Question: During a meditation, if something external to the meditation occurs — such as noise or something unforeseen — is it better to include it in the meditation or to try to shut it out and pursue the meditation?Sri Chinmoy: Each seeker has to know his own standard of meditation. If we are a beginner, we should feel that anything that is not part of the meditation is like an intruder. We should not allow an intruder, a foreigner, to enter into us and disturb us. But if we are very advanced, and there is a disturbing sound or a noise during your meditation, we can go deep into the sound itself and try to assimilate it. If we have the capacity, then in our own consciousness we can transform the attack of a most powerful, most challenging foreign element into an inner music, a thrilling or haunting music, which will really add to our meditation. But we have to develop this capacity to transform a disturbing, annoying noise into soothing, thrilling and soul-stirring music. When we have this capacity, we shall include the disturbance in our meditation. As long as we don’t have the capacity, we shall always exclude it.
Sri Chinmoy, Beyond Within — A collection of writings 1964-1974, Agni Press, 1975