We think of the yogi as being totally absorbed in his inner remoteness: no sound heard, no environment seen, nothing smelt or felt. This emptiness of mind is certainly, on the negative side, the final stage of meditation. The rich and rewarding positive side is another matter not being considered just now. What most of us do not know is that this is a condition which only those who have withdrawn from the world and devote most of their time to these practices are likely to attain. Westerners who fail to do so but who succeed in entering the great Stillness of Divine Presence, need not lament their failure. It does not matter if they can go no farther, provided their contact with the world is still maintained and they have not fully withdrawn from it. The hearing of a sound, the sight of an object, can be disregarded as trivial and unimportant, so long as they are able to enjoy this immaculate centre of their being.
-- Notebooks Category 4: Elementary Meditation > Chapter 1: Preparatory > # 285