I think I have weekday sadhana covered, every day I know what I will be doing with five-ten minute precision. Weekends, however, totally throw me off.
On weekends I have an obligation to spend time with the family and “relax”. To make it worse I also have to be inventive about it. The result is that my mind and senses become overwhelmed and thoughts of Krishna barely enter my head, if at all.
To further complicate the situation we’ve had ekadashi falling on Saturday or Sunday for over a month.
Who invented the weekends anyway? In Vedic times people lived by lunar calendars with two week cycles and without any days off. If they followed ekadashi it was nothing like our Saturdays. Basically, they didn’t have any regular days set for relaxation at all, only specific holidays like weddings or religious occasions.
I guess it was the Brits who instituted seven day weeks with their atavistic version of Sabbaths and Sundays that were meant for mass. When Prabhupada started ISKCON he had to follow the same schedule, too, thus Sunday harinama followed by Sunday program with a feast for all the guests was born.
As a result, this schedule has affected our perception of daily service, too. We subconsciously think that we have to make week long efforts and then relax and take a break. Considering how seriously we are supposed to take our external service (by which we are all constantly judged) this is a curious attitude to have. We can’t take breaks from devotional service and if we take some vratas we can’t take a break from those either.
Nowhere in our literature they propose this “two steps forward, one step back” method of executing one’s duties. Steadiness is the main characteristic of devotional service, and of sadhana bhakti, too.
I guess weekends is just another test of our dedication and maturity, test of whether we can remember Krishna under any circumstances or not. Test that I am so far failing.
I guess I could try to direct my mind towards Krishna even when entertaining the entire family at the mall but the best solution is to rise above the mental platform altogether.
I don’t know how to do that yet but at least I am aware of the problem now and I have a vague idea of what should be the solution. For now, let me be content with just this little progress.