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Communing with God
God is everywhere. But if we do not see Him or feel Him inside our hearts, then we will not be able to see Him anywhere. First we have to see Him within us and talk to Him inside our hearts. Then only will we be able to see God and speak to God.
We live in ignorance. That is why we feel that God is somewhere else. But if we go deep within, if we realise the Highest within ourselves, then we will see that our own consciousness is one with God’s Consciousness. Right now, an ordinary human being will never dare to say that he and God are one, for he knows that his consciousness is tiny, limited, obstructed. But when the Christ said, “I and my Father are one,” he was fully conscious of the fact that his consciousness and God’s Consciousness were totally one.
We have to shed soulful tears if we want to embody the Supreme consciously and if we want to fulfil and manifest the Supreme at every moment of our earthly existence. When a child cries, the mother comes running. Similarly, when we cry from the inmost recesses of our heart, our eternal Father, the Supreme, comes running to feed us, to illumine us, to carry us to the Golden Shore of the Beyond.
The Voice of Truth
Will speak to us
Only when our heart becomes
A sacred reservoir.
How can I learn to speak with God?
God is ready to talk with you, but you are not paying attention to Him because you are so fond of hearing the sound of your own voice. If you can start to feel that you have heard the sound of your own voice millions of times, and now you want to hear a much more meaningful and fruitful voice, then you will hear the Voice of God very clearly.
Again, there is a great difference between hearing and listening. You can hear the divine in me now, but you may not listen to it; you may not apply it to your day-to-day activities. If you hear what somebody says, its importance to you may not last even for a second. But if you really listen, then the words are recorded on the tablet of your heart, inside your aspiring being. Then spontaneously that divine message will be manifested in your inner or outer activities. If you want to learn to speak to God, you have to allow God to speak to you. You have to stop talking all the time. Then, when God speaks to you, you have to listen; you have to apply God’s divine Message in your day-to-day life.
God is listening.
Just speak quietly.
God is listening.
Just speak devotedly.
God is not and cannot be deaf
To your heart-longing.
Has caught the very first faint cry
From your oneness-heart.
God is listening.
Just speak quietly and devotedly.
What do you mean by meditation?
Meditation is the language of God. If we want to know what God’s Will is in our life, if we want God to guide us, mould us and fulfil Himself in and through us, then meditation is the language that we must use.
Meditation does not mean just sitting quietly for five or ten minutes. It requires conscious effort. The mind has to be made calm and quiet. At the same time, it has to be vigilant so as not to allow any distracting thoughts or desires to enter. When we can make the mind calm and quiet, we will feel that a new creation is dawning inside us. When the mind is vacant and tranquil and our whole existence becomes an empty vessel, God will fill it with peace, light and bliss.
If you can silence your mind
And ask your heart to speak to God,
Then only are you heading
In the right direction.
When we think that it is we who are trying to meditate, then meditation seems complicated. But real meditation is not done by us. It is done by our Inner Pilot, the Supreme, who is constantly meditating in and through us. We are just the vessel, and we are allowing Him to fill us with His whole Consciousness. We start with our own personal effort, but once we go deep within, we see that it is not our effort that is allowing us to enter into meditation. It is the Supreme who is meditating in and through us with our conscious awareness and consent.
How can one learn meditation?
Each person’s soul has its own way of meditating. My way of meditating will not suit you and your way of meditating will not suit me. If you do not have a spiritual Master who can guide you, then you have to go deep within and get your meditation from the inmost recesses of your heart.
If you have a teacher who is a realised soul, his silent gaze will teach you how to meditate. A Master does not have to explain outwardly how to meditate, or give you a specific technique of meditation. He will simply meditate on you and inwardly teach you how to meditate. Your soul will enter into his soul and learn from his soul.
What is the ultimate aim of meditation?
The ultimate aim of meditation is to establish our conscious union with God. We are all God’s children, but right now we do not have conscious oneness with God. Someone may believe in God, but this belief is not a reality in his life. He just believes in God because some saint or yogi or spiritual Master has said there is a God or because he has read about God in spiritual books. But if we practise meditation, a day comes when we establish our conscious oneness with God.
To commune with God,
Man has his silent meditation.
To commune with man,
God has His urgent Peace.
What is the difference between prayer and meditation?
When we pray, we speak and God listens. When we meditate, we listen and God talks. When we pray, we feel that we are going up to God. When we meditate, we try to become calm and quiet and allow peace, light and bliss to descend.
When we pray, often there is a subtle desire for something. We may call it aspiration because we are praying to become good or to have something divine. But there is always a feeling of being a ‘divine beggar’. In meditation we do not ask God for anything. We just enter into the sea of His Reality. At that time God gives us more than we could ever imagine.
In prayer we feel that we have nothing and God has everything. In meditation we know that whatever God has, either we also have or we will someday have. We feel that whatever God is, we also are, even though we have not yet brought our divinity forward. When we pray, we ask God for what we want. But when we meditate, God showers on us everything that we need. We see and feel that the whole universe is at our disposal. Heaven and earth do not belong to someone else; they are our own reality.
Since the Supreme is fully aware of all our needs, why is it appropriate to pray?
If you get something through prayer, it only increases its value in your life. You can tell the world, “I prayed for it. That is why I got it.” A child is hungry and he tells his mother, “I am hungry.” Then the mother feeds the child. Then the child will be able to tell the world, “Look, I have this kind of closeness with my mother.” Yes, the mother would have fed the child on her own, but the fact that he asks and his mother listens to his request gives him joy. It means that she is at his beck and call. Because of his inner connection and closeness with his mother, the child can ask the mother to help him.
God sees everything, but if we ask Him for something and He gives it to us, then we get the glory. At that time, however, as individuals we are separated from Him. We feel that God is somewhere and we are somewhere else. We never think that He is inside us. We do not remain in our highest consciousness where we feel that we and God are one. If we feel that we and God are one, then the question of prayer does not arise, for our needs are His needs.
As long as we feel separated from God and feel that we have to ask Him for what we need, then we get joy from our prayer. We feel, “Just because I prayed, God gave me what I wanted, so I am worthy of having His Compassion.” He would have done it unconditionally, but we would not have had the same kind of satisfaction.
In a race, if somebody tries very hard and runs the whole course, she will be so delighted when I give her a trophy. She has run with such difficulty and with so much trouble, and she feels that she has earned the trophy. Now, even if you do not finish the race, I can also give you a trophy, because the trophy is there, but you will not feel satisfied because you have done nothing. God can give everything unconditionally, but you will not be happy, whereas the person who tries and shows the capacity really deserves what he gets. Here the fulfilment of our prayer is the trophy. If somebody prays and meditates and gets something, he will get more satisfaction than if God had given him the thing unconditionally.
Prayer intensifies our intimacy with the Supreme. Meditation increases our oneness with the Supreme. Before we meditate, if we pray for a few seconds, then we are developing our intimate connection with the Supreme. Then, once we start meditating, we are developing our oneness-reality with the Supreme. Unless we are intimate, how can we become one? First we have to feel that we and God are intimate friends; then we can realise our oneness-reality with God.
The soulful prayers of a seeker
Not only with great readiness
But also with immediate oneness.
Can we answer our own questions through our daily meditation?
Any question you have can be answered during your meditation or at the end of your meditation. If you go deep within, you are bound to get an answer. But when you get an answer, please try to determine whether it is coming from the soul, the heart or the mind. If it comes from the heart or the soul, then you will get a sense of relief, a sense of peace. You will see that no contradictory thought is following the answer. But if the answer does not come from the heart or the soul, then the mind will come to the fore and contradict the idea you have received.
God answers my prayers
Only when He sees
That I shall not misuse
What is the most important thing for the spiritual seeker to remember?
The spiritual seeker should always bear in mind that he is of God and he is for God. Right now he may be a budding seeker, he may be a beginner; so for him God cannot be or need not be always a living reality. Sometimes the aspirant will only be able to imagine God. Sometimes, in spite of his outer efforts, he may not feel the Presence of God in himself, and sometimes he may even forget the existence of God.
But he has to bear in mind that he has a Source and that Source is Light, boundless Light, infinite Light. He has been wallowing in the pleasures of ignorance for many years. But he has to feel that his Source is not ignorance; his Source is Light and Delight. He is for that Source and he is making a conscious effort to return to his Source. While returning, he is manifesting God-Delight here on earth. Even now he is in ignorance to some degree, but he is always for God-Life and he is always for God-Light. If he can remember this, then he will feel a constant sense of satisfaction in his life. He will feel Light, more Light, abundant Light, infinite Light in his outer and inner life.
How can we increase our need for God?
It is very easy. Start by minimising your personal needs. The more you can minimise your personal needs, the sooner you will increase your need for God. If you have ten desires, then reduce the number to nine or eight. Then, some time later, bring it to seven desires. Immediately you will see that just because you have decreased your desires, your love for God and your need for God are increasing.
Again, sometimes we make ourselves feel that we do not need anything from the world but the world needs us. That kind of feeling is equally bad. If we try to fulfil the needs of the world, we will find that it is simply impossible. Today the world will have one need; tomorrow it will have another need. There will be an endless series of needs.
The world does not need us and we do not need the world as such, but we do need the Supreme in the world. You do need the Supreme in your father, in your mother, in your relatives and in humanity. But if you feel that you need human beings as such, then it is simply absurd. You are not going to get anything that you need from humanity.
To come back to your question, your need for God will increase immediately when your need to fulfil your desires decreases. Each time you can discard a desire, you will see that your love-power and your need for God will increase.
Chinmoy Kumar Ghose
Indian spiritual master who taught meditation in the West after moving to New York City in 1964.
(27 August 1931 – 11 October 2007 aged 76)