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Chapter 1: The Foundation of Meditation

So I say to you, for these three days maintain a very optimistic state of mind. Tonight, when you go to bed, fall asleep filled with optimism. And sleep with the assurance that tomorrow morning when you get up something will happen, something can happen, something can be done.

Have an optimistic attitude, and along with it I would also like to say this: after many years of experience I have come to the conclusion that man’s negativity can be so strong that even if he begins to achieve something, he may not be able to see it because of his negativity.

Some time ago a man used to come to me, and he would bring his wife. The first time we met he told me that his wife could not sleep. He described her condition to me: “She cannot get any sleep without medicines, and even with medicine she can only sleep for three or four hours. And my wife is afraid; strange fears seem to trouble her. She is afraid to step out of the house, and if she is in the house she is afraid that the house will collapse. If there is no one around she is afraid that if she is alone she will die, so she constantly needs someone around. At night she keeps all her medicines close to her just in case there is an emergency.”

I suggested that she start doing a small meditation that would be helpful. She began to do the experiment. After seven days I met him and I asked him, “What happened? How is your wife?”

He said, “There has not been much progress - she just sleeps better.”

After a week I met him again and asked him, “Any change?”

And he said, “Her condition has not changed very much, but she is a bit less afraid.”

I met him again after another seven days and asked him, “Has anything happened?”

“Nothing significant,” he said. “She manages to get some sleep now, is less fearful and doesn’t keep the medicines close to her anymore - nothing much.”

I call this a negative outlook. Even if this man were to experience something he would not be able to see it, to recognize it. And this outlook is built into this person. It means that a negative person will not experience anything, and even if he does experience something he will not be able to recognize it - and much that might otherwise be possible will be obstructed.

In addition to having a positive approach, I also suggest that during these three days you think only about what is happening to you - don’t try to think about what is not happening. In these three days whatsoever happens, watch. And forget about what does not happen, what could not happen. Just remember what you did experience. If you have even a little taste of peace, of silence, nourish that. It will give you hope and it also will push you forward. Because if you nourish something that didn’t happen your momentum will be lost, and what actually did happen will also be destroyed.

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