Question: Is there any difference between meditation and self-hypnosis?

Sri Chinmoy: Yes. When we meditate, we become a perfect channel through which the Reality above us can flow. Here we surrender entirely to God’s Will. “Let Thy Will be done”: This is the acme of meditation. We bring down God’s boundless Peace, Light and Bliss on the strength of our soulful meditation, and this Peace, Light and Bliss operates in and through us according to our capacity of receptivity.

But when we enter into the realm of self-hypnosis, we try to impose on our subconscious plane certain ideas or even ideals. We convince ourselves this is what has happened or this is what is going to happen. We try to bring to the fore, either from the subconscious world or from the inconscient world proper, thoughts which are not predominant or which have not yet come to the fore. We unconsciously or subconsciously bring up these ideas and make ourselves feel that these are realities which we once upon a time lived or which we are going to live in the near or distant future. So in the subconscious mind, formulated ideas or ideals operate.

But when we soulfully meditate, we go far beyond the realm of the thought-world. Here nature’s Dance comes to an end. All thought-waves cease and we see reality in its pristine form.