Concentrate in the heart. Enter into it; go within and deep and far, as far as you can. Gather all the strings of your consciousness that are spread abroad, roll them up and take a plunge and sink down.
A fire is burning there, in the deep quietude of the heart. It is the divinity in you—your true being. Hear its voice, follow its dictates.
There are other centres of concentration, for example, one above the crown and another between the eye-brows. Each has its own efficacy and will give you a particular result. But the central being lies in the heart and from the heart proceed all central movements—all dynamism and urge for transformation and power of realisation.
The Mother – Questions and Answers: CWM, Vol. 3, p1
There was no longer any body, no longer any sensation; only a column of light was there, rising from where the base of the body normally is to where usually is the head, to form there a disk of light like that of the moon; then from there the column continued to rise very far above the head, opening out into an immense sun, dazzling and multicoloured, whence a rain of golden light fell covering all the earth.
Then slowly the column of light came down again forming an oval of living light, awakening and setting into movement—each one in a special way, according to a particular vibratory mode—the centres above the head, in the head, the throat, the heart, in the middle of the stomach, at the base of the spine and still farther down. At the level of the knees, the ascending and descending currents joined and the circulation thus went on uninterruptedly, enveloping the whole being in an immense oval of living light.
Then slowly the consciousness came down again, stage by stage, halting in each world, until the body-consciousness returned. The recovery of the body-consciousness was, if the memory is correct, the ninth stage. At that moment the body was still quite stiff and immobile.
The Mother – Prayers & Meditations: CWM, Vol.1, p207
When you sit in meditation you must be as candid and simple as a child, not interfering by your external mind, expecting nothing, insisting on nothing. Once this condition is there, all the rest depends upon the aspiration deep within you. And if you call upon Divinity, then too you will have the answer.
Each meditation ought to be a new revelation, for in each meditation something new happens.
Even if you are not apparently successful in your meditation, it is better to persist and to be more obstinate than the opposition of your lower nature.
The Mother – Words of the Mother: CWM, Vol. 14, p52
To keep constantly a concentrated and in-gathered attitude is more important than having fixed hours of meditation.
The Mother – Words of the Mother: CWM, Vol. 14, p53
It is certainly much better to remain silent and collected for a time after the meditation. It is a mistake to take the meditation lightly—by doing that one fails to receive or spills what is received or most of it.
Sri Aurobindo – Letters on Yoga – II: CWSA, Vol. 29, p314
How can one empty the mind of all thought? When one tries during meditation, the thought that one must not think of anything is always there.
It is not during meditation that one must learn to be silent, because the very fact of trying makes a noise.
One must learn to concentrate one’s energies in the heart—then, when one succeeds in that, silence comes automatically.
The Mother – Some Answers from the Mother: CWM, Vol. 16, p309
Often after a long meditation (an effort to meditate), I feel very tired and want to rest. Why is this and how can I feel differently?
So long as you are making an effort, it is not meditation and there is not much use in prolonging this state.
To obtain mental silence, one must learn to relax, to let oneself float on the waves of the universal force as a plank floats on water, motionless but relaxed.
Effort is never silent.
The Mother – Some Answers from the Mother: CWM, Vol. 16, p310
You told me to enter within, into the depths of my heart, to find You seated there. But, Mother, I cannot manage to enter into the heart. I feel during meditation that my consciousness is flying around an impenetrable fortress. What should I do to succeed in what You have told me?
This happens because you are trying to enter with a superficial consciousness which does not have contact with the inner states of being. You have to go out of this external consciousness and penetrate into a subtler consciousness; then the fortress will no longer be impenetrable.
The Mother – Some Answers from the Mother: CWM, Vol. 16, p330
…. All of a sudden, you will be seized by something that makes you still, makes you concentrate in the vision of an idea or of a psychological state. That captures you. You must not resist. Then you make the needed progress. At such a moment you see, you understand something; and then the next minute you start your work again with that something gained in you, but without any pretension. What I most fear are those who believe themselves very exceptional because they sit down and meditate. Of all things this is the most dangerous, because they become so vain and so full of self-satisfaction that they close up in this way all avenues of progress…. There is one thing that has always been said, but always misunderstood, it is the necessity of humility. It is taken in the wrong way, wrongly understood and wrongly used. Be humble, if you can be so in the right way; above all, do not be so in the wrong way, for that leads you nowhere….
The Mother – Questions and Answers: CWM, Vol. 5, pp44-45
Sweet Mother, what does Sri Aurobindo mean by “a self-dynamising meditation”?
It is a meditation that has the power of transforming your being. It is a meditation which makes you progress, as opposed to static meditation which is immobile and relatively inert, and which changes nothing in your consciousness or in your way of being. A dynamic meditation is a meditation of transformation.
Generally, people don’t have a dynamic meditation. When they enter into meditation―or at least what they call meditation―they enter into a kind of immobility where nothing stirs, and they come out of it exactly as they went in, without any change either in their being or in their consciousness. And the more motionless it is, the happier they are. They could meditate in this way for eternities, it would never change anything either in the universe or in themselves. That is why Sri Aurobindo speaks of a dynamic meditation which is exactly the very opposite. It is a transforming meditation.
How is it done? Is it done in a different way?
I think it is the aspiration that should be different, the attitude should be different. “Different way”—what do you mean by “way”—(laughing) the way of sitting?… Not that? The inner way?
But for each one it is different.
I think the most important thing is to know why one meditates; this is what gives the quality of the meditation and makes it of one order or another.
I think everyone has his own mode of meditation. But if one wants the meditation to be dynamic, one must have an aspiration for progress and the meditation must be done to help and fulfil this aspiration for progress. Then it becomes dynamic.
The Mother – Questions and Answers: CWM, Vol.8, pp88-89
There are all kinds of different meditations! What people usually call meditation is, for example, choosing a subject or an idea and following its development or trying to understand what it means. There is a concentration but not as complete a concentration as in concentration proper, where nothing should exist except the point on which one concentrates. Meditation is a more relaxed movement, less tense than concentration.
When one is trying to understand a problem which comes up, a psychological problem or a circumstantial one, and he sits down and looks at and sees all the possibilities, compares them, studies them, this is a form of meditation; and one does it spontaneously when the thing comes up. When one is facing a decision to be taken, for instance, and doesn’t know which one to take, well, ordinarily one reflects, consults his reason, compares all the possibilities and makes his choice… more or less. Well, this is a form of meditation.
The Mother – Questions and Answers: CWM, Vol.7, pp272-73
It is always better, for meditation—you see, we use the word “meditation”, but it does not necessarily mean “moving ideas around in the head”, quite the contrary—it is always better to try to concentrate in a centre, the centre of aspiration, one might say, the place where the flame of aspiration burns, to gather in all the energies there, at the solar plexus centre and, if possible, to obtain an attentive silence as though one wanted to listen to something extremely subtle, something that demands a complete attention, a complete concentration and total silence. And then not to move at all. Not to think, not to stir, and make that movement of opening so as to receive all that can be received, but taking good care not to try to know what is happening while it is happening, for if one wants to understand or even to observe actively, it keeps up a sort of cerebral activity which is unfavourable to the fullness of the receptivity—to be silent, as totally silent as possible, in an attentive concentration, and then be still.
If one succeeds in this, then, when everything is over, when one comes out of meditation, some time later—usually not immediately—from within the being something new emerges in the consciousness: a new understanding, a new appreciation of things, a new attitude in life—in short, a new way of being. This may be fugitive, but at that moment, if one observes it, one finds that something has taken one step forward on the path of understanding or transformation. It may be an illumination, an understanding truer or closer to the truth, or a power of transformation which helps you to achieve a psychological progress or a widening of the consciousness or a greater control over your movements, over the activities of the being.
And these results are never immediate. For if one tries to have them at once, one remains in a state of activity which is quite the contrary of true receptivity. One must be as neutral, as immobile, as passive as one can be, with a background of silent aspiration not formulated in words or ideas or even in feelings; something that does this (gesture like a mounting flame) in an ardent vibration, but which does not formulate, and above all, does not try to understand.
With a little practice one reaches a state which may be obtained at will, in a few seconds, that is, one doesn’t waste any of the meditation time. Naturally, in the beginning, one must slowly quieten the mind, gather up one’s consciousness, concentrate; one loses three-quarters of the time in preparing oneself. But when one has practised the thing, in two or three seconds one can get it, and then one benefits from the whole period of receptivity.
Naturally, there are still more advanced and perfected states, but that comes later. But already if one reaches that state, one profits fully by the meditation.
The Mother – Questions and Answers: CWM, Vol.9, pp115-16
The number of hours spent in meditation is no proof of spiritual progress. It is a proof of your progress when you no longer have to make an effort to meditate. Then you have rather to make an effort to stop meditating: it becomes difficult to stop meditation, difficult to stop thinking of the Divine, difficult to come down to the ordinary consciousness. Then you are sure of progress, then you have made real progress when concentration in the Divine is the necessity of your life, when you cannot do without it, when it continues naturally from morning to night whatever you may be engaged in doing. Whether you sit down to meditation or go about and do things and work, what is required of you is consciousness; that is the one need,—to be constantly conscious of the Divine.
But is not sitting down to meditation an indispensable discipline, and does it not give a more intense and concentrated union with the Divine?
That may be. But a discipline in itself is not what we are seeking. What we are seeking is to be concentrated on the Divine in all that we do, at all times, in all our acts and in every movement. There are some here who have been told to meditate; but also there are others who have not been asked to do any meditation at all. But it must not be thought that they are not progressing. They too follow a discipline, but it is of another nature. To work, to act with devotion and an inner consecration is also a spiritual discipline. The final aim is to be in constant union with the Divine, not only in meditation but in all circumstances and in all the active life.
There are some who, when they are sitting in meditation, get into a state which they think very fine and delightful. They sit self-complacent in it and forget the world; but if they are disturbed, they come out of it angry and restless, because their meditation was interrupted. This is not a sign of spiritual progress or discipline. There are some people who act and seem to feel as if their meditation were a debt they have to pay to the Divine; they are like men who go to church once a week and think they have paid what they owe to God.
If you need to make an effort to go into meditation, you are still very far from being able to live the spiritual life. When it takes an effort to come out of it, then indeed your meditation can be an indication that you are in the spiritual life.
The Mother – Questions and Answers: CWM, Vol. 3, pp20-21
You may be engaged in the most active action, for example, in playing basketball, which needs a great deal of movement, and yet not lose the attitude of inner meditation and concentration upon the Divine. And when you get that, you will see that all you do changes its quality; not only will you do it better, but you will do it with an altogether unexpected strength, and at the same time keep your consciousness so high and so pure that nothing will be able to touch you any longer. And note that this can go so far that even if an accident occurs, it will not hurt you. Naturally, this is a peak, but it is a peak to which one can aspire.
Do not fall into the very common error of believing that you must sit in an absolutely quiet corner where nobody passes by, where you are in a classical position and altogether immobile, in order to be able to meditate—it is not true. What is needed is to succeed in meditating under all circumstances, and I call “meditating” not emptying your head but concentrating yourself in a contemplation of the Divine; and if you keep this contemplation within you, all that you do will change its quality…. And life will change its quality, and you, you will feel a little different from what you were, with a peace, a certitude, an inner calm, an unchanging force, something which never gives way.
The Mother – Questions and Answers: CWM, Vol.4, pp20-21
If the difficulty in meditation is that thoughts of all kinds come in, that is not due to hostile forces but to the ordinary nature of the human mind. All sadhaks have this difficulty and with many it lasts for a very long time. There are several ways of getting rid of it. One of them is to look at the thoughts and observe what is the nature of the human mind as they show it but not to give any sanction and to let them run down till they come to a standstill—this is a way recommended by Vivekananda in his Rajayoga. Another is to look at the thoughts as not one’s own, to stand back as the witness Purusha and refuse the sanction—the thoughts are regarded as things coming from outside, from Prakriti, and they must be felt as if they were passers-by crossing the mind-space with whom one has no connection and in whom one takes no interest. In this way it usually happens that after a time the mind divides into two, a part which is the mental witness watching and perfectly undisturbed and quiet and a part which is the object of observation, the Prakriti part in which the thoughts cross or wander. Afterwards one can proceed to silence or quiet the Prakriti part also. There is a third, an active method by which one looks to see where the thoughts come from and finds they come not from oneself, but from outside the head as it were; if one can detect them coming, then, before they enter, they have to be thrown away altogether. This is perhaps the most difficult way and not all can do it, but if it can be done it is the shortest and most powerful road to silence.
Sri Aurobindo – Letters on Yoga – II: CWSA, Vol. 29, pp301-02