Meditation, by Sri Chinmoy, is a short guide to the fundamentals of learning to meditate. Split into different chapters, Meditation deals with both the basics and advanced issues of meditation. For example, Sri Chinmoy explains how breathing and concentration exercises can be used to calm the mind. There are also sections on Samadhi and the highest experiences of meditation.
Throughout the book there are question and answer sections. These include questions, common to all beginners of meditation. For example, a very common problem that people experience is learning how to silence the mind. Sri Chinmoy advises that the best place to meditate is in the spiritual heart. It is in the heart that a seeker is able to distance himself from the critical thinking mind.
If one can enter into the heart it is possible to experience the silence and expanse of real meditation. “If you meditate in the heart", Sri Chinmoy writes, "you are meditating where the soul is… If you want illumination, you have to get it from the soul, which is inside the heart.”
Meditation is an invaluable reference book; it is not necessary to read it from beginning to end and try to absorb all the information at once. It is a book that can be dipped into from time to time. Also, to get the most from the book it is essential to try to practise the various exercises offered. Meditation is not so much concerned with the theory of meditation as it is with its practical use in helping a seeker in his or her own meditation.
As well as offering clear advice about the basics of meditation, reading this book will offer encouragement and inspiration to begin and continue meditating. One short chapter is titled “Do Not Give Up”, in which Sri Chinmoy encourages the reader to persevere with meditation even as difficulties arise.
There are also numerous aphorisms offering a poetic inspiration for meditation. For example one aphorism of Sri Chinmoy says: “Do you need happiness? Then do just three things: Meditate regularly, Smile soulfully, Love untiringly.” These short aphorisms make a useful complement to the text and guidelines on meditation.
Sri Chinmoy writes with a clarity that stems from his own inner experiences of meditation. His account helps to clear the obstacles a newcomer may experience. It offers a simple and practical approach to improve your meditation. It is invaluable for beginners but also serves as a reference even for those who have been meditating for a long time. Meditation is an important reminder of the fundamentals of meditation and its inherent simplicity.