More about Sri Chinmoy

Q&A: The silent mind

What is the best way to deal with undivine thoughts that come during meditation?

The moment a negative or unaspiring thought enters your mind, you should try to use your aspiration to reject it, because during meditation everything is very intense. While you are talking or engaging in ordinary activities, you can have any kind of thought, for your thoughts are not intense at those times. But if any undivine thought comes during meditation, the power of your meditation enlarges and intensifies it. Your spiritual life grows weaker the moment you allow your mind to indulge in unaspiring thoughts during meditation. If a good thought comes, you can try to enlarge it, or you can try to lift it up to a higher level. But if you have a bad thought, try to cut it off Immediately.

How will you do this? If the thought that is attacking you is coming from the outer world, try to muster your soul's will from your heart and bring it right in front of your forehead. The moment your soul's will is seen by the thought which is trying to enter into you, that thought is bound to disappear.

But if you do not have the inner capacity to do this, do not become upset. Sometimes when wrong thoughts come during meditation, the seeker feels that the strength of the wrong thought is so powerful that even if he has meditated for two or three hours, it is all useless. One ordinary thought or wrong thought comes in and he feels that he has lost everything. This is foolish. As long as you do not allow your mind to dwell on them, you should not give any importance to wrong thoughts at that particular moment.

If emotional thoughts, lower vital thoughts or sex thoughts enter into you during meditation, and you are not able to keep them out or throw them out, try to feel that these thoughts are as insignificant as ants. Just pay no attention to them. If you can feel that the spiritual power that you have received from your meditation is infinitely stronger than the power of the wrong thoughts, then these wrong thoughts cannot utilise your meditative power for their own purpose. But what often happens is that you become terribly afraid of these thoughts and dwell on them. By thinking about them and being afraid of them, you give them power.

It is true that wrong thoughts can become intense during meditation. But you can easily bring to the fore good thoughts that are infinitely more powerful. During meditation when wrong thoughts come to you, immediately try to recollect one of your sweetest or highest divine experiences. Enter into your own experience which you had a few days ago or a few years ago, and try to bring it into your mental consciousness. You will see that while you are fully immersed in your own experience, the thought from the lower vital plane is bound to leave you because the highest, deepest, purest joy is in your consciousness. Divine joy is infinitely more powerful than pleasure. The nectar-delight of your own spiritual experience is infinitely stronger than your lower vital forces. In this way you can solve the problem without leaving your meditation.

Wrong thoughts come to attack you and take away your divine feelings, divine thoughts and divine power, But when you pay all attention to divine thoughts and encourage and cherish only divine feelings, in many cases the wrong thoughts just go away. They say, "He does not care for us. We have no place here." Wrong thoughts also have their pride, and they are terribly jealous of divine thoughts. They do not care for you if you do not care for them.

So far I have been talking about thoughts that come from outside. But sometimes undivine thoughts arise from within. In the beginning it is difficult to distinguish between thoughts that are coming from outside and those that come from within. But gradually you will be able to feel the difference. The thoughts that are coming from outside can be driven back faster than the thoughts that attack you from within. But if impure and unlit thoughts arise from inside you, then you can do one of two things. You can try to feel that there is a hole right at the top of your head. Then make the thoughts flow out like a river which goes only in one direction and does not come back. They are then gone, and you are freed from them. The other method is to feel that you are the boundless ocean, all calm and quiet, and that the thoughts are like fish on the surface. The ocean pays no attention to the ripples of the fish.