Question: I am an artist and I was wondering if there is any way to use my painting or music to inspire my consciousness.

Sri Chinmoy: When we paint, we have to become one with the inner painter. When we sing, we have to become one with the inner singer. Outwardly, we may be very expert in music, but if we do not have the capacity to become one with the inner singer, then our singing will not be soulful.

Inner life is realisation; outer life is expression. First we realise, then we express. If you know that there is an inner painter who has realised the Truth, the Reality, and that this inner painter is trying to reveal the inner Truth through the outer painting, then your painting becomes a form of meditation. We can meditate twenty-four hours a day during all our multifarious activities provided we know that there is somebody doing the thing for us. If we feel that we are doing the work ourselves, with our ego, with our pride, with our personal effort, then there is nobody inside for us. But if we feel that the thing that we are doing is being done by somebody else, the divine part of our being, then it is all meditation, it is all expansion of consciousness, it is all fulfilment of our life of aspiration.