Question: How can I transform or incorporate into my meditation sounds from outside? At present I find sounds most disturbing.

Sri Chinmoy: In the beginning it is not advisable for seekers to incorporate outer sounds into their meditation. In the beginning it is always advisable to ignore the fact that there are sounds. In the beginning we have to be very careful and try to disassociate ourselves from imperfect things that create problems for us.

Suppose we have two rooms, a kitchen and a living room. The kitchen is in a mess, and the living room is in very good condition. If we don't have the eagerness or the capacity to fix and clean up the kitchen then we should remain in the living room and receive strength, joy and inner determination. When we have that we will then go into the kitchen and clean the dishes and so forth. So in the spiritual life a beginning seeker should meditate in a quiet place if at all possible. Right now it will be impossible for you to incorporate extraneous sounds into your meditation. It is like trying to unite the north pole and the south pole. Instead you should try to feel that your aspiration-power is infinitely more powerful than the sound that you are hearing. Even if you hear an atom bomb drop, you have to feel that your aspiration-power is infinitely more powerful than the sound of the atom bomb. When your aspiration is this tremendous, intense and powerful, then you can try to incorporate the sound itself into your own reality without disturbing your peace of mind. You will try to accept the sound with all its power, with all its destructive quality, and then transform it.

But if you are not strong enough and you try to incorporate the sound, it will be sheer stupidity. Your meditation will be no meditation.

When you have enough will-power you can transform everything. But if the power of the thing you want to transform is greater than your will-power, then you have to remain separate. When you have more power you can accept it and transform it in your own way. When I was fifteen or sixteen years old, I had to undergo an operation. The doctor was operating on me, and I was smiling at him. The doctor said. "Why are you smiling, why are you so happy? How is it that you are not shouting and screaming?" I said, "I know what kind of pain I was supposed to have while you were operating, but I have already transformed that pain into joy. That's why I am enjoying it." My concentration-power was on one side and the fear of the pain of the operation was on the other side. The pain and the fear had their own power, and my concentration also had its own power. But I knew that my power of concentration was much more powerful than the pain that I was about to undergo. Immediately before the operation took place I had transformed the pain into joy, and I was smiling and laughing. You yourself can eventually use will-power to transform the sounds that disturb you. But if you don't have the capacity right now, you should avoid them for the time being.