Q&A: Concentrate on certain objects or meditate on something that has no form
During meditation and prayer, some people concentrate on certain objects, like photographs or some other things. Is it wise for them to cling to these objects, or is it wiser for them to meditate on something that has no form, that they cannot see?
When they meditate on something, they are not worshipping that particular thing as God. They are only receiving inspiration from that thing. I look at a candle and I see the flame, but I am not taking the flame as God. I am taking the flame as a source of inspiration. This flame inspires me and increases my aspiration to climb upward with a burning inner cry. I may keep a flower before me when I meditate. The flower is not God, although inside the flower is God. But the flower inspires me and offers me purity. I may bum incense. Incense itself is not God for me, but incense gives me a feeling of purity, and helps me in my spiritual progress.
Anything that inspires me I shall use in order to increase my aspiration, whether it is a picture, a candle or a flower. For when my inspiration and aspiration increase, I feel that I have taken one step more toward my goal. But the candle or the picture or the flower itself is not the object of my adoration.