If we remain constantly in active motion and react to all the sense impressions and pressures that impinge upon us from the outer world, it is difficult to achieve a status of calm or peace. One of the values of sitting regularly for a time of quiet reflection, meditation or concentration is just the ability to step back away from the hustle and bustle of our daily lives and cultivate an atmosphere of serenity around us. Once this atmosphere is well-established, it can automatically aid us as we take up the daily life and meet our daily challenges and provocations.

Sri Aurobindo writes: “One can go forward even if there is not peace — quietude and concentration are necessary. Peace is necessary for the higher states to develop.”

“It is quite natural that at first there should be the condition of calm and peace only when you sit for concentration. What is important is that there should be this condition whenever you sit and the pressure for it always there. But at other times the result is at first only a certain mental quiet and freedom from thoughts. Afterwards when the condition of peace is quite settled in the inner being — for it is the inner into which you enter whenever you concentrate, then it begins to come out and control the outer, so that the calm and peace remain even when working, mixing with others, talking or other occupations. For then whatever the outer consciousness is doing, one feels the inner being calm within — indeed one feels the inner being as one’s real self while the outer is something superficial through which the inner acts on life.”

Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, Growing Within: The Psychology of Inner Development, Chapter IV Growth of Consciousness First Steps and Foundation, pg. 75

Author's Bio: 

Santosh has been studying Sri Aurobindo's writings since 1971 and has a daily blog at http://sriaurobindostudies.wordpress.com and podcast at https://anchor.fm/santosh-krinsky He is author of 17 books and is editor-in-chief at Lotus Press. He is president of Institute for Wholistic Education, a non-profit focused on integrating spirituality into daily life.