Question: Is it possible to bring our meditative consciousness into the work that we do in the outside world?

Sri Chinmoy: You have to know how far you have already walked along the path of spirituality. If you want to be a singer, you cannot become a good singer overnight. For a dancer also it takes time to learn to do the steps in perfect order. But eventually the dancer and the singer become experts. Then they can do many things at a time. When a doctor performs an operation, an ordinary person would be wonder-struck to see how many things he can concentrate on at once. When you are just learning to drive, you are nervous; but once you become an expert driver, you can look at this side and that side but everything is under perfect control.

How can we develop this kind of capacity? In the beginning, it is impossible. If somebody says he has entered into the spiritual life today and today he has this capacity, rest assured that he is fooling himself. But this capacity is like a muscle. When you take exercise, you develop your muscles. In the spiritual life also, if each day you practise meditation regularly, devotedly and soulfully, then you are bound to develop these inner capacities. Then, when you are in the office, when you are in school or when you are in some other place with your friends, you will feel an inner presence guiding you. Even if you talk about earthly, mundane things you will not lose the inner wealth that you have accumulated during your meditation.

In the beginning, perhaps the seeker starts with only five minutes of meditation early in the morning. Then a day comes when he can sit and meditate for half an hour, then an hour, then two hours; and he can meditate well more often, not just on rare occasions. Some people sit, but they are not meditating at all. But if somebody can meditate for two or three hours at a stretch with perfect equanimity, without losing his mental balance, naturally he has made some progress in his inner strength, inner power and inner light. Everything depends on the disciple’s achievement. Things he has really achieved in the spiritual life, he can use. If I have money, I can give it to you if I want to; but if I don’t have money, in spite of my best intentions, I will not be able to give it to you. Inner power, inner light and all the divine qualities are inside you. Your inner being has accumulated them. Now these qualities have to be brought to the fore.

We have to go to work, we have to go to the office or to school. Your classes may not be spiritual at all. Others are trying to create problems; they are trying to influence you unconsciously or consciously. You become a victim to their merciless treatment, and then you are totally lost. But if your inner being supplies you with your own inner peace and joy, then you will be able to swallow their undivine behaviour. You will be answering your professor’s questions or talking to your boss, but inside you will feel the presence of your own inner being which helped you when you were meditating early in the morning. You will feel its presence like a divine child within you.