Question: When you say "meditate," do you mean to meditate on something, on some particular god or something? How does one who has had no experience go about meditating?

Sri Chinmoy: First of all, I have to say here at this point that my students and disciples each have a picture of me which was taken when I was in my highest Transcendental Consciousness. All those who claim to be my disciples meditate on that picture every day. I tell them to concentrate and meditate on that picture. When they meditate they either feel that they are entering into me, into my inner Consciousness, or they feel that I am entering into them. I have simplified the matter. There are some among them who have received specific meditations from me. Again, there are many who have recently joined me. I tell them, "I shall meditate on your behalf if you give me the chance." The picture that I ask them to meditate on was taken when I was in my own highest Consciousness. There, I am absolutely one with my Inner Pilot. I tell my disciples, when they meditate on the picture, "Either you enter into me, or allow me to enter into you. Then I shall meditate on your behalf." So this is how my disciples meditate.

About others who are not my disciples, when they ask me individually, say here at the lecture hall, I tell them to try to control their thoughts, not to allow any thoughts to come in. The mind has to be vacant, calm, quiet. At the beginning it is impossible for an aspirant to be free from thoughts, ideas, the memories of the past and so forth. I tell them, "Feel that it is you who have to conquer your nature." Right now, a monkey is beside you, constantly pinching and biting you. You need not be afraid of the monkey. You just exercise your inner strength, inner power, and threaten the monkey. When he is threatened, the monkey stops biting you. Similarly, the undivine thoughts that are pinching, biting and disturbing your mind can easily be conquered by you.

Now, say you are standing at the door of your house. It is up to you to open the door to admit anyone. You are inside if you see that your enemies are outside wanting to come in, naturally you won't allow them in; but if you see that your friends are waiting, immediately you will allow them in. In the beginning you have to be very careful and cautious not to allow just anybody to come into your house. When you do open the door, your mental door, you will admit only those thoughts, divine thoughts, that will encourage you, inspire you, uplift your consciousness. They are your friends. Doubt, fear, anxieties and worries are your enemies. If they want to enter, immediately lock the door. Don't allow them in. A seeker who has no spiritual Master, who has no guide, has to practise meditation in this way. First he has to make his mind absolutely calm and quiet. No thought, no iota of thought, must enter into his mind. He has to feel that he is standing behind the door. The door is locked. Nobody is to enter. Then, later, he has to allow only the divine thoughts, the divine ideas to enter. He must let them grow gradually, gradually. Also he will sow the seed of divine truth inside his mind. Then, after a few years, he will gather a bumper crop of realisation. This is what the seekers should do, if they do not have a personal Master or Guru.

But, when you have a Master, a Pilot, a Boatman, once you are in his boat, it is his responsibility to take you to the Golden Shore. While you are seated in the boat, you can sing, you can sleep, you can do anything you want to. Once you enter into the tube, the subway, you can do anything. But, in order to enter, you have to get a ticket. After you purchase the ticket, you have to board the train which takes you to your destination. Now, the ticket for the spiritual life is aspiration. The real fee is aspiration. If you have aspiration, and if you have found your Master, then meditation becomes infinitely easier.