Joel Martin: In your writings you talk about reconciling the inner world of silence and the outer life of action. Something that troubles me is the idea of putting your ideas and theories into practice in our day to day lives.

Sri Chinmoy: Theory and practice must go together. When we pray and meditate, we develop or acquire peace of mind, let us say. When we have peace of mind, then we can come into the outer world to solve our problems. The outer world is full of problems, but our inner world is inundated with peace. How can we get in touch with this inner peace? That we do on the strength of our prayer and meditation.

The inner life is not the life of isolation. The real spiritual life, the real inner life, will never tell us to leave society and enter into the Himalayan caves; far from it! We dive deep within early in the morning. Then, when we enter the outer world, we bring forward what we have received from within and we try to offer this to the world at large.

Early in the morning we pray and meditate to acquire some inner wealth: peace, joy and bliss. Then, we go out to our respective offices and mix with our friends or colleagues. Perhaps they did not meditate or pray, and they are totally lost in the hustle and bustle of life. When they see right in front of them life’s multifarious activities, they are simply lost. But because we pray and meditate, no matter what happens or what we do, we remain unperturbed; we remain calm and quiet. The inner life we practise through our prayer and meditation, and the outer life we practise through our dedication to the cause of humanity.