How to Have More Time for Spiritual Practices


Hi, I have been working as a software engineer for 6 years. I was never passionate about it and always thought it’s just a way to make money and was fine with that for the past few years. Recently, I started to realize it’s not a good idea to trade my time for money. I would rather spend my time on yoga/meditation/reading etc. But I have no courage to quit my job immediately — I still need the income and I need to keep the job to stay in the US with my working visa. Thanks!

—Cat, United States


Dear Cat,

Take the first steps. It is not an either-or choice but a both-and opportunity. You may be working long hours, but maybe you have some control over how many hours. In any case, perhaps you can begin or deepen your yoga and meditation practices and your spiritual reading. Perhaps your income will allow (after Covid) you to go on retreat at least once a year.

We have the expression “The grass is always greener on the other side (of the fence we are in).” (Ironically, that ought to have been an expression given to us from India, given the love of cows! :)) So be careful that you aren’t simply daydreaming and challenge yourself to put into action your dream within the limits of present circumstances.

Consider also that there may be other jobs that equally satisfy your visa requirements but that are not so demanding upon you mentally or time-wise. There’s generally no point diving off into the deep end of the pool of life if you can enter the pool step-by-step. This will better test your resolve and energize your courage.

Let your mantra of life always be both-and. There’s always the possibility of doing both. I am not suggesting that you must work “forever” but I am suggesting that you can change the course of your destiny one-step-at-time.

Most sincere devotees have to work to support themselves. It need not stop us. Less TV or smartphone time; less spent on Starbucks, etc. God is as much with you right now as ever. You need only “tune in” and you can do that throughout the day. As you nurture your heart’s yearnings, the Lord must come to you but you may have to prove your love against the challenges of present circumstances. “Banat, banat ban jai” (Doing, doing, soon…done!)

By the way, it would help you to do your work with enthusiasm and joy, grateful for the opportunity to serve in this world and while striving to see God in everyone you work for or with and in everything you do. See the movement of Spirit in your intelligence, your energy, and in all things including success or failure. It is all God’s energy flowing creating, sustaining, and dissolving all things from thoughts and emotions to planets and stars. Rejoice!

Joy to you!
Nayaswami Hriman