Question: What is the difference between meditating in the normal way and offering gratitude?Sri Chinmoy: Meditation and gratitude are two different things. Meditation is like turning on a machine. You have gone to a printing press and turned it on, but you have not put in paper or anything. The machine is running and running, but nothing is coming out. The machine can run forever, but if the Supreme does not put anything into the machine, then you do not get any result. Again, if God has placed paper inside the machine and the machine is printing, then because of the result you offer your gratitude. If you do not get anything then you will not offer any gratitude. So in meditation you turn the machine on, but in gratitude you feel that God has done something within you.
Sri Chinmoy, Experiences of the higher worlds, Agni Press, 1977