Question: I have just started coming to your meetings and I would like to know how to meditate. I really don't know exactly what you mean by meditating.

Sri Chinmoy: Some spiritual teachers give specific lessons on meditation. In my case, I tell my students to first read spiritual books written by spiritual Masters to gain a little general information. The books will tell you to keep the mind calm and quiet and lead a pure life in the mental, vital and physical plane. In our pure life automatically we feel an inner meditation. And if we remain calm and quiet, it is also a form of real meditation. We are constantly being attacked by ideas, by forces, by thoughts. But we should try not to allow these thoughts to enter into our minds in our day-to-day lives. Some people may think that if they do not have any thoughts, they will be like fools. But fools are not without thought; they have thoughts, but thoughts that we cannot appreciate or admire. These thoughts lead them to do silly things. But if we do not have normal, ordinary thoughts, but instead have inner will and determination, then we will do the right thing and we will grow into divine instruments. That is a form of meditation.

When my students meditate with me, I tell them to forget the mind and try to feel the presence of the heart. Inside the heart they try to feel a vessel. This vessel is full to the brim with ignorance, imperfection and undivine things. I ask my students to try to empty the vessel with God's help and their own aspiration. This action of emptying oneself has to be done with devotion and a feeling of surrender to God's Will. It also has to be done with love — love for God and for humanity. Once the vessel is emptied, then the God inside them will fill it with divine Light.