We know it is essential to meditate every day. And to be sure of meditating every day, it is of paramount importance to meditate at a set time, preferably early in the morning.

Yet early in the morning is usually when we are asleep, or just waking up, so it is inevitable that we are all going to face occasions when we feel we are too tired to meditate. The urge to roll over and go back to sleep can at times loom as an irresistible, overpowering force.

So – how to overcome this temptation and be sure we sit down to meditate? And, having committed to meditate, how to cast aside our tiredness to get the most from our meditation?

Meditation requires our alertness, and alertness requires that we be awake. We imagine that we first wake up, then get up, yet Swami Vivekananda’s famous injunction is: “Arise, awake!” Significantly, “arise” comes first, for fully waking up will not and cannot occur unless and until we are out of bed, upright and moving.

If you rely on an alarm, get into the habit of jumping out of bed the moment the alarm sounds – never hit the snooze button! Our mind will always try to persuade us that we need just 5 minutes more sleep – yet this so easily becomes 10, 20 or 30 minutes.

Have your alarm on the other side of the room so you have to physically get up to turn it off, then have a set routine to awaken your body and mind which you can follow on “auto-pilot” while you emerge from your vulnerable state of semi-slumber. This routine might involve simple stretching, repeating a mantra or affirmation, or walking to the kitchen to put the kettle on.

(to be continued …)