Assimilation is essential in meditation.

We know it is important to remain calm and quiet for some time after meditation, to allow the peace, light and bliss we have experienced to settle, be absorbed and take root in our consciousness. It is best to not speak, eat a meal or engage the mind in complex tasks for a while. Instead, read spiritual books, listen to spiritual music or enjoy some gentle exercise.

Yet assimilation starts during meditation itself. If we feel we are a spectator in our meditation, we will never assimilate our experiences, for we will feel them to be separate from ourselves, something foreign which can be lost or taken away. Only when we see ourselves in our experience, when we can claim our experience as our own deeper and true self, can assimilation be permanent.

What quality do we need to cultivate, to develop this capacity for identification, and hence, assimilation? Sri Chinmoy speaks of the primary role of gratitude in our hearts:

“I ask my disciples to assimilate the Peace, Light and Bliss they get during their meditation. Unless and until it has been assimilated, there is no guarantee that it will come back again or that it will remain permanently in the system.

“Assimilation means conscious, consecrated oneness with the Source, conscious and consecrated oneness with the Source. We receive something, and then we have to think of the Source. Where did it come from? It did not come from you; it came from the Source. And then you have to feel your absolute oneness with the Source, and this oneness you can establish on the strength of your gratitude-heart, a grateful heart. So, when your grateful heart has become inseparably one with the Source, then assimilation has taken place.”
– Sri Chinmoy