Question: If we meditate, will this in any way help our friends and neighbours?

Sri Chinmoy: It is through constant prayer and meditation that the inner world will come to the outer world. If you pray and meditate early in the morning, if you treasure divine thoughts, they will immediately enter into your friends and dear ones. But if you cherish undivine thoughts, destructive thoughts, these also will affect the world around you. We can feel that our soul wants to be friendly, wants to illumine the world around us. First we have to know that the entire world has a common source, the Supreme. If we water the root, then only will the branches and the leaves be able to drink. If we don't feed the root, then the branches and leaves will all die. So the first thing we do in the morning is go to the root, the source: the Almighty Father, the Supreme. And from the Source we move out to the rest of the world.