What things I have to keep in mind, before and after meditation ? And is their any specific time to meditate or I can meditate whenever I want ?
—Deepak Singh, India
You ask some good questions about establishing a meditation practice. The attitude we bring to meditation is important. Meditation is about accessing higher states of consciousness where we find calmness, peace, joy, and other divine qualities. The more we experience these divine qualities the more we can live from this higher consciousness and our lives are transformed. Approach meditation with the attitude that this meditation could be ‘the one’ where we experience this divine presence. Approach meditation with eager expectation but also relaxation. Accessing these higher states requires us to be relaxed, aware, and concentrated. After meditation, it helps if we can transition slowly to outer awareness and activity rather than just jumping up from our meditation seat. Avoid criticizing the quality of your meditation. Be grateful that you were able to take this time for divine connection. The final minutes of our meditation practice are a good time to send prayers to others and also offer up to the divine presence any difficulties or questions we are currently experiencing. We may get insight or guidance about our next step.
The best time for meditation is when you can regularly make a commitment to do it given your daily schedule. It is best if your practice is daily and twice a day is ideal. There are times of day where there is more stillness in the diurnal cycle: sunrise, noon, sunset, and midnight. It is best not to try to meditate on a full stomach, as we tend to get sleepy. Ideally, we should wait 3 hours after a heavy meal to meditate. A small snack before meditation probably will not interfere. Establishing a strong meditation habit in your day is most important so consider that the first priority and working with these other factors as secondary.
If you would like to learn more about meditation and the techniques taught by Paramhansa Yogananda, I suggest you read our Lessons in Meditation.
Many blessings on your meditation practice.