The quest to quieten or bypass the mind is one of mankind’s most difficult and intractable challenges; an epic and historical struggle continuing to unfold each time each one of us sits to meditate.

Personal effort is indispensable, but on its own is mostly insufficient to the momentous task. Wherever a powerful ally can be found, we are well to accept its help. In my experience, the keyboard music of Sri Chinmoy is one of the most powerful and reliable remedies for an unquiet mind.

The mind’s approach to the world is to attempt to understand whatever it perceives through measurement, comparison, deduction and classification. It recognises experiences or phenomena as the same or similar to what it already knows, or else endeavours to fit them into its existing frameworks of understanding and belief. For the mind, to understand and define is to justify itself and confirm its hegemony. Its security and self-esteem derive from its capacity to categorise and label everything. For the mind, to know is to control: the unknown represents loss of control and poses an existential threat. Therefore whatever the mind cannot possess or understand, it is apt to reject or deny: its only other option, is surrender …

… which brings us to Sri Chinmoy’s keyboard performances.

This music comes directly from deep meditation: there is no mental conception involved, no recognisable form or structure and hence nothing for the mind to grasp or possess. This music storms the mind’s stubborn fortress with overwhelming force – impossible to ignore, the only options are rejection, or surrender.

Once the mind surrenders to this music, the mind’s barriers are swept away in its flood, leaving the heart wide open to receive and exult in its ecstatic dynamism, power and light.

Listen to Sri Chinmoy playing the piano: