Question: In trying to meditate and lead the spiritual life, I am beset by difficulties and discouragement. What should I do?

Sri Chinmoy: While you are following the spiritual life, if you are attacked by undivine, hostile forces or if you feel that your aspiration is not as it should be, never give up your spiritual life. Every day you cannot eat the most delicious food, but still you eat every day. You eat every day, whether the food is good or bad, in order to keep your body fit so you can go to work, go to school and do normal activities. In the spiritual life, when we meditate what do we actually do? We feed the soul, our inner being. Now, if we cannot feed the soul most delightfully every day, we must not give up trying. It is better to feed the soul something than to allow it to starve. So never give up; always try to meditate.

The road to God-realisation is long. Sometimes while walking along the road you will see beautiful trees with flowers, foliage, fruits. Again, sometimes you will see that there is only a road, and there are no trees on either side. Sometimes you may feel that you are on an endless road through a barren desert, and that the goal is still impossibly far away. But do not give up walking just because the distance seems far. In order to realise God you have to be a divine soldier and march on bravely and untiringly.

The seeker of the infinite Truth must have the patience of a farmer. A farmer ploughs the field and cultivates; then he has to wait for God to give the rain which will enable the seed to germinate and start to grow into a tiny plant. In the spiritual life also, our personal effort and God's Grace are both needed. We have to practise meditation, but we have to feel the necessity of God's Grace, like rain. When God's Grace descends and our human effort ascends, there comes a time when we can meditate at our sweet will. Advanced spiritual seekers can meditate at any moment, at any time, at any place.

First try to meditate with your own individual effort and God's Grace. If you are attacked by undivine forces and you cannot meditate, then offer your present achievement soulfully and devotedly at the Feet of the Supreme. Say to Him, "This is what I have now. I have become a victim to these forces. These are my possessions right now, unwanted possessions, and I am offering them to You. I place them at Your Feet." If you can offer your existence to the Supreme in that way at all times, then you will see that your daily meditation will become most fruitful.

Sri Chinmoy, Promised Light from the Beyond, AUM Publications, New York, 1973