Question: As a pianist, sometimes I am so caught up with technique that I lose the soul or forget what I am trying to say.

Sri Chinmoy: If you can meditate for three or four minutes before you play, your mind will be inundated with light. Then your mind will be clear and confusion will not dare to enter into it. At that time, you do not have to think of the technique; it will come automatically. Everything comes from light — even technique. The light will pull the technique.

If the owner or manager of a restaurant asks one of his workers to do something, immediately the worker will try to please him. Similarly, when you embody light, the light within you will command the technique to perform for you, and you will go far beyond the domain of technique. Now you are thinking about technique; you are begging it to serve you. But at that time, technique will be dying to serve you and please you because you are the boss.

Spending a minute or two in silence is like putting money in your pocket. If you have money in your pocket, in the supermarket you can buy anything you want. When you meditate for two or three minutes, you accumulate inner wealth — peace, light and bliss. Then, as soon as you stand in front of the audience — before you play even — spontaneously you are sharing this wealth with them. So before you even start to perform, you have already pleased your audience. Then, even if you play wrong notes, they will be sympathetic towards you.

It is like a mother and her child. The child makes a million mistakes when he plays an instrument, but the mother thinks, "Oh, it is so excellent!" The mother's love for the child makes her feel that whatever the child does is perfect. So if you distribute your inner wealth before you play, the audience is not going to judge you because it is already satisfied. You can play anything you want and the audience will be pleased.

When I play for my students, they do not care how many mistakes I make. Why? Because before I play, I meditate with them and we establish our oneness with one another. So right from the beginning there is mutual satisfaction. At that time, they are so inwardly happy and satisfied that no matter how bad my outer performance is, their mind and heart are happy. And when you are happy and filled with inner delight, you do not see any mistakes. When you are in a very high state of consciousness, nothing affects you; everything is joy.

It is like a host trying to please his guests as soon as they come in. If the host stands at the door and gives them a flower or a smile and talks to them, then half the battle is won. No matter what else he does, everything is perfect because he has already conquered the hearts of his guests. But if the guests are pouring in and the host is somewhere else, they will say, "Look at this! He is so callous and irresponsible!"