Question: I have heard that people can receive guidance from the soul, not only during meditation and other times of listening to the "still, small voice within," but even by writing out a question and then listening inwardly and writing down the response they hear. Can you comment on this process?

Sri Chinmoy: We can listen to the dictates of the soul, or feel the presence of the inner voice, without being guided by a very deep meditation. Even in the hustle and bustle of life we can hear the inner voice, but if we meditate, then it becomes extremely easy to listen to the voice within. Without practising spirituality we may hear the inner voice, we may even see the soul, but we will doubt our experience. We will say, "This cannot be the soul; this voice is not coming from the soul." But if we have a very good, deep meditation, we can hear the voice, we can see the soul with inner certainty.

Meditation is the best way. The other way, we may hear the voice, but we will not know for sure that it is the voice of the soul. It is by meditating that we are convinced that we are hearing the voice of the soul or seeing the soul. If we do not meditate, there will be self-doubt. Even if we see the soul, we will say, "This cannot be my soul."