Question: Practically speaking, how does one go about learning how to meditate?

Sri Chinmoy: To begin with, if one does not have a teacher or does not care for a teacher, one has to read a few spiritual books written by spiritual Masters who have realised God, not by professors and scholars. If you read books written by real spiritual Masters, you will get inspiration. When you read the books written by various Masters, their writings will be surcharged with their divine consciousness and light. That consciousness will enter into you and inspire you. But there will come a time when you will feel the necessity of learning directly from someone who already knows how to meditate. At that time you will have to take help from a spiritual guide.

If you want to aspire intensely and meditate regularly, you need more inspiration and more aspiration. This has to come from a spiritual Master in whom you have implicit faith. His very presence will give you abundant inspiration and aspiration. You can speak to him or, if he has accepted you on his path, then inwardly and silently he can teach you how to meditate. He himself will meditate on you. If he meditates on you for a minute or two daily, then he will offer you the capacity to meditate for half an hour or an hour a day. It is the Master who increases the power of meditation and aspiration in the seeker.

But to start off in the field of meditation, I advise you to read books. When you feel that you don't get enough inspiration from the books, although they are written by spiritual Masters, you should go to seekers who have already found some spiritual path. Their presence we call satsang — the companionship of a sincere seeker. If you are with them, if you talk with them, mix with them, then from their inspiration and aspiration you will get your own inner strength to meditate. Eventually, when you get your own Master, you will see how fast you will be able to progress.