Question: What is the best way to deal with dry periods in one's sadhana? That is, how does one maintain aspiration and good feelings while one experiences a dryness in his meditation?

Sri Chinmoy: When you feel dryness in your meditation, you can easily mix with a friend who is not going through that experience. Take dryness as darkness. When you think of dryness, think of going through the Queens Midtown Tunnel. You know that there will be some light at the end because you have been through the Midtown Tunnel many, many times before. After you enter, for some time you know that there may be no light; but if you have patience you know that you will see light.

In the spiritual life no one is experiencing dryness for the first time. This dryness is fairly common. There are very few seekers who have not gone through it. Some spiritual Masters of the highest order went through dry periods for six or eight months, and sometimes for as long as two years. During a four-year period some of them went through dry periods five or six times.

This dryness can be avoided by doing only one thing: shedding tears of gratitude. You may say that you are not getting any joy, any satisfaction, anything, from your meditation, so why should you offer gratitude? But you have to offer gratitude just because you are trying to meditate. Who is asking or compelling you to try? Somebody deep within you. The Supreme is asking you to meditate despite the fact that you are going through a dry period. So if you can offer your gratitude, soulful gratitude, tearful gratitude, to the Supreme, the dry period will pass very quickly. Think of the Midtown Tunnel. You can easily cover the distance when the time comes. You know it is only a matter of time. For a short time you will remain in darkness, and then it is bound to end. But if you want to run the fastest, then gratitude is the only answer.