More about Sri Chinmoy

Q&A: Meditate after eating

Is it all right to meditate after eating, or is fasting desirable?

It is not good to meditate just after eating a large meal. The body has thousands of subtle spiritual nerves. These nerves become heavy after a big meal and will not permit you to have the highest type of meditation. The body will be heavy, the consciousness will be heavy, the nerves will be heavy, and your meditation will not be good. When you meditate properly, you feel that your whole existence, like a bird, is flying high, higher, highest. But when your consciousness is heavy, you cannot go up.

So it is always advisable to meditate on an empty stomach. At least two hours should elapse between your meal and the time that you sit down to meditate. But again, if you are really pinched with hunger when you go to meditate, your meditation will not be satisfactory. Your hunger, like a monkey, will constantly bother you. In that case, it is advisable to have just a glass of milk or juice before meditating. This will not ruin your meditation.

But to refrain from eating a large meal before meditation is not the same as fasting. Fasting is not at all necessary for meditation. By fasting you can purify yourself to some extent. Once a month, if you wish, you can fast for a day to purify your existence of outer aggressions and greed. But by fasting frequently, you approach death rather than God. Fasting is not the answer for self-purification. The answer is constant, soulful meditation, unreserved love for God and unconditional surrender to God.