Question: How do I begin meditation?
Sri Chinmoy: First of all, you have to study a few spiritual books to get inspiration. These should be written by real spiritual Masters and not by fake spiritual teachers or by aspirants who are still on the path and have not yet attained illumination. Spiritual books and scriptures will tell you how to physically and mentally discipline your life to some extent. You can take the help of these books for a few days or a few months.
Then you will realise that your book-knowledge of meditation is not enough. You will want to have the solid experience of genuine meditation. Now, each person has to have a meditation of his own. If you want to go to the end of the road and reach your inner Goal, then you should have the true meditation of your soul. This meditation will help you reach the destined Goal. You will need a spiritual teacher, a Master who can give you a meditation according to your soul's qualities. The Master can tell the seeker inwardly about his meditation by asking the soul to come to the fore and telling him through his soul how to meditate, or the Master can tell him personally when he sees him. If a spiritual Master gives a meditation, then that meditation is undoubtedly the best that the aspirant can ever have.
If you don't have a Master, you should go deep within and get your meditation from the inmost recesses of your heart. The meditation that gives you immediate joy or continuous joy is the best meditation for you. Everyone will not have the same meditation. Your meditation will not suit me, my meditation will not suit you. You like a certain food, I don't like it. You are right in your own way I am right in my own way. But once you know what your best meditation is, please stick to it. In your mind or in your aspiring being, try to formulate a few meditations. Today you can try one way of meditation, then you can try another way of meditation tomorrow. If you have seven types of meditation, you can try one each day. At the end of one week the one that has given you most satisfaction or abiding joy is your best meditation.
Even if you do not want to study spiritual books and do not care for a spiritual Master, then first and foremost you should keep the mind calm and quiet, and let the soul speak to the mind about what it actually wants. If the mind is calm, we can receive the light of the soul in the mind. The light enters into the mind also through the heart. When we meditate collectively we do this kind of meditation.
I always recommend that one should practise concentration; otherwise, meditation will never be fruitful. When we sit for meditation, millions of thoughts and ideas will enter into our mind and disturb us. We should practise concentration for a couple of minutes and then enter into meditation. For some seekers who have been practising concentration and meditation for a long time, concentration is no longer necessary; they can immediately enter into meditation. To have a calm and quiet mind is not easy. It is most difficult. It can be done only by the Grace of God and through the most sincere aspiration. If one has inner cry and if God's Grace descends, then only can proper meditation be practised and achieved.