What is meditation?


It’s easy to become a little overwhelmed by the amount of information now available about meditation and our classes are simply to focus on the essentials. The saying “you have to bite the apple, not discuss it” is a useful reminder that everything we need to know about meditation is already inside us and will simply emerge out of our practice. In Sri Chinmoy’s lovely words, “Your mind has a flood of questions. Who will answer them? Your silence-loving heart.”


Q: Why do we meditate?

Sri Chinmoy:  “Why do we meditate? We meditate because this world of ours has not been able to fulfil us.  The so-called peace that we feel in our day-to-day life is five minutes of peace after ten hours of anxiety, worry and frustration. We are constantly at the mercy of the negative forces that are all around us:  jealousy, fear, doubt, worry, anxiety and despair.  These forces are like monkeys.  When they get tired of biting us and take rest for a few minutes, then we say that we are enjoying peace. But this is not real peace at all, and the next moment they will attack us again.

“It is only through meditation that we can get lasting peace, divine peace. If we meditate soulfully in the morning and receive peace for only one minute, that one minute of peace will permeate our whole day.  And when we have a meditation of the highest order, then we can get really abiding peace, light and delight.  We need meditation because we want to grow in light and fulfil ourselves in light.  If this is our aspiration, if this is our thirst, then meditation is the only way.

“If we feel that we are satisfied with what we have and what we are, then there is no need for us to enter into the field of meditation.  The reason we enter into meditation is because we have an inner hunger.  We feel that within us there is something luminous, something vast, something divine. We feel that we need this thing very badly; only right now we do not have access to it.  Our inner hunger comes from our spiritual need.”

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