Question: Can one get a firsthand experience from meditation right off, without having to wait one or two years?

Sri Chinmoy: It depends on the soul's development. Mentally you will feel that you have not followed a prescribed course. You have not been going to school for two years or three years, whereas others have been studying in their schools. But you do not know when you actually started this journey. In your past incarnations, perhaps you meditated for years. If you have practised the spiritual life in your past incarnations, then even in your first attempt in this life you may get some spiritual experience.

Again, it can also happen through the Grace of the Supreme that you will get a firsthand experience after your first attempt. So there is no hard and fast rule. Many people get a spiritual experience when they meet their spiritual Master, even if they had not previously practised spirituality. Why? Because they enter into the soul of the Master with intense devotion; and when the devotion enters into the soul of the Master, his blessing or, you can say, his compassion or his light, immediately responds to the seeker's devotion. Then the seeker gets a firsthand experience.