Fruits on the path of meditation
Each experience is a beautiful incident inside my heart. Each experience is a powerful reality inside my soul.
There are many roads leading to the goal. One road may have beautiful flowers on either side, another road may have only a few blossoms, and a third road may have none at all. If three seekers each follow a different road according to their soul's needs and preferences, each of them will eventually reach the goal, having had quite different experiences on their journey.
Each experience is a step towards realisation. Each experience gives you additional confidence in yourself. Each experience encourages you and energises you to march farther, and gives you enormous delight. While having the experience, you may feel the presence of an invisible guide within you, pushing you towards the goal.
Before you get the fruit that you call the goal, you may want to taste many different fruits. But only when you eat the fruit that is your goal do you get full satisfaction. Some seekers feel that they do not want any fruit but the fruit of God-realisation, so spiritual experiences, as such, are not at all necessary for them. If you have the capacity to run very fast, then you need not have thousands of experiences before realising God. Your expanding consciousness, as you grow into God, is itself a solid experience.
When you do have an inner experience, you may not be able to tell whether it is genuine or not. But only if you do not have a Master will this problem arise. If you have a Master, he will immediately be able to tell you whether you are getting fruitful inner experiences or whether you are just deceiving yourself. A spiritual Master can easily tell without the least possible doubt or hesitation.
If you do not have a Master, you can still solve this problem. Just concentrate on your spiritual heart. If the experience you are having is genuine, then you will feel a subtle tingling sensation in your heart, as though an ant were crawling there.
There are also other ways to tell whether your experience is genuine. Try to breathe as slowly and quietly as possible, and feel that you are bringing purity into your system. Feel that purity is entering into you like a thread, and revolving around your navel chakra. At that time, if you concentrate on your experience and you feel that your spiritual heart is not willing to enter into your navel chakra, you will know that your experience is a mere hallucination. But if the heart gladly enters into the navel, then rest assured that your experience is absolutely true and genuine.
Again, when you have an experience, try for a couple of minutes to feel whether you can grow into that experience or not. If you feel that sooner or later you will be able to grow into that experience, then the experience is genuine. But if you feel that reality is something else and that you can never grow into the experience, then that experience is not genuine.
When you have an experience, try to separate your outer life from your inner life. The outer life is the life of human necessity and earthly requirements. The inner life is also a life of necessity, but it is God's necessity, not your necessity - God's requirements, not your requirements. Try to feel whether it is God's necessity that is operating in and through your experience, and whether God needs and wants to fulfil Himself in and through you. If you have that kind of feeling or realisation, then your experience is genuine. Real experience comes only when you sincerely want and need the inner life, and when God needs and wants the inner life in you and through you. If you have come to that understanding, then all your experiences will be true; they have to be true.