Question: Does this mean that Zen and Yoga have different goals?

Sri Chinmoy: No. They are like two members of a family. They belong to the same family and they deal with the same basic thoughts and ideas. Only in practice each may apply something a little new, although in a sense it is not new at all. Here is the goal. The father is reaching the goal from one direction and the son is reaching the goal from another direction. In going towards the goal, they may use different methods to some extent. But the goal always remains the same. If one becomes liberated from ignorance as a result of spiritual discipline, then naturally he is illumined. And if one identifies himself with Light and Illumination itself, then naturally he also is liberated and illumined.

I touch water and immediately I get the consciousness of water. I touch a wall and immediately I get the consciousness of the wall. Again, if I touch the feet of a saint, then immediately I get the consciousness of the saint. This is Yoga: oneness, oneness, oneness. But you don’t have to touch anything. Just through identification you can get the consciousness of the person who is a saint, the person who has illumination. In the Zen process, you get what the saint has by concentrating on what you want. The process in Yoga is to identify oneself with the goal. But the goal that you reach by concentrating in Zen and the goal that I reach by identifying myself with someone is the same.

There is a very good Zen teacher in Rochester named Philip Kapleau. He is a friend of mine and a great authority on Zen. He wrote a book called The Three Pillars of Zen. If you are interested, you can learn from him. Again, if you feel like coming to our meditations on Tuesdays and Fridays here, you can see what we get from our meditation. If you can come and join us, I assure you that you will feel something.

I am in no way trying to take you away from Zen; far from it. Let us take meditation as one shop and Zen as another shop. If you come into a shop, there will be some items that may please you. Basically, these two shops offer the same thing: love of Truth. You enter into one shop and it has the thing that you need; you enter into another shop and it has the same thing. It is you who have to make the choice from which shop you want to get the thing that you need.