Question: Should we maintain specific periods of outer silence other than meditation?

Sri Chinmoy: Yes. Sometimes it is quite necessary to have outer silence for half an hour or an hour, apart from one's deep meditation. When we talk unnecessarily it weakens us; it weakens our subtle nerves. Then at the time of our real meditation we won't be able to meditate well. This does not mean that you will remain silent for hour and hours. That will be an act of self-deception because outwardly you are keeping silent but inwardly your mind is in the gutter, roaming and roaming. That kind of silence is no silence. Only your mouth and tongue are not functioning. You are deliberately forcing the mouth not to open, but that is of no help. But fifteen minutes, half an hour or an hour of silence after the meditation or before the meditation will help us. If we observe silence before the meditation then it strengthens us. If we remain silent after the meditation is over then we get the opportunity to assimilate the Peace, Light and Bliss that we have received in abundant measure during our meditation. This assimilation is of paramount importance because without it, all that we have received will be wasted.