Question: When I get upset, I can't seem to meditate the way I want to. I seem to think more of my problems. How can I overcome this?

Sri Chinmoy: When you are upset, you can't meditate. It is quite natural. You cannot welcome a friend and an enemy into your house at the same time. Your enemy is your agitation, your anxiety, worry and so on. And your friend is meditation. For the time being you have allowed someone undivine to enter into you. That is why you are upset. If at that very moment you want to invite in somebody divine, why should he come when you have already welcomed somebody undivine, who is hostile to him?

When you are upset, first ask yourself if you are doing the right thing by becoming upset. By getting angry with somebody, can you change his nature? If somebody has done a terrible thing, can you change his nature by scolding him, by insulting him, by punishing him? Impossible! Even if somebody has done something bad to you, and you have scolded that person and he is sorry and sheds bitter tears, then you will go deep within and feel sorry that now that person is sad and miserable. When you go within, you will see that you have done many, many things worse, infinitely worse, than that person whom you have scolded and insulted has done. In that case, if you start shedding tears or feeling remorse, then you will go on entering into your past, seeing how many thousands of things you have done wrong in your life.

You get upset because something has gone wrong either in you or in somebody else. But you cannot meditate when you are upset, so the best thing is to try not to get upset. When somebody has done something wrong to you, try to feel either that it is an extended part of your consciousness which has made this deplorable mistake, or just feel that it is an experience you had for only a few seconds. The sooner you can rid yourself of the idea that somebody has done something to you, the better off you will be. You have had an unpleasant experience, and you will not be happy until you stop thinking about it.

Always you have to feel that there are two ways to get out of worldly calamities. One way is to enlarge your heart. If you have been wronged, identify. Feel that it is you who have done wrong. In that way you won't become upset. How often do we curse ourselves? How often do we have the time to think of correcting and perfecting ourselves? All the time we are thinking of others. If we are sincere, we shall see that those who are victims of jealousy are always thinking of their enemies; those who are victims of fear are constantly thinking of others who are creating fear in them. In this way, all the time we think of others and not of ourselves.

The second way is to think of perfecting ourselves. The time comes when we become aware that we have two selves. One self is continually making us feel how weak we are, how insignificant we are, how deplorable our condition is. That self is not our true self. Then there is another self that tells us how pure we inwardly are, or how pure we can be, how sincere we can be, how humble we can be, how divine we can be. That is our true self. When we stop thinking perfecting others and only care for our own aspiration, we are not acting like a hermit who does not care for the world's transformation. No! As long as we are amidst friends, neighbours and family, our own perfection helps them. When we achieve one thing, we will see that very thing in a small measure in others. If we see something wrong in others, something undivine, tomorrow we will see that very thing in ourselves. And if we see something good in someone but not in ourselves, that particular thing will soon develop in us. If we see a person who is sincere and we are not sincere, just by consciously seeing the sincerity in someone else, our own inner sincerity will come to the fore. Our inner being will try to communicate with the sincerity of that particular person. And then, like a magnet, it will draw sincerity either from that person or from the Source from which all sincerity comes.

From now on please try, all of you, to perfect your own nature instead of looking around to see who is obstructing you or standing in your way. Pay all attention to your own self-discovery, and when you have discovered yourself, you will see that there is nobody imperfect on earth. Everybody is perfect in you.

From: Sri Chinmoy, Meditation: humanity's race and Divinity's Grace, part 2 - , Agni Press, 1974
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