The Inner Promise

by Jamini Young
Seattle, United States

When I was 19 or 20 I became very interested in spirituality and meditation because I felt there had to be more to this life than just studying to get a degree, embark upon a career, etc.

Whenever I wanted to learn something new I would go to the library and get all the books I could on the subject. I would come home from the library with my stack of books, and Guru’s book The Inner Promise would always be among them. Somehow it spoke to me, but when I would get home I would be unable to read it as the essays were so lofty and philosophical. I would say to myself, "Oh no, not this book again!". It just didn’t have the practical, mental information I was looking for as a college student.

In my third year of college I took a few months off and spent some time working in Alaska. I was in a very small town but they did have a library. Once again I went to check out all the meditation and spirituality books they might have. Surprise! There was only one book on meditation – The Inner Promise! I clearly remember holding the book in my hand and shaking my head in disbelief. Someone was playing a cosmic joke on me.

This time, I took the book and really tried to dive in. I remember looking at the drawing of Guru in meditation next to the title page and trying to meditate.

In the fall when I returned to college there was a tiny notice on a bulletin board in the psychology building for a free meditation class. I was a psychology major in college, but by that time I was completely fed up with the subject as it did not have the deep answers about life’s meaning that I was searching for. I thought this class was sponsored by the psychology department and wouldn’t have a spiritual basis. But I went anyway. "Oh well, it’s free, I’ll just go."

It turned out that a student of Sri Chinmoy was teaching the class. When he said that he was a student, I thought "The author of that book is a real person! I want to be a student of Sri Chinmoy!" Everything sort of fell into place for me inwardly and I was soon making the drive to Seattle (my college was about an hour south of Seattle) to the Centre meditations. I still have that copy of The Inner Promise. At the beginning, I even cut out Sri Chinmoy's picture on the back to use for meditation. It is definitely among my most cherished possessions.

Cross-posted from