Question: I am not very sure that I understand what you mean by inner peace or keeping the mind quiet during meditation. When I am very close to nature, I get a feeling of peace. But I am not sure if this is inner peace or whether it is just the atmosphere of the place that gives me this peaceful feeling.

Sri Chinmoy: Your peaceful feeling is altogether a different experience from the inner peace I was speaking of. What is actually happening is that you are identifying your outer mind with Nature. Nature has its own rhythm, its own harmony, its own peace and joy. When you are identified, consciously or unconsciously, with universal Nature, it is all vastness and immensity. There you lose your own outer existence, the feeling that you are separate from other persons. In that state of unified oneness, you become totally one with universal Nature; you become part and parcel of the Vast and the Infinite. You forget your ordinary life, which is your physical frame, your name and your outer existence. In that state, you do not have to make your mind calm and quiet, for the mind is not functioning; you have already become identified with the treasure of universal Nature's consciousness. You are seeing the trees, you are seeing the ocean, but actually you are not functioning mentally. You have identified yourself with these natural things and now what they represent, what they have, is being mirrored in your own outer life

But this experience is entirely different from the experience that I was speaking about. I was speaking about inner peace, which most seekers at the beginning do not have. They have constant attacks of worry, anxiety, doubt, along with constant normal thoughts. Even when their minds are shut and they are not talking to anybody, their minds are still responding. But, in your experience, your mind is not responding to any of the disturbances of the outer world. Your soul has become one with universal Nature. The things which are encompassed by universal Nature are representing themselves before your mental vision as your very own. At the same time, you have become the witness, totally detached, observing things but not responding. This is a very good experience, a very high experience, but it is different from the experience that I was referring to.