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“The 40 Day Challenge” by Michael Smith – The Annual 40-Day Spiritual Festival Begins on Monday, June 18th and Ends on Thursday, July 27th

The  Annual 40-Day Spiritual Festival Begins on Monday, June 18th and Ends on Thursday, July 27th

Please review “The 40-Day Spiritual Festival Guidelines” that are on the Ahymsin and TMC websites.



“The 40 Day Challenge” by Michael Smith

One of the Main Themes at The Meditation Center Along With the Vasudeva Principle


Regularity in One’s Daily Schedule


Punctuality in One’s Daily Meditations

In almost every book written by Swami Rama or Swami Veda there has been the recommendation to be punctual with one’s meditation time. This has also been advised many times by Pandit Dabral. (See Pandit Dabral’s Skype Talk for TMC community.) Punctuality is probably the surest sign of a serious student.

Being regular in one’s yoga practice is something that we initially intended to do when we first started coming to The Meditation Center, but for one reason or another, our meditations seem to become less punctual as went on and we experienced lateral drift. Even year the 40-day Spiritual Festival gives us an opportunity get back on track.

We all have felt the negative effect of randomness in our daily schedules because of interrupting situations or neglect. We have also heard positive reports of personal breakthroughs occurring when punctuality in meditation was maintained for 30-40 days.

Keeping to a fixed schedule is one of the many advantages of staying at a ashram (such as SRSG), but this can also be done by taking one, two, or three-day retreats, such as the Silence Retreats that are taking place locally at TMC. Swami Veda advised busy people to take even do a half-day Silence Retreats to “re-set.”  But the best way to attain regularity on one’s yoga practice, is to make one’s daily life ashram-like through personal discipline.

Being on time with one’s daily meditation brings the rest of one’s day into harmony and balance —

(1) because of the scheduling and prioritizing it takes just to get to one’s meditation seat on a regular basis, and

(2) the understanding that to experience depth in one’s meditation, numerous qualitative factors must come into play pertaining to sleep, rest & relaxation, diet, relationships, exercise, emotional balance etc. – so one begins to see that being attentive to just punctuality of meditation itself can enrich one’s entire sadhana.

With regularity of one’s daily schedule also comes increased healthiness, energy and alertness.  This relates to the Ayurvedic principle and practice of Dinacharya.  Refer to the writings of Rudolph Ballentine, David Frawley, Vasant Lad, Robert Svododa, and others. Veena Blilie at Saumya Ayurveda working closely with people at The Meditation Center and can be reached at

The daily commitment to be at one’s meditation seat at a certain time – that focus – “I need to be there; I can be there; I will be there, and what a blessing that will be!” That, in itself, is a mini-meditation and provides a positive direction for one’s mind during the day.

A question that frequently comes up is how to deal with travel, guests coming to stay, unexpected interruptions, and emergency situations. The answer is to “tune in” and be there mentally at your meditation time even though you may be doing something else at the time. The “intention” is always the most important thing – and with a sincere intention, the regularity will eventually come.

How do you go about finding what is it that never sleeps and never wakes, and whose pale reflection is our sense of ‘I’? How do you go about finding anything? By keeping your mind and heart on it. Interest there must be, and steady remembrance. To remember what needs to be remembered is the secret of success. We discover it by being earnest, by searching, inquiring, questioning daily and hourly, by giving one’s life to the discovery. [Both qualification and opportunity] come with earnestness.  What is supremely important is to be free from contradiction: the goal and the way must not be on different levels; life and light must not quarrel; behavior must not betray belief. Call it honesty, integrity, wholeness; you must not go back, undo, uproot, abandon the conquered ground. Tenacity of purpose and honesty in pursuit will bring you to your goal.  All will come to you as you go on.  Take the first step first.  All blessings come from within.  Turn within. (Sri Nisargadatta)

Jim and Michael would like to help anyone who would like to undertake of meditative punctuality for the 40 days.  If you would like to have this supportive connection — keeping communication through Emails and phone calls, reminders, checking in regularly — please let us know.

Jim: (763) 795-9600

Michael: (763) 753-2257

There will be a special “Follow-up” Sunday Session on August 29th (two days after Guru Purnima) with Jim and Michael to see how the 40 days went for everyone.

Wishing you the best of summers!


Jim and Michael