Question: Should you reject all thoughts during meditation?

Sri Chinmoy: You have to know whether it is a good thought or a bad thought, a divine thought or an undivine thought. If it is a thought of God or a thought of Divine Joy, Divine Love, Beauty, Purity, then allow that thought to enter into you and let it play, let it expand. Or if it is a thought about Grace, Divinity, Infinity, Eternity or Immortality, please try to see where the thought goes; try to follow that thought like a faithful dog.

Say you are standing inside your house by the door. It is up to you to open the door, your mental door, and allow in only those divine thoughts that will encourage you, inspire you, uplift your consciousness. They are your friends. If you see that your friends are outside wanting to come in, immediately you will allow them in. But if you see your enemies there — doubt, fear, jealousy, anxiety, worry — you will not let them in.

But again, if you have enough inner strength, when an undivine thought comes into your mind you will not reject it; you will transform it. It is like this. Somebody has knocked at your door. If you know that you have enough strength to compel him to behave properly once he enters, then you can open the door and allow him to come in. But if you do not have the power to compel him to behave, then it would be wise to keep your door closed. Let it remain closed for a day or for a month or for a year. When you gain more strength, then accept the challenge and open the door. For if these wrong thoughts are not conquered, they will come back to bother you again and again. First you reject, then you accept and transform, then finally you totally transcend.

We have to be a divine potter with the dirty clay of our thoughts. If the potter is afraid to touch the clay, if he refuses to touch it, then the clay will remain clay and the potter will not be able to offer anything to the world. But the potter is not afraid. He touches the clay and shapes it in his own way into something beautiful and useful. It is our bounden duty to transform undivine thoughts. But when? When we are in a position to do it safely. If I am not a potter, what can I do with a lump of clay? If I touch it, I will only make myself dirty.

However, if one is a beginner, he should not allow any thought to enter his mind at all. He would like to allow his friends to enter, but he does not know who his friends are. And even if he does know who his friends are, when he opens the door for them he may find that his enemies are standing right in front of them, and before his friends can cross the threshold, his enemies are deep inside the room. Once the enemies enter, it is very difficult to chase them out. For that he needs the strength of solid spiritual discipline. For fifteen minutes he may cherish divine aspiration, spiritual thoughts and then, in just a fleeting second, an undivine thought will enter in and his meditation will be ruined. So the best thing is not to allow any thoughts during the meditation.