Question: How can I tell if I am meditating too much?

Sri Chinmoy: How can you tell if you are meditating too much? It is very simple. If you are meditating too much, then you will get a kind of tension or pain in the third eye. Also, if you are meditating too much — that is to say, beyond your capacity — then you may get a kind of rigid attitude. You may feel, "I am so divine, so perfect, whereas everyone else is all undivine and imperfect. They are all insignificant creatures." If you are trying to pull down peace, light and bliss from above beyond your capacity, then you may no longer get any joy or satisfaction from your earthly activities. You may come to feel that this earthly existence of yours is useless and meaningless. If you get this kind of disgust or depression or ascetic feeling, and if you want to withdraw from the world, then you have to know that you are trying to meditate beyond your capacity.

Also, it may be that you are trying to meditate in the wrong way — that is to say, in a way different from the way your soul wants you to meditate. You may meditate, say, for only fifteen minutes, which is a short time for meditation; but if the form of the meditation is not correct for you, then you will feel tremendous tension in your forehead.

There are many ways to meditate. You can meditate on the heart or you can meditate on the mind by trying to silence the mind. You may feel that your mind is now your best instrument, your most developed instrument. But when you look at the mind, you see that it is restless, it is uncontrolled. The mind is subject to all kinds of absurd and undivine thoughts. You see that you are not getting any real satisfaction from the mind. If you want to meditate on the mind, you will try to stop all thoughts. When a thought comes, right away you just stab it and kill it. But this kind of meditation may create tension for you. Again, you may feel, "I shall let every earthly thought, like a mad elephant, enter into my mind. I will sit for hours and my mind will roam freely in the world of thought. Finally, like a child in the playground, it will become tired and enter into the world of silence. Then I will be able to do real meditation." But this approach your soul may also find unsatisfactory.

I am not saying that one particular form of meditation is right and another is wrong. What is right for someone else may be wrong for you, and vice-versa. It depends upon the needs of the individual soul.