Question: What can one do when one feels his aspiration fluctuating? At times I have a feeling of emptiness and nothingness.

Sri Chinmoy: First of all, you have to know that all spiritual figures have said that in our spiritual lives we have to go through a 'desert'. We cannot live on an oasis all the time. There are always dry periods. Not one spiritual figure on earth can claim that he has not suffered through these dry periods. When we cross this barren, empty desert we feel that there is no aspiration. However, we have to feel that aspiration is there, although right now we seem to be on an endless journey.

How can we escape from this desert? There are four different ways. In your case, let us say that every day your appointed time for meditation is six o'clock in the morning. But for the past two days you have been unable to go deep within or meditate sincerely, and now you are frustrated. At that time you should choose a spiritual book written by a realised soul or by a devotee who is full of devotion for his spiritual Master. Then, while reading the devotee's book, you will see your whole body become a flood of tears. You will shed tears, tears, tears of delight. To read any book written by a spiritual Master or devotee at the time of a dry period in our spiritual life is one of the most effective ways of returning to the zenith of our spiritual aspiration.

But what if you don't have a book written by an illumined soul or a devotee? What will you do then? The second method is to immediately go and mix with your brother and sister disciples. Being with your spiritual family will drive away those negative forces. With your brother and sister disciples you will have spiritual conversations. You will appreciate your Guru and God and how they have shown you such Love, Concern, and Compassion. In the beginning you may feel that you are such a hypocrite in saying, "Oh, I am now in a miserable condition and I am appreciating my Guru or God." But you will see that if you just start appreciating your Guru or the Supreme, immediately you will shed tears. These tears come directly from your soul. And your soul will then unite you again with your highest aspiration.

Now the third method for curing a dark, dry period in your life of aspiration is to repeat the name of God or the Supreme, or your Guru's name, or even your own name, if your Master has given you a spiritual name. The name that he has given you is the name of your soul. Just repeat the name and do not think of the meaning; only repeat it just like a child learning how to read or study. At that time he will repeat the lesson by rote without learning the meaning. In this way immediately the consciousness of your soul's name or the name of your Master or the name of the Supreme will enter into your entire body.

The fourth method is to keep a spiritual diary. During your spiritual journey, you have to write down notes of your soul-illumining experiences, visions and inner feelings. Today you are in despair, in darkest night. But two months ago you were in the brightest Light. You had a wonderful experience. You saw that Krishna was playing the flute right in front of you, or you saw a flood of Delight and your whole existence became a sea of Delight. These experiences should be recorded in your diary. As soon as you read your diary, your inner being will respond to the highest experiences you had two months ago. Then immediately the inner feeling, the inner Joy, the soul's joy will drive away your despondent feelings of misery, loneliness and frustration. So whenever you have good experiences, high experiences, elevating experiences during your meditation, please write them down.

These experiences are actually the living breath of our existence. If we can recollect our highest and deepest experiences at the time of our frustration, then we will get immediate relief. These experiences are not based on falsehood. It is we who have had all these divine spiritual experiences and they will cure the disease which we have right now. Sooner than at once we shall be cured.