Learn to meditate

Free classes and workshops

“If we practise meditation daily,
rest assured that the problems of our life,
inner and outer, are solved.”
– Sri Chinmoy

 

 

About meditation

“Life is given to each human being
For a very special purpose.
This secret each human being
Must discover for himself.”
– Sri Chinmoy

About Sri Chinmoy

All of our classes, concerts and other events are inspired by meditation Master

Sri Chinmoy, who dedicated his life in service to aspiring humanity.

About our classes

  • Practical tips for meditation
  • Relaxation & breath control
  • Guided visualisation and more…

Meditation Matters

A weekly journal and podcast published each Thursday, exploring the many worlds of meditation.

Meditation matters

A weekly journal and podcast published each Thursday, exploring the many worlds of meditation

408: Listening to God’s Prayer

408: Listening to God’s Prayer

We are God’s arms and legs, eyes, ears and beating heart in this world. God’s need for us encompasses and subsumes our need for God. Through merely giving God our attention, we gain everything God has and God is.
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407: Digging a Well

407: Digging a Well

The village had no water. A government expert advised the villagers to each dig a well in their back yards, to get water for their daily needs. One villager starting digging, but after one hour, when he became hungry, he went in search of a good restaurant. After lunch he continued to the pub and joined some friends for a drink.
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406: Echoing our Call

406: Echoing our Call

We are eddies swirling in the river, and this river is God – but we are so busy being eddies, we don’t notice God all around us, we don’t notice we are flowing with God, one with God, inseparable from God. We are clouds floating in the God-sky; grains of sand of the God-beach; flowers, fruits and leaves of the God-tree; little fingers of the God-body, utterly absorbed in being this little finger.
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405: Breathing a Perfect World

405: Breathing a Perfect World

Our breath brings us a profound spiritual message: the message of oneness. All humans, animals, trees and plants are at once breathing the same air, the one earth-atmosphere. Though breathing through countless lungs, we are all sharing one breath – the breath of life. So it is, that our one breath in myriad breaths, connects us directly with every living breathing being on this planet: with every human, each animal, tree and tiniest plant.
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404: Fasting and Meditation

404: Fasting and Meditation

Fasting cannot be considered a spiritual practice in its own right, and will never bring us to enlightenment, though occasional fasting can certainly benefit our meditation by helping to purify our physical system, clarify our mind and brighten our outlook.
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400: The Sea of Perfection

400: The Sea of Perfection

We want to have everything, and we want to be perfect. We sometimes expect that we should be able to have everything and be perfect for the asking. Indeed, many of us take up meditation with the idea that its practice will enable us to attain perfection, while experiencing and possessing everything we fancy.
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399: From Human to Divine

399: From Human to Divine

Consciousness is expressed in myriad forms and levels. Each level is its own realm of being. From each level of consciousness to the next is a progression, an evolution. From stone to plant consciousness, from plant to animal, from animal to human, each level is a preparation, containing within itself the seeds or precursor of the next, just as the caterpillar embodies the future butterfly.
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398: The Inner Cry (52)

398: The Inner Cry (52)

This final part of our series on “The Inner Cry”, comprises Sri Chinmoy’s answers to two questions, and two poems. Both questions concern the process and requirements to progress from our present ignorance to our future perfection.
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397: The Inner Cry (51)

397: The Inner Cry (51)

In our outer lives, prosperity is associated with material wealth and riches, popularity and power, comfort and luxury, abundance, wellbeing, winning, high achievement and success in any field. Yet outer prosperity is fleeting, meaningless, unsustainable and unfulfilling if it does not flow from a sincere inner cry.
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396: The Inner Cry (50)

396: The Inner Cry (50)

We can develop the inner cry by giving more importance to what we really need in our life. When we give importance to our true necessity, then automatically our inner cry, our inner sincerity, is bound to increase.
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395: The Inner Cry (49)

395: The Inner Cry (49)

Crying and smiling are generally considered to be opposites, and mutually exclusive – we cry when we are sad; we smile when we are happy. And some might consider that an emphasis on the inner cry in our spiritual life, might be reflected in a seriousness or sternness, if not sadness, in our outer expression.
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394: The Inner Cry (48) – Barrenness

394: The Inner Cry (48) – Barrenness

Sometimes, despite our efforts in meditation, we feel a sense of barrenness in our life; a lack of excitement, joy, purpose, colour, light, interest, motivation, inspiration and even hope. This feeling can be fleeting, or it can set in and permeate our consciousness; it may lead to us becoming lethargic, irritable, sarcastic, careless, callous or depressed.
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393: The Inner Cry (47)

393: The Inner Cry (47)

Our Beloved Supreme, our Lord Absolute, our highest Self: by whatever words, Names, qualities or attributes we imagine, conceive of, or relate to God; whatever we believe, feel, know, or know that we do not know about God; whether we pray to, concentrate, meditate or contemplate on God – there is one need, one constant, one truth, one necessity – to answer our questions, fulfill our need, reveal and lead us to our goal…
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392: The Inner Cry (46)

392: The Inner Cry (46)

The spiritual life is not a life of compromise. Either you accept God on His own terms or you accept the outer life on its terms; there is no in-between. You cannot be fifty per cent for God and fifty per cent for the ordinary, unaspiring world. If you try to compromise in that way, you are neither here nor there; you are finished.
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391: The Inner Cry (45) – Newness

391: The Inner Cry (45) – Newness

Living in a mind bound by time and space, we assume everything must age, must have a beginning and an end. How then, might we transcend the mind, how might we step beyond the progression of time into the eternal, where the very concept of age disappears?
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390: The Inner Cry (44) – Intensity

390: The Inner Cry (44) – Intensity

As a central pillar of our spiritual life, we must surely place intensity very high on our spiritual wish list. Where and how can we find intensity, cultivate and maintain it? How do we intensify intensity, how keep our intensity intense?
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389: The Inner Cry (43)

389: The Inner Cry (43)

The “smile of silence” is the goal of our meditation. This is not the outer silence, the absence of sounds, noises and distractions. This is the inner silence, the silent mind and tranquil vital – which we discover in the absence of thoughts, disturbing emotions, desires and attachments.
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388: The Inner Cry (42)

388: The Inner Cry (42)

Our inner wealth is limitless, unfathomable, unimaginable. We know we have inner capacities, qualities and experiences that are beyond our conscious reach, but we have no way of claiming or grasping them as long as we remain bound by our mind’s limited capacity to perceive, to understand and to know.
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387: The Inner Cry (41)

387: The Inner Cry (41)

Once we have reached a certain level of consciousness in our meditation, we have to feel that this is not our ultimate goal. Our goal is not stationary; all the time we have to go beyond, beyond, beyond.
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386: The Inner Cry (40)

386: The Inner Cry (40)

Our inner cry cannot be something static or fixed, nor a ritual, nor routine habit; it must constantly flow, grow, learn, evolve, adapt to the nature of the hour, the challenge of the present and need of the moment, seeking the best way to surmount each obstacle and to raise our consciousness through continual transcendence.
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385: The Inner Cry (39)

385: The Inner Cry (39)

Once our inner cry is well established, it generates its own forward and upward momentum. Then, we are able to operate effectively in the outer world without our inner cry being affected.
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384: The Inner Cry (38)

384: The Inner Cry (38)

Our inner cry is the ticket to our destination; the passageway to our soul; our lifeline to God; our protection against ignorance and spiritual regression; our passport to happiness, progress, fulfilment, perfection, illumination and ultimate satisfaction.
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383: The Inner Cry (37)

383: The Inner Cry (37)

We are crying to please God by offering everything we have and everything we are to God, but God is also crying to please us by offering everything He has and is to us. The problem is, we do not fully accept God’s offering.
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382: The Inner Cry (36)

382: The Inner Cry (36)

How can we have inner peace? We can have it just by crying, crying for inner peace. Now, how can we cry for the inner peace? It is not easy to cry sincerely.
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381: The Inner Cry (35)

381: The Inner Cry (35)

Our inner cry is most sincere and effective when we feel we are completely lost, clueless and helpless, when we are crying out to God or our soul to save us, protect us, forgive us, guide us, illumine us and take charge of our life.
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380: The Inner Cry (34)

380: The Inner Cry (34)

Older than the universe, the inner cry is always new, ever fresh. The inner cry does not form any conception or expectation of how or when it will be fulfilled; it does not need to.
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378: The Inner Cry (32)

378: The Inner Cry (32)

Just as water will always eventually find its way to the sea, so our inner cry will eventually find its way around and beyond any restriction, control, language, beliefs or understanding we seek to clothe it in.
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377: The Inner Cry (31)

377: The Inner Cry (31)

Everything depends on the heart’s cries and tears. If we really want to become a good person or do something for the world, we have to feel not the tears of the eyes, but the tears of the heart.
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376: The Inner Cry (30)

376: The Inner Cry (30)

Once our inner cry is engaged, naturally it longs to increase and intensify itself, for our cry knows there is no end to its work, no ceiling to its sky. The higher our aspiration, the more our inner cry is fed, the more powerful it becomes.
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375: The Inner Cry (29)

375: The Inner Cry (29)

If we feel inwardly the value of God-realisation in our life, then the so-called hardship that we go through is nothing. If we value the goal, then we are bound to walk along the path.
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374: The Inner Cry (28)

374: The Inner Cry (28)

People cry for name, fame, earthly achievement, success and progress and so many things. They are right in their own way. But you should start crying inwardly from this moment on for joy, peace of mind and the awakening of your inner consciousness.
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373: The Inner Cry (27)

373: The Inner Cry (27)

Change is the greatest challenge we all face. Always there is something within us which resists change, no matter how eagerly we yearn for it. According to Sri Chinmoy, there is only one agent capable of changing us and transforming our nature.
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372: The Inner Cry (26)

372: The Inner Cry (26)

As our inner cry eclipses our mind, the portals of our heart open and we find ourselves basking in our inner sunshine, flowing and growing into our perfection-potential. Our inner cries not only make our spiritual progress possible, but inevitable; they are the spark plug, fuel, engine and accelerator of our progress-life.
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371: The Inner Cry (25)

371: The Inner Cry (25)

Sri Chinmoy was once asked, if there is a specific way to accelerate the attainment of our God-realisation. His reply encapsulates the entire purpose and function of the inner cry.
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369: The Inner Cry (23)

369: The Inner Cry (23)

The home of our inner cry is our soul, God’s representative within us: trace our inner cry to its source, its home, to find ourselves face to face with our soul, resonant with God’s Bliss. We have only to keep our inner cry always alive, always active: then by feeling it, loving it, treasuring and embracing our inner cry, we return with it to its home, God’s Home in us, our soul.
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368: The Inner Cry (22)

368: The Inner Cry (22)

Our inner cry is the engine that invokes inspiration, engages our aspiration, activates our hidden capacities and qualities, gives voice to our deepest yearnings, disciplines our vital energies, clarifies and focuses our mind, continually expands our heart, and drives us ever onward to self-discovery and fulfillment.
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367: The Inner Cry (21)

367: The Inner Cry (21)

Our conscious inner cry is our instrument, inspired and directed by our aspiring will. Our super-conscious, inmost cry is the executing voice of the Supreme’s Will, shaping and employing us as God’s instrument in His cosmic Game.
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366: The Inner Cry (20)

366: The Inner Cry (20)

If our heart is devoid of an inner cry, we cannot pretend we are leading a spiritual life. The inner cry is the beating heart of spirituality: arising from the Infinite and the Eternal, and reaching ever towards the Infinite and the Eternal. The inner cry is at once our most sacred gift from God, our most precious offering to God.
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365: The Inner Cry (19)

365: The Inner Cry (19)

We cannot know how good a mango tastes by hearing others’ descriptions of it, no matter how vivid and evocative their words: we have to take the mango and eat it for ourselves. So, we cannot know or experience the inner cry by reading or theorising about it.
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364: The Inner Cry (18)

364: The Inner Cry (18)

Problems are inextricably linked with our thought process; our thinking mind is a problem factory. Problems arise from, are nourished and perpetuated by thoughts. When we are successful in clearing our mind of thoughts, so-called problems magically evaporate.
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363: The Inner Cry (17)

363: The Inner Cry (17)

The inner cry is an alarm siren from the spiritual realm signifying its neglect, demanding our attention and action. It is the announcement and growing claim of our heart, a piercing ray intruding into our thought-clouded mental consciousness to summon forth our blazing higher self.
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362: The Inner Cry (16)

362: The Inner Cry (16)

Our inner cry does not so much calm our mind, as overwhelm it, flooding extraneous thoughts, distractions, mental and emotional flotsam and jetsam in its sheer imperative urgency. Whatever card the mind plays to hold us captive – its brilliant ideas, its doubts and fears – the compelling authenticity and urgency of the inner cry trumps it every time.
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361: The Inner Cry (15)

361: The Inner Cry (15)

Our inner cry is the access key not only to today’s meditation, but to every meditation and all spiritual progress from this moment forward. Our meditation paves the way for our unfolding self-discovery and ultimate Self-realisation.
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360: The Inner Cry (14)

360: The Inner Cry (14)

Just as light and darkness cannot coexist in the same space, even so the sleep of ignorance cannot persist when we are consumed with an inner cry for illumination. Rather than worry about our ignorance, we need only to treasure and nurture our inner cry.
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359: The Inner Cry (13)

359: The Inner Cry (13)

Gratitude is the most precious attainment in our spiritual life. Gratitude keeps our spiritual heart open, fresh and pure, a natural home for our higher self to grow, play and flourish.
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358: The Inner Cry (12)

358: The Inner Cry (12)

The best way to raise your consciousness is through inner cry. Then, in order to maintain your consciousness there on the highest level, you have to establish considerable purity in the vital.
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357: The Inner Cry (11)

357: The Inner Cry (11)

A disciplined life can come from only one thing, and that is aspiration, our inner cry. At any hour, that inner cry reaches God, and God is bound to fulfil that inner cry.
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356: The Inner Cry (10)

356: The Inner Cry (10)

Our inner cry is the agency of peace, light and bliss; the gateway to happiness, guardian of truth and guarantor of perfection. It at once fills and fulfills, uplifts and enlightens, justifies and glorifies our existence.
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355: The Inner Cry (9)

355: The Inner Cry (9)

The inner cry is not only the spark which ignites our aspiration, stirs our inner yearning and prompts our self-search; it is the very flaming of aspiration itself; and the spreading, all-illumining light which answers the very questions it posed, and fulfills the very longing it voiced forth.
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354: The Inner Cry (8)

354: The Inner Cry (8)

Sincerity and the inner cry are interdependent. Each has the other’s back: they protect, nurture and depend on each other. An inner cry is sincerity’s choice; sincerity, the inner cry’s voice.
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353: The Inner Cry (7)

353: The Inner Cry (7)

Our inner cry impels us always forward, inward and upward. The moment our inner cry recedes, our progress stalls and we start to fall backwards, slide outwards, slip downwards. Our inner cry envelopes us with energy and dynamism; when it ceases, we lapse into lethargy and stagnation.

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352: The Inner Cry (6)

352: The Inner Cry (6)

The inner cry is our visa to pass beyond the mind, into the realms of meditation, spiritual progress and self-transcendence. Yet this visa must constantly be renewed with inner purity, sincerity and intensity, or else it lapses as the inner cry fades.
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351: The Inner Cry (5)

351: The Inner Cry (5)

The inner cry costs nothing, and gives everything. Invisible, it reveals all to be seen. Unknowable, it makes everything known. The more intense the budding inner cry, the more radiant the blossoming outer smile.

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350: The Inner Cry (4)

350: The Inner Cry (4)

The inner cry is the secret that answers all questions, the key that unlocks all mysteries, the treasure that fulfills every need. The inner cry is the nourishment that sumptuously feeds all, the peacemaker who resolves all disputes, our protector who slays every dragon.
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349: The Inner Cry (3)

349: The Inner Cry (3)

A child cries with utmost sincerity, intensity and commitment. There is no calculation, hidden agenda or ulterior motive. The child is not even thinking of why or for what they cry; they just cry with their whole being, becoming their cry and nothing else, with no part of themself observing, reserved or standing aloof. It’s all in.
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347: The Inner Cry (1)

347: The Inner Cry (1)

When you are identified with this inner being, you will see the inner being is crying for you, has been crying for you and will cry for you for eternity unless and until you have become inseparably one with the Absolute Truth.
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346: Blue

346: Blue

As a young boy, he had left his home in search of happiness, vowing never to return.
Long years of living and working in various places, many adventures and mixing with people of all types, travelling, studying, fighting and exploring, brought him no closer to satisfying his need.
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344: Do We Need a Teacher for Meditation? (3)

344: Do We Need a Teacher for Meditation? (3)

Silence is the air that meditation breathes. Yes, we can be told about posture, breath control and chanting mantras, of the importance of meditating early in the morning – these are peripheral details. Yet the essence of meditation is wrapped in silence, protected by silence and blossoms within silence. Silence baffles us, a language with which we are unfamiliar: how are we going to learn the art of meditation if we don’t know its basic vocabulary?
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343: Do We Need a Teacher for Meditation? (2)

343: Do We Need a Teacher for Meditation? (2)

“Did you receive any help in learning the alphabet? Did you require a teacher to help you in mastering your musical instrument? Were you given instruction to enable you to obtain your degree? If you needed a helper to do these things, do you not also require a teacher who can guide you to the knowledge of the Divine, the wisdom of the Infinite? That teacher is your Guru and no one else.”
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342: Do We Need a Teacher for Meditation? (1)

342: Do We Need a Teacher for Meditation? (1)

While the finite can measure the finite, only the infinite can know the infinite. Our present limited awareness is like a small magnifying glass, offering us some help in exploring our immediate vicinity; while to discover and claim our larger, higher, infinite self, we need an interstellar telescope, capable of viewing galaxies far beyond our present perception.
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341: The Media of Meditation

341: The Media of Meditation

Most of our familiar media engages our mind and vital by capturing our attention outward to the externals of our being and our world. Meditation engages our heart and soul by focusing our attention inward to the essentials of our being and our very existence.
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340: Your Heart-Wallet

340: Your Heart-Wallet

Our wealth we use to obtain all the things we need for our success, progress, happiness and wellbeing. Our treasures are the things we value most and like to keep close to us – keepsakes, photos of loved ones, items of inspiration or memorabilia. Our protection and insurance keep us safe from the prospect of poverty, hunger, depression, failure and ruin. Our identification shows ourselves and the world who we really are.
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339: Quality – not Quantity

339: Quality – not Quantity

Not how long – not the quantity of our meditation, but how eager the aspiration we bring – the quality of our meditation – is the key to unlock the doorway and gain admittance to our inner palace of peace, light and bliss.
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338: Your Traveling Shrine

338: Your Traveling Shrine

The question immediately arises: what if one cannot meditate at the same time or place on a given day or for an extended time? What if you work shift work with varying hours each day? What if you are traveling across time zones, and cannot be at the same place even for two days in a row?
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337: A White Column of Light

337: A White Column of Light

So many of our problems and shortcomings arise from impurity in our mind and vital. Lack of purity in our thoughts, feelings and perceptions leads to confusion, misunderstanding and suffering. Yet searching for purity in our mind and vital is a fool’s errand, doomed to disappointment.
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336: The Moon

336: The Moon

Of all the phenomena of Nature, none is more mysterious, alluring, captivating and enthralling than the moon. Like the moon, we too cycle through phases of waxing and waning revelation; like the moon, we too have a brighter and a darker side; like the moon, we too are detached from the earth, yet captive to its orbit; like the moon, which is reliant entirely on the light of the sun for the revelation of its beauty, we too rely utterly on the light of our own soul for our very consciousness.
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335: A Rising Sun, a Blossoming Flower

335: A Rising Sun, a Blossoming Flower

No matter what time of day you are meditating, even if it is in the evening, imagine the rising sun for a few fleeting seconds. Imagine that the sun is rising and radiating light inside your heart. Or you can imagine a most beautiful and most pure flower opening up and blossoming petal by petal inside your heart.
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334: Light Flowing Like a River

334: Light Flowing Like a River

Sri Chinmoy advises us to imagine a flow of consciousness or light from our heart of meditation throughout our mind, vital and body. As the flow of a river is constant, continually connecting each part to every other, so must we keep our everyday consciousness open and connected to our higher self.
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333: The Flowing River

333: The Flowing River

When we are able to see ourselves also as not a solid entity, but rather as continually flowing energy and light, like a river apparently the same yet ever changing, then it becomes easier for us to let go of damaging thoughts and unhealthy emotions, releasing them into the flow, and keeping ourselves always open to the inflow of new inspiration, illumination and liberation.
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332: The Sky Inside the Universal Heart

332: The Sky Inside the Universal Heart

Of all the phenomena of the natural world, the sky has most affinity with Infinity. The ocean is vastness embodied; the grains of sand on a beach countless; the stars innumerable – yet the sky just stretches on and on, and as far as we can imagine it stretching, it leads us always further.
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331: Vastness in Meditation

331: Vastness in Meditation

To raise us from the finite to the Infinite, through meditation our heart’s aspiration strives to extricate our consciousness from its preoccupation and entanglement with small, limiting, binding and belittling thoughts, distractions and emotions, and immerse us in ever higher, purer, liberating realities.
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330: Humility of a Tree

330: Humility of a Tree

Sri Chinmoy emphasises, that the tree which is laden with the most fruit, bows down the lowest. This is the essence of humility: the greater the inner spiritual achievement, the humbler will be the outer personality.
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329: The Compassion of a Tree

329: The Compassion of a Tree

Compassion is not charity. It does not give according to the wants or desires of the receiver, or for the glory and recognition of the giver. Compassion is the unconditional and unreserved self-offering of the giver according to the true inner needs of the receiver.
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327: An Underground River

327: An Underground River

We each have a beautiful, powerful and ever-reliable underground river flowing somewhere beneath our surface awareness. No matter how bleak, barren and hopeless our outer circumstances, our life-giving, life-nourishing, life-transforming, life-perfecting and life-fulfilling soul flows constantly within.
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326: Colour in Meditation – Inner Colours

326: Colour in Meditation – Inner Colours

As each colour has its own vibration and its own energy, so each colour embodies particular qualities that we may be seeking at one time or another. Just as we get vitamin C from oranges, protein from nuts or calcium from milk, so colours can nourish us in particular ways, each colour offering remedies for specific deficiencies we may have, or infusing us with an abundance of the qualities we need for our progress and success.
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325: Colour in Meditation – Outer Colours

325: Colour in Meditation – Outer Colours

Colour feeds us as food feeds us; colour moves us as music moves us; colour fulfils us as reading fulfils us. Colours can lift us up or bring us down. Various colours can soothe, energise, inspire, encourage, excite, weaken or dishearten us.
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323: Conquering Bad Habits Through Meditation – Short Term

323: Conquering Bad Habits Through Meditation – Short Term

A habit is like scratching an itch. The only way to permanently give up scratching, is to remove the itch. It is impossible simply to discard habits altogether, unless and until we have transcended the underlying needs which habits fulfil. Until then, the most effective way to conquer a bad habit is to replace it with a good habit.
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322: What is a Good Meditation?

322: What is a Good Meditation?

A good meditation is its own reward and fulfilment. During and after a good meditation, there is a natural clarity, simplicity, goodwill, optimism and ease. There is no disquiet, nagging doubts or grievance; the question of whether we are doing well or heading in the right direction, simply does not and cannot arise.
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321: Meditating When Tired (4)

321: Meditating When Tired (4)

Tiredness, like age, is mostly a phenomenon of the mind. More often than not, we ‘feel tired’ because we imagine we are, or think we ought to be tired. We can all recall instances when we felt we were dog tired, then received a phone call, or saw, remembered or imagined something that instantly revived us, after which we continued with surging energy and enthusiasm. If tiredness can so utterly abandon us, we have to wonder: was it real in the first place?
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320: Meditating When Tired (3)

320: Meditating When Tired (3)

Bookend your sleep with meditation. While meditating for a few minutes before you go to bed, consciously imagine your meditation continuing and expanding the next morning. Promise to your heart that you are taking a brief time-out, and will return to take up and continue where you have left off. Place an imaginary bookmark in your meditation, to “save” the place you have reached.
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319: Meditating When Tired (2)

319: Meditating When Tired (2)

Imagination has tremendous power: use it to your advantage. Imagine your house is on fire and your morning alarm is a real fire alarm; or a ghoulish monster is coming to devour you if you stay in bed one moment longer; or you will be rewarded with infinite inspiration, satisfaction and bliss if you get up to meditate this very moment.
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318: Meditating When Tired (1)

318: Meditating When Tired (1)

We know it is essential to meditate every day. And to be sure of meditating every day, it is of paramount importance to meditate at a set time, preferably early in the morning. Yet early in the morning is usually when we are asleep, or just waking up, so it is inevitable that we are all going to face occasions when we feel we are too tired to meditate.
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317: Today

317: Today

It is said: “Never put off till tomorrow, what can be done today.” More than anything, this applies to aspiration, meditation, self-transformation, perfection and God-realisation.
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316: The Heat of Inspiration

316: The Heat of Inspiration

Sitting down, focusing and going through the motions of our meditation practice, is like preparing a meal and placing the pot on the stove. For our meditation to become a delicious cooked meal, we also need the heat of inspiration.
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315: A Window to the Soul

315: A Window to the Soul

Intuitively, we feel we have a soul – though we only sense our soul as a vague presence, light, power or assurance: we have not seen our soul, and have no direct access to our soul.
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314: My Occupation

314: My Occupation

Once we launch into meditation and the spiritual life, our all-consuming occupation becomes our ever-climbing aspiration and wholehearted dedication – to the search for inner and outer peace, for happiness, truth, self-conquest, life-transformation, integral perfection and God-satisfaction.
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313: Thoughts in Meditation (18)

313: Thoughts in Meditation (18)

God is our highest Self. Whatever we experience, God is experiencing in and through us. If thoughts are bothering us and disturbing our meditation, they are bothering and disturbing God; they are blocking us from communicating and connecting with our God within, our own Source.
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312: Thoughts in Meditation (17)

312: Thoughts in Meditation (17)

Thoughts are intermediaries between ourselves and reality; mental instruments we employ to perceive, comprehend and make sense of our jumbled, confusing world. Our minds assume there is no other way of knowing.
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311: Thoughts in Meditation (16)

311: Thoughts in Meditation (16)

The most potent disinfectant and protection from thoughts, is the experience of thoughtless meditation. Here is a chicken and egg: to meditate, we need to clear away thoughts; to clear away thoughts, we need to meditate.
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310: Thoughts in Meditation (15)

310: Thoughts in Meditation (15)

Thoughts are intimately connected with desire: thoughts and desires both attach us to, and enmesh us in the finite and the unreal. They direct us away from the destination of happiness and fulfilment, our infinite soul, our true self.
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309: Thoughts in Meditation (14)

309: Thoughts in Meditation (14)

It is useless to follow a strict diet for 2 hours each day, if we consume junk food for the remaining 22. Strictly disciplining our thoughts during meditation cannot be of much help, unless we carefully monitor and control our flow of thoughts while we are not meditating.
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308: Thoughts in Meditation (13)

308: Thoughts in Meditation (13)

On our own, we are no match for thoughts. Only by taking the help of a higher power, can we overcome them. Thoughts have their own astonishing velocity and immense power. To transcend thoughts, we must be faster and/or vaster than thoughts.
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306: Thoughts in Meditation (11)

306: Thoughts in Meditation (11)

Once we realise that thoughts are not something we are, but things we have, like clothes from our wardrobe, or tracks selected from a playlist, only then can we imagine existing apart from our thoughts. Once we conceive ourselves as separate to our thoughts, we realise it is not inevitable that thoughts dominate us.
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305: Thoughts in Meditation (10)

305: Thoughts in Meditation (10)

If we keep our house spotlessly clean, pests will find no food source and cannot make a home there. Whenever we are bothered by thoughts – either in meditation or any other time – the most effective remedy is to make our minds spotlessly pure and sparkling clean by blocking out, flushing away or sweeping aside all thoughts.
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304: Thoughts in Meditation (9)

304: Thoughts in Meditation (9)

It is wise to know one’s enemy. Thoughts in themselves are not our enemy – it is their hold over us, and our helpless attraction to them, which stand as a ruthless barrier to our meditation and inner peace. In our quest to control thoughts, to keep them at bay, it is well to consider the nature of thoughts, and our obsession with them.
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303: Thoughts in Meditation (8)

303: Thoughts in Meditation (8)

Thoughts have their own pride. When a thought comes with the intention of disturbing our meditation, if it finds our door is locked, it may knock and try to get our attention. After a while of being ignored and shunned, it will feel unvalued and beneath its dignity to persist wasting its time on such a rude and ungrateful fellow. As it departs in a huff, we are free to meditate in peace.
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302: Thoughts in Meditation (7)

302: Thoughts in Meditation (7)

To help extricate ourselves from thoughts, we need to depart from the negative in favour of the positive; to shift the home base of our consciousness from our mind into our heart. So, whatever we choose to focus on must be positive, and imbued with the qualities of our spiritual heart.
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301: Thoughts in Meditation (6)

301: Thoughts in Meditation (6)

All our lives, we have been thought-bound, thought-defined and mind-confined. How then can we possibly do without thinking and thoughts? The notion is almost inconceivable, for our thoughts are as much our identity as our own skin.
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300: Thoughts in Meditation (5)

300: Thoughts in Meditation (5)

We meditate to enter into, bring forward and enjoy the spiritual qualities of our heart – peace, love, light, joy, oneness. To gain access to our spiritual heart, we have first to calm and quieten our mind. To calm our mind, we must reduce our flow of thoughts. To enter the deepest meditation, we must go beyond the mind’s domain altogether, where no thought can reach.
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299: Thoughts in Meditation (4)

299: Thoughts in Meditation (4)

We are familiar with the consequences of not being able to control our thoughts: our thoughts instead, control us. Most of us, most of the time, are guided by our thoughts or emotions, rather than our heart and soul.
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298: Thoughts in Meditation (3)

298: Thoughts in Meditation (3)

Every level of our existence below the mind – body and vital – and every level above the mind – heart and soul – exist and operate without thoughts. Thoughts are exclusive to the thinking mind: they are its food, bricks, language, currency, secret service and armed forces.
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297: Thoughts in Meditation (2)

297: Thoughts in Meditation (2)

Desperately yearning the comfort and power of knowledge, yet having set itself apart from the infinite Real, and unready humbly to accept the heart’s light as its own, the mind wants to know and possess truth as an observer. It seeks to objectify reality, to section the infinite and define the indefinable, to ‘figure out’ Truth.
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296: Thoughts in Meditation (1)

296: Thoughts in Meditation (1)

We identify as “mankind.” The root word “man” derives from the Sanskrit “manas”, meaning: “mind.” Our mind is the principal executive force of our present conscious awareness. We are the “mind-kind.”
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295: Ignorance as Opportunity

295: Ignorance as Opportunity

Darkness persists as long as light and darkness stay apart, fearful of each other. When we perceive ignorance, weakness and limitations as included in our own greater being – not as external foes – we accept responsibility to care for and illumine them, as our thumb helps our fingers.

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293: Purity as Power (3)

293: Purity as Power (3)

Purity is a most valuable, reliable spiritual currency. As in the desire-life, we yearn for money as a means to acquire all the material possessions, comforts and status money can buy; so, in the aspiration-life, we yearn for purity for all the inner wealth and riches purity opens and reveals to us.
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292: Purity as Power (2)

292: Purity as Power (2)

We know that the more purity we have, the clearer our mind will be, and the better our meditation; the better our meditation, the more purity we will uncover, the clearer our mind will be, and the deeper our meditation. Purity is an indispensable link in this cycling chain of inexorable spiritual growth.
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291: Purity as Power (1)

291: Purity as Power (1)

In meditation, we aim first to clear the mind of thoughts. The best detergent to remove unwanted thoughts, is inner purity. So, to meditate well, or even to meditate at all, purity is of utmost importance.
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290: Let Meditation Deepen Your Meditation

290: Let Meditation Deepen Your Meditation

In the beginning, meditation seems to be all our conscious effort. We decide to meditate, we sit down, we practise various techniques. Once we have got the ball rolling however, we need to step back and let the ball take its own course.
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288: Newness (2)

288: Newness (2)

Every day, invoke newness before and during meditation. The old, even yesterday’s joy, has not brought us our ultimate fulfillment, so we must forever turn to the new. Newness houses our every goal; only in newness can our fulfillment abide.
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287: Newness (1)

287: Newness (1)

Our goal is always ahead; we are never there yet. To grow into our goal is to eagerly embrace an ever-new being within ourselves, seeing, feeling, thinking, experiencing, imagining, growing, giving and becoming in ever new ways.
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286: Am I Meditating Well?

286: Am I Meditating Well?

When we engage in any new activity, we always want to know how we are progressing – are we doing everything correctly, can our technique be improved, are we getting satisfactory results?
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285: Never Go Your Own Way

285: Never Go Your Own Way

Going our own way, our ego’s way, in preference to following the subtler, finer dictates of our heart and soul, has not satisfied us and can never lead us to abiding satisfaction. To go my way is a revolving door, leading always back into prison. To go the higher way is to fly free from the ego-prison.
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284: Go Your Own Way

284: Go Your Own Way

Don’t wait for your friends or family to be inspired to meditate, before starting yourself. If you are inspired, this is your time and you must follow your inner call. Later will be too late.
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283: The God-Hour (2)

283: The God-Hour (2)

The farmer ploughs the field, sows the seed and tends the crop. This is all necessary preparation and yet not sufficient to yield a harvest: the crop must be allowed to grow “all in good time.” Nature must be allowed to take its course. The farmer can – and must – wish, pray and prepare for the result, but also has to wait, for as long as it takes.
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282: The God-Hour (1)

282: The God-Hour (1)

While the “Hour of God” refers to a specific time, very early in the morning, when meditation is most fruitful, the “God-Hour” – or “God’s choice Hour” – can be any time of day: it is the moment when an event or outcome is ripe, ready and meant to occur.
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281: The Hour of God (2)

281: The Hour of God (2)

To meditate at the Brahma Muhurta, the Hour of God, is to sit down to a table already set with a sumptuous feast: we just have to eat and enjoy the meal. Peace, light and bliss crowd all around and within, beckoning; we have only to fall into their arms.
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280: The Hour of God (1)

280: The Hour of God (1)

In the Vedas, the prescribed time for meditation is the Brahma Muhurta, or the Hour of God, around 3 or 4 o’clock in the morning. At this time, it is said the cosmic Gods commence preparing the earth and humanity for the coming day, so it is the best time for us also to start our day’s journey by attuning ourselves with the stirring of the divine creative forces of peace, light and bliss within.
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279: Punctuality

279: Punctuality

For our best spiritual progress, punctuality is of supreme benefit.
On the face of it, punctuality appears fairly innocuous – how can simply being on time, every time, make such a difference to one’s success and progress?
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278: Regularity

278: Regularity

For our spiritual progress, regularity is paramount.

Regularity activates, regulates and liberates. Regularity is the law of the material realm, and gateway to the spiritual realm. Regularity we need to enter time and space, to exist in time and space and ultimately, to transcend time and space.
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277: The Bright Side

277: The Bright Side

For the peace, light and bliss of meditation to grow and blossom in our lives, it is essential always – always to shun the ugly, the negative, limiting and false; and always – always to look on the bright side, the joyful, uplifting and True.
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276: Prayer and Meditation (5)

276: Prayer and Meditation (5)

Meditation houses all the answer to our prayers – the prayers we have already offered and prayers of our inner being of which we are not yet even aware. All that we have sought through prayer, and all we could ever seek, and more – is born, revealed, grows and blossoms in our meditation.
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275: Prayer and Meditation (4)

275: Prayer and Meditation (4)

As deep meditation subsumes prayer, so prayer fulfills itself in meditation. As the prayers of our mind dissolve into the silence-tears of our heart, our prayer-river flows into and loses itself in the meditation-sea.
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274: Prayer and Meditation (3)

274: Prayer and Meditation (3)

Each breath, each glance, each thought, each task, each word, each gesture, each intention, each action can be prayer. The body and vital can pray through dedicated activity, service, exercise or sports: the heart prays naturally through silent tears of intense yearning.
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273: Prayer and Meditation (2)

273: Prayer and Meditation (2)

Any concentrated intent, expression of hope, application of will or practise of discipline to achieve a certain outcome, where that outcome is beyond our conscious control, can be prayer. Prayer can be offered through words, actions, tears or smiles.
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271: Who Is Ready To Play?

271: Who Is Ready To Play?

Our soul is always eager to enwrap us in peace, immerse us in light and flood us with delight. Our soul has only us on whom to lavish its attention so it waits, and waits for us to heed its call. Our soul shows every move and guides our every step. Our part is only to open the door and allow our soul in, our best, closest friend, playmate, lover, tutor and guide.
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270: Remain Always a Beginner

270: Remain Always a Beginner

In our meditation and spiritual life, we need always to feel we are just a beginner. For no matter how much we know, there is always infinitely more that we do not yet know: no matter how much we have experienced or attained, there is always infinitely more we are yet to experience and to attain.
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269: The Challenge of Sleep (3)

269: The Challenge of Sleep (3)

In the spiritual life, sleep represents ignorance. Whether we are physically sleeping or awake, whenever we are not spiritually conscious and aspiring, we are effectively enjoying ‘ignorance-sleep.’
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268: The Challenge of Sleep (2)

268: The Challenge of Sleep (2)

Sleep – we need it, but how much? If we don’t get enough sleep, we become tired and exhausted, and our spiritual life suffers; if we sleep too much, we become torpid and lethargic, and our spiritual life suffers.
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267: The Challenge of Sleep (1)

267: The Challenge of Sleep (1)

Regardless of the amount of sleep we get, the very nature of sleep presents a significant challenge to the spiritual seeker. Spirituality and sleep appear to be diametrically opposed: one a dynamic flow, the other a static repose.
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266: Assimilation

266: Assimilation

Meditation is food and nourishment for our inner being. Just as we need time after eating a meal to assimilate and digest our food before engaging in strenuous activity, so time and the right environment is needed after meditation to assimilate the peace, light and bliss we have received.
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265: Mix With Spiritual People

265: Mix With Spiritual People

The best way to begin to learn how to meditate is to associate with people who have been meditating for some time. These people are not in a position to teach you, but they are in a position to inspire you.
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264: Finding Your Spiritual Path (7)

264: Finding Your Spiritual Path (7)

The obstacles to overcome are predominantly found not in the world around us: they are within, cradled and coddled by our own indulgence. Doubt, Fear, Insecurity, Pride, Impurity, Inertia – all we have built; all we must now dismantle.
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262: Finding Your Spiritual Path (5)

262: Finding Your Spiritual Path (5)

When we see people in the street, strangers whom we have never met or know anything about, there are always some to whom we feel drawn, and some we would rather avoid. There is no explanation or rationale for these feelings, other than a sense of affinity.
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260: Finding Your Spiritual Path (3)

260: Finding Your Spiritual Path (3)

As there are innumerable streams and rivers flowing into the sea, countless tracks and routes to the summit, so are there multiple spiritual Paths to enlightenment. It is said there are as many Paths to Self-realisation as there are souls on earth.
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257: Nothingness-Nectar

257: Nothingness-Nectar

Only in nothingness – “no-thing-ness”, the absence in our consciousness of the superficial, ephemeral and unreal – do we find our soul, our true self. Nothingness holds the fullness of satisfaction, the bliss of perfection, the oneness of completion, our source and our goal.
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256: The Forest Pool and the Treasure

256: The Forest Pool and the Treasure

Imagine a beautiful, clear pool set in a forest glade. You sit on a bench fashioned from a large, fallen tree, shaded from the sun. A gentle breeze that soothes your brow, leads every leaf, branch and bough in gentle dream dance over a drone of barely murmured pleasantries.
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254: Meditation’s Dynamic Flow

254: Meditation’s Dynamic Flow

Because we sit in stillness, there is a common misconception that meditation is a static activity. Not so! – just as silence houses all the dreams of the world, so stillness is the starting point of every step, every journey, every ultimate triumph.
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253: The Lead Bird

253: The Lead Bird

While concentrating and meditating, we endeavour to clear our mind of all thoughts. Yet some thoughts continue to arise, for that is their nature – so how to deal with them?
Sri Chinmoy’s suggestion that we identify with the sky, while thoughts are passing birds, is extremely effective.
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251: The Eternal Now

251: The Eternal Now

In pure meditation, there is only one moment to experience: the Eternal Now. There may be many approaches, many avenues to this moment, it may have many names and attributes, yet once we are there, it can only ever be One.
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250: Inner Messages

250: Inner Messages

When we get a strong feeling that we should make a particular choice or pursue a particular direction, how can we know where the message is coming from? How can we know whether it is a genuine message from our heart or soul, or is just our mind or vital yet again trying to deceive and lead us astray?
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247: To Meditate, Remember (2)

247: To Meditate, Remember (2)

We have all experienced how difficult it can be to maintain these sweet, pure feelings, this expansive, lofty perspective once we enter into the noise, stress and conflict that characterises our outer life.
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246: To Meditate, Remember (1)

246: To Meditate, Remember (1)

Sometimes, meditation comes easily and effortlessly. Other times, no matter how hard we try, we can’t escape a maze of thoughts and distractions. We’re like a bird, which despite running and flapping its wings, just can’t get off the ground.
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245: Where to Find Truth?

245: Where to Find Truth?

Wouldn’t we all like to know the truth? Not just the relative truth about who pulled the trigger, what causes hay fever, or is the earth really flat – but the absolute Truth of all existence.
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244: New Year’s Resolutions

244: New Year’s Resolutions

Each New Year we make resolutions. Sadly, like turtle hatchlings emerging by the thousands, precious few of our resolutions make it across life’s perilous beach to the ocean of fulfilment. Year on year, the same story…
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243: The Gift of Meditation

243: The Gift of Meditation

Meditation is the best gift anyone can ever give us – a gift we can only give, and receive, ourselves. Our meditation is also the best gift we can ever give to the world – for inside our meditation is all the treasure and answers to the world’s every longing.
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240: The Infinite Uses of Meditation

240: The Infinite Uses of Meditation

There is no limit to what meditation can achieve for us, if we practise consciously, conscientiously and consistently. Meditation is like sunlight or electricity: a latent power, available to all, which can be harnessed for an infinite variety of applications and purposes.
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239: Life’s Turning Point

239: Life’s Turning Point

We all feel we can be happier, better, wiser, more creative, more fulfilled. We feel there is something higher or deeper we have not yet grasped, there is more to discover, feel and experience – more for us to receive and offer to the world.
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236: Concentration from the Heart (1)

236: Concentration from the Heart (1)

We know that to meditate effectively, we must clear away all thoughts and distractions, which are as pervasive in our consciousness as sight and sound. To be rid of thoughts and distractions would appear an impossible task.
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234: One Drop of Poison

234: One Drop of Poison

One choir member out of tune can ruin an entire performance; one droplet of blood summonses frenzied sharks from afar; one momentary lapse yields a car crash; one stray thought shatters a lofty meditation; one bad choice can terminate one’s spiritual progress.
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233: Meditation for Protection

233: Meditation for Protection

In the spiritual life, by far the greatest threats from which we need protection are within ourselves: our own thoughts, misconceptions, fears, doubts, anxieties, jealousies, suspicions, desires and distractions.
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232: b) Polarity, the Heart’s Blessing

232: b) Polarity, the Heart’s Blessing

If a person standing behind a pole, shows only their right hand and left foot from opposite sides of the pole, we clearly see that the hand and foot are different and separate objects. Yet remove the pole, and we see they are of one person. Our mind is that pole, predisposing us always to perceive separate and opposing parts, and never the whole.
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229: Spiritual Awakening

229: Spiritual Awakening

Spiritual Awakening
“Arise! Awake! – and stop not till the goal is reached.”
– Swami Vivekananda (after the Katha Upanishad)
As we progress along our spiritual journey, we each perceive our goal according to our background, spiritual practise and inner proclivity. While some seek liberation, others may aspire for enlightenment or only God-satisfaction.
Just as we must wake up in the morning before we can pursue our daily tasks and activities, common to most paths and traditions is the concept of spiritual awakening, as a necessary precursor to conscious growth and progress. While this awakening may be observed outwardly through a ritual initiation or baptism, the inner awakening arises from a stirring of the soul, whether induced by the inner touch of a spiritual Master or the fortuitous breath of grace.
As a single spark may start a monumental forest fire, or a tremor under the floor of a distant ocean results in a massive tsunami on another continent, so the daybreak of our inner awakening – though we are likely unconscious of it at the time – is the singular moment of destiny in our lives, leading inevitably and inexorably to the complete and radical transformation of our entire consciousness.
We are the same person, whether asleep or awake: only when awake, we are more conscious. Even so, while spiritually asleep amidst the wastelands of ignorance, delusions of desire and errors of ego, all our limitless capacities, soaring realisations and stupendous achievements lie coiled within us, dormant.
We imagine it is necessary first to awake before we arise. Yet Swami Vivekananda’s injunction is first arise, and then awake. Before thinking of enlightenment, liberation or realisation, we must first arise, take up our action stations of prayer, invocation, meditation and self-giving service: only then awakening dawns, and our inevitable God-realisation – petal by petal – blossoms.
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228: Spiritual Writings (2)

228: Spiritual Writings (2)

Spiritual writings can be read again and again. As we absorb their wisdom, our inner understanding blossoms like a flower and we become more receptive to ever-deeper insights. The same book, poem or passage can be read a hundred times over the course of years, each repetition yielding a new and deeper treasure of beauty, truth and delight.
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227: Spiritual Writings (1)

227: Spiritual Writings (1)

To meditate, we need inspiration and aspiration. One of the easiest, most reliable and rewarding ways to awaken, nurture and intensify both our inspiration and aspiration, is to read spiritual writings, especially the works of spiritual Masters.
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226: The 27th of August

226: The 27th of August

Today – the 27th of August – is Sri Chinmoy’s birthday.

A birthday is an occasion to appreciate and celebrate a person’s goodness, achievements and inspiration: to savour the flowers, fruits and bounty of their life-tree.
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225: The Colour of Jesus’ Beard

225: The Colour of Jesus’ Beard

There is a passage in the scriptures in which one of the Prophets foretold: “He shall roar with a flaming mane”. While there is some conjecture surrounding the exact word for ‘mane’ in the original ancient Greek manuscript, scholars concur this is clear proof, offered hundreds of years before His birth, that Jesus’ hair and beard were distinctively flame-red…
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224: Rain

224: Rain

Imagine a tropical rainforest: green, dense, buzzing, pulsing, steaming and teeming with infinite intricate, parallel, interconnected leapings and twinings of one magnificent, multi-munificent life-drama.
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223: Floating in Love, Above

223: Floating in Love, Above

This is a creative visualisation exercise. Sit comfortably, with your spine straight. Focus on your breath for a while, bringing the flow under your conscious and careful control. Either close, or let your eyes rest on something simple, pure, beautiful and inspiring.
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221: The Dangerous Allure of Criticism

221: The Dangerous Allure of Criticism

Our world is a projection and reflection of our own consciousness. When we are sad, the world is ugly; when we are happy, the world is beautiful. So to see and feel peace, love and joy around us, we must first find peace, love and joy in our own hearts.
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220: A Salt Doll Went to Fathom the Ocean

220: A Salt Doll Went to Fathom the Ocean

A community of salt dolls lived nearby the sea. They all felt an affinity with the sea; they loved being close to the sea; all their stories and fables revolved around the sea; they would keep their windows open at night so they could fall asleep to the comforting roar of the sea and most nights they even dreamed of the sea.
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219: Knowing the One

219: Knowing the One

Truth is one. Light is one. Love is one.

You are one. I am one. We are all one.

Our world is one. Our universe is one. God is one.

All that is outside and around me, is within me.
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218: Always Face Your Goal

218: Always Face Your Goal

There is a story from the Puranas, of a king who was especially fond of his pet deer. Always he thought of this deer, to such an extent that in his next lifetime, he was born as a deer.
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217: Keep Your Heart-Door Open

217: Keep Your Heart-Door Open

No matter how bright the sun; how glorious the day; how thrilling the sky – we cannot appreciate or benefit from their light, beauty, joy and inspiration if we keep our curtains closed.
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216: Giving and Receiving – A Two-Way Street

216: Giving and Receiving – A Two-Way Street

It is a spiritual law: the more we give, the more we receive. This law applies not to a form of giving calculated to bring an interest on investment; but to unconditional self-offering from the heart, to giving motivated by love, compassion and concern.
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215: Learn Like a Baby

215: Learn Like a Baby

Babies are learning at every moment. Without using the mind. When it comes to spiritual awareness, if we are sincere, we must accept we are babies. We know next to nothing. This is our perfect starting point.Read and listen more

214: Integral Wellbeing (2)

214: Integral Wellbeing (2)

The health, wellbeing and fitness of each part of our being – body, vital, mind, heart and soul – is crucial for its own sake, as well as for each other part and for our integral wellbeing.
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213: Integral Wellbeing (1)

213: Integral Wellbeing (1)

The health of our various organs – heart, lungs, liver, skin – are all affected by each other, for they are interdependent parts of one whole. This same principle applies to the various sheaths of our consciousness – body, vital, mind, heart and soul ¬– which comprise our whole being. The health, vitality and fulfilment of each are essential for the wellbeing of the others, and of the whole.
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210: Never Flatten the Curve

210: Never Flatten the Curve

The muscles of the fittest athlete will atrophy if not exercised. Daily-polished woodwork shines: left alone for a week, its sheen surrenders to dust. If we neglect our daily meditation, we can lose all the hard-earned benefits of years of spiritual discipline.
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