Question: If someone is having great difficulty in meditating because he lacks discipline and cannot concentrate, can you suggest a possible remedy? How can one develop self-discipline and improve his meditation?

Sri Chinmoy: In that case, that particular person should start with concentration. Meditation will be too difficult for him.

Self-discipline comes through proper concentration under the express guidance of an able Master. One has to lead a disciplined life while practising concentration. Otherwise, if his life is not disciplined to some extent, and if he wants to practise meditation, it will be too hard for him. It is like a kindergarten student who wants to study at the high school level. Every seeker should start with concentration in the spiritual life.

Concentration is a vast field. Each individual has to know, or has to learn from someone, how to concentrate. Concentration has to pave the way for meditation. When we concentrate, we try to control our thoughts, our emotions. When we meditate, we must have already disciplined our emotional and restless life to some extent. Through proper meditation we either enter into vastness or vastness enters into us.

To lead a disciplined life, what we need is daily practice, constant practice. Twice or three times a day we feed the body. We do not feed the child divine within us, the soul, even once in a blue moon. When we feed the body, we become strong. We can live on earth. When we feed the soul, we grow. Our inner being grows into the divine light.

Please try to meditate early in the morning, that is to say at the Hour of God, between 3 and 4a.m.; then meditation will be easy for you. If you meditate at 7:30 or 8:00 or 9:00 a.m.; it will be more difficult. Mother-Earth commences her dance or her work, the hustle and bustle, by 6:00 or by 7:00 a.m. If you can meditate between 3 and 4 a.m., no matter of what standard you are, even if you are a complete beginner, you will have very little resistance in your meditation. It is in the early morning that one can meditate best. At that time, one is bound to run very fast in the spiritual life.

To come back to your question, meditation is the only answer which offers us a disciplined life. But, as I said previously, if before meditation one practises concentration, then one can expedite one's inner journey. When one concentrates, one becomes the divine hero. When one concentrates, one enters into the battlefield of life in light where there can be no doubt, no fear. Fear and doubt will be conquered by concentration. Then, when one enters into deeper meditation, there one gets confidence, inner assurance. Then when one contemplates, one eventually enters into the Goal and grows into the Goal itself. This is God-realisation — where the finite merges into the Infinite, where the lover and the Beloved become One, inseparable.