Question: What is meditation?

Sri Chinmoy: There are three stages in our spiritual practice. It starts with concentration, then meditation, then contemplation. Someone here asked me about concentration and I answered. Now meditation is the second stage. When you meditate, what you actually do is to enter into a vacant or calm or still, silent mind. We have to be fully aware of the arrival and attack of thoughts. That is to say, we shall not allow any thought, divine or undivine, good or bad, to enter into our mind. Our mind should be absolutely silent. Then we have to go deep within; there we have to observe our real existence. When we speak of our outer existence, we see our limbs and our body, the gross body, that is all; but when we go deep within, we approach our true existence and that existence is in our soul, in the inmost recesses of our soul. When we live in the soul, we feel that we are actually, spontaneously doing meditation.

So if you want to know what meditation is, I wish to say that meditation is that very state of our consciousness or the inner being which does not cherish millions of thoughts, which wants only to commune with God. It is God's language as well as man's language. Now I am speaking in English and you are able to understand me because you know English well. Similarly, when one knows how to meditate well, one will be able to commune with God. Thus meditation is the language we use to speak to God.