Question: What should we do if we are meditating and we know we are not receptive, just sort of sitting there, and we don't have the capacity to be receptive at that moment?

Sri Chinmoy: There are many ways to develop receptivity or to get immediate receptivity. Two ways I can tell you. One way is to repeat the word 'Supreme' over and over again, as fast as possible — just as fast as the Indian musicians say "Sa, re, ga, ma, pa, da, ni, sa." But it must be done in silence. First select one place in your body, let us say your crown centre, and concentrate there while repeating 'Supreme' as fast as possible. Then select another spot and concentrate there, and repeat 'Supreme' again. It is better to go from the top down than from the bottom up. It does not have to be a psychic centre. It can be any place that you like. Suppose you like your right eye. Then concentrate there and chant "Supreme, Supreme, Supreme," in silence. Or if I have given you a spiritual name, you can chant your own name, or "Guru, Guru, Guru," or any other thing in which you have all faith. Since you always have faith in the Supreme, that is usually the best.

If you can do this in seven different places in your body, at one particular place you are bound to find yourself receptive. You can concentrate anywhere — the head, the forehead, the heart, the navel, the foot — anywhere. In at least one particular place, if you have concentrated seriously, you are bound to receive. Receptivity does not always have to be in the heart. Even in the foot you can receive something.

Receptivity is the flow of cosmic energy and cosmic light. When you concentrate on any place, try to bring light into yourself. After you have brought it inside, the next thing is to bring it to the absolutely right place, the heart. The best reservoir to store what you have received is the heart. If you cannot bring light inside yourself at all, then you will have no confidence, no satisfaction. It is like this. You need water in your apartment, but you do not have water there. So you have to bring it in from outside. Once you have brought it in, if you want to drink it, you bring it into the kitchen. If you want to take a shower, you can take it into the bathroom. The important thing is that you have brought it into your apartment. As long as you have brought it into your apartment, you know that you have water for your needs. You have tremendous confidence and satisfaction now that you have water at your disposal, which you previously did not have at all.

Another way to create receptivity, when you do not have it, is to make yourself feel that you are only three years old, a mere babe in the woods. You have no mother, no father, no brother, no sister, nobody at all to protect you, and you are alone in a forest on a very, very dark night. All around you is darkness.

Nobody is there to help you; death is dancing right in front of you, and you are totally lost. Then what do you do? You cry within for help: "Save me! Save me! I have nobody here! Save me!" When that kind of inner cry comes, the Supreme is bound to open your heart, or I will be there to open your heart. Usually I say, "Do not feel helpless; you are God's child. Why should you have to be insecure?" But at times you are not receptive just because you have become too secure; you have become complacent. There is no other reason. Why do you not feel the inner cry? The immediate answer is because you are satisfied with your material possessions or with the things that you have in your mind, in your vital and in your body. Once you are satisfied with the things that you have, why should you cry for something more? When you have this kind of complacent feeling, at that time your inner cry ceases.

But if you feel that you are absolutely helpless, and that you are desperately in need of something, namely, God's Compassion, God's Light, God's Love, Peace or Bliss, then naturally your inner cry will be strong. You need not feel that you are helpless and lost every day and every hour — far from it. But if you are complacent, if you feel that what you have is sufficient, then why should God take care of you? You do not need His Help. As long as you are complacent, you can have no receptivity. You have to change your attitude; you have to feel that you are totally, totally helpless and lost without God. Then only can you have receptivity.

Once you get some light, try to grow into the light itself. If you see that you have got a little receptivity again, then dig more. Do not be satisfied with the receptivity that you have. Today, if it is a tiny pool, make it into a pond, then make it into a big lake, then into a sea. Receptivity can be expanded like that, gradually. Starting with a small hole, gradually make it large, larger, largest.

So these are the two ways to become receptive. The second method is much faster than the first, but the first method is good in that it makes you feel that you are working for receptivity, that you are trying. The second method makes you feel that it is beyond your power to work for anything, that you must entirely depend on God's Grace. If you take these measures, either concentrating on seven places, or becoming totally helpless, you will get immediate results.