
in 2016, I by luck got the most valued client in my life and we decided that once a day meeting was necessary to take the project further. It’s not easy to commit for a daily meeting – sometimes one may not be well or there’s some family responsibility. But mutually we understood that the project was super important for my growth and hence there cannot be any compromise. The benefit was that this client has always been super nice, very soft spoken (in fact usually just smiles and listen to my daily updates throughout the meeting).
We decided to keep the meeting short (about 10-14 mins). If I had something else urgent, or not feeling very well, the meeting would end relatively quickly.
Gradually the meeting was something I started liking and we decided to have a meeting in the morning as well. The client had no problem and was always cooperative. The only condition has been that I should honor the time commitment and turn up at the same time daily to the best of my capabilities. This wasn’t something enforced by the client but I felt it’s important and necessary.
Before I write any further, learn about this client if you haven’t already.
Scheduling and discipline
Divine doesn’t need hours of time, in the beginning at least. That’s only required for meditation if you want to champion that.
Just keep a five-to-10 minutes meeting time for which you won’t compromise. I’ve kept it at 7 in morning and evening. that’s been my personal meeting time with my lord wherever I am, or whatever I’m doing, I would take a break and have the most important meeting!
Btw, the practice schedule was inspired by morning and evening Sri Hari Arti performed at ashram.
If I’m having an online call for a release/deployment, I can easily take a 10 minute quick break – I don’t have to give a reason – just write/say ‘brb in few mins’ and be done with it. People do takes such short breaks to attend to nature calls etc. so your team wouldn’t have a problem either.
If you’re attending a function or party, I mean it’s even easier than the other cases so I don’t need to tell you how you can get away for few mins to attend the most important person in your life!
(I’ve even taken such breaks while attending close get-together with such people as family of would-be-bride of my brother – parents would tell them that he’s having a meeting time and they would drop me in the car for my divine meeting 🙂 while the girl’s parents would likely be thinking that I had been attending a call with some client, or sometimes they just tell that it’s my pooja time.)
Now the question is, what do you do in the meeting? well, pick a Stuti most dear to you. You can do a short Kirtan as well. I have completely different ones to chant (a shorter one) in the morning compare to the evening (Taken from Stutis/Kirtans sung by Swamiji re Sri Hari/Mother Divine). I sing them aloud (unless I’m inside a wedding/party; I keep the voice very low/do mansik chanting of the Stuti/Kirtan if I have people around and I couldn’t escape them).
Don’t pick a mantra for this meeting IMO, because it’s easy to invoke bhav (devotional sentiment) with Stuti/Kirtan (Try learning the meaning of the Stuti you pick).
Another important aspect of the practice is visualization. At least, you should visualize a form of your lord. It doesn’t have to be perfect and crystal-clear but visualize as much as you can during the chanting (you can easily do better than me because my visualization is never close to perfect due to my visual impairment).
Other family members can also participate in this meeting with you (in my case, they do in the evening). However, the meeting is foremost between you and your lord so give your attention to him/her. Closing your eyes and visualization helps in ensuring that.
For 2-3 years, I stuck on the time like anything, however, in last two years or so, I end up getting delayed by a few mins frequently in the morning like 07:05 AM. Sometimes, I find myself waking up with very little time left so I sit up in bed at 7 or so, do the chanting and go back to sleep again.
Only in two occasions so far (both in last year I think) I didn’t wake up at all on 7 (my conscious mind completely missed the alarm I’ve kept on my mobile). When it happened the first time, I resolved in mind to do chanting after bath in such scenarios (I do have a daily meditation schedule as well – in the morning/evening, which I usually follow but the start time isn’t hard-fixed).
In all these years, the 7:00 am morning meeting has been the most important catalyst which continues to motivate me to keep the discipline of early wake-up, despite sleeping late lately (around 12:30-1 am).
The only time I let go this practice of mine is when I’m attending Swamiji’s discourse or doing some sadhana based on a fixed duration sankalpa.
When you keep such a hard schedule two important things happen:
1. Sometimes, you aren’t feeling any bhav or concentration; you are completely disturbed with some incident and the restlessness in the mind ensures that you just run through your chanting. Don’t worry, your Lord understands it, try to do better next time.
2. Divine will start giving you ways to interact with it during the meeting, the meeting will start getting more real and interactive :). it’s really magical just flow with the inspiration you get, don’t lose the experience by starting some analysis. More importantly, do not expect these inspirations; just focus on your chanting and visualization, and let the rest take care by the divine as and when it wants.
This post was originally posted as an answer to this question