Question: Can self-effort ever be detrimental to our meditation?

Sri Chinmoy: Self-effort is not detrimental. You must not make friends with inertia. You have to put forth some effort in order to go deep within. Otherwise you will just relax and take a nap and then you will say that God has meditated for you. While you are praying and meditating sincerely and soulfully, then only can the Supreme act in and through you. You have to co-operate.

Sooner or later you will get intuition. In the meantime God has given you intelligence. If you get up early in the morning, then you will be inspired to meditate; if you get up at eleven o'clock your inspiration will be gone. We have to use our common sense. We have to make the effort to get up early in the morning if we want to have a good meditation, and we have to meditate during the day or in the evening as well if we want to make considerable progress.

But you should also feel that if you are determined to do something, actually there is somebody else within you who will do it. You are not the doer; you are the instrument. Somebody else is acting in and through you, and that Somebody is the Supreme.

The Supreme will do everything for you, true, but you have to prepare yourself for Him. You have to prepare the field within you; then only will the farmer come and plough. If you do not make yourself into a field, then the farmer will not be able to cultivate, and you will never reap the bumper crop of divinity.