Sri Chinmoy: There are various systems, but when one is approaching the spiritual life or the life of meditation, one has to adopt only one system. If one says that one will be able to reach God through selfless service, loving humanity and offering oneself, then that is the perfect path for that person. But if one feels that he will follow the spiritual life through mental discipline, that he will meditate on the mind and offer mental wisdom to others after having discovered Peace, Light and Bliss, then that is another system. Then if a third person feels that he can offer love and joy to mankind, then he has to follow the path of love and devotion. So when we meditate, we have to know what we are going to be or what we are going to offer to mankind. Now if you wish to give any of these divine qualities — Peace, Joy, Bliss, Love and so forth, to others — then I wish you to meditate on the heart, here. The heart is the most important place in our spiritual discipline, because the heart represents identification. If you want to help someone or to grow into something, then you have to identify yourself with that person or thing. You look at a flower; you appreciate its beauty and fragrance. Then you try to grow into the very same consciousness that the flower embodies, its purity and beauty. First, for a few minutes you observe the beauty and then you try to grow into that beauty. In the spiritual life also, when we enter into the heart, our heart identifies immediately with spiritual Light, Peace, Bliss and Power and so forth. On the strength of our identification, we grow into divine reality.
Now each individual has to learn how to meditate from a teacher, from a spiritual Master. Here you have a teacher, a Karate Teacher who is teaching you that art. So also in the spiritual life, you need a teacher. It is the teacher who will be able to direct you personally. Otherwise you will feel miserable that your way of understanding the truth will differ widely from the person sitting beside you. If you want to learn how to meditate, you have to follow a specific path. For that, you have to know if there is a spiritual Master like me. I am not the only Master; there are many Masters on earth. As soon as you see a spiritual Master, you have to feel the necessity of entering into him to see if his path suits you or not. If it does, then you should try to be in his boat. Then he is bound to teach you how to meditate.
Why to meditate? Because you want to be divine, you want to be perfect. But how to meditate, unfortunately, a seeker does not know. He has to learn it from an adept, from a spiritual Master. So, for that, one goes to visit spiritual Masters, goes to spiritual places, and then, if one is interested, and inspired to follow the spiritual life, then one asks a Master to accept him. The Master gives a short interview and meditates with that particular disciple.
He tells the new seeker that he has to meditate regularly, daily, devotedly and faithfully. We cannot say in public that there is a certain way to meditate. Yes, there are general rules. You have to keep your mind calm and quiet. You should not allow any thought to enter into your mind because thoughts create disturbances in your mind. These are general rules. Everybody will tell you that when you want to meditate, the first thing is to make your mind calm and quiet. That we all know. But how to do it? That answer has to be given individually. Everyone has a different type of mind and each person has to be dealt with in a different way, because everyone has a different nature. The goal is the same. From here I have to go to New York. New York is my destination. But I can take a plane or I can take a boat. The destination remains the same, but the vehicles are different. Similarly in the spiritual life you have to know that God-realisation is one, but your vehicle to reach it need not be the same as someone else’s vehicle.
So in answering your question, I must say that if you are deeply interested in meditation, please read a few spiritual books written by genuine spiritual Masters and then start to meditate on them, then you will have the real need for a guide, a spiritual Master. Then the spiritual Master will give individual attention to your personal spiritual needs and teach you how to meditate.