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Chapter 18: The Only Riches Are of the Heart

You are running within me like silent water, merging me slowly into an inner smile!
Thank you for being with us!

The path of a seeker is full of beautiful spaces, and is also full of desert-like moments. It is full of joy, just as you see in the morning when the sun is rising and the birds start singing and the flowers smile all over the earth. But it is not always so. There are moments of immense darkness. One feels lost, one does not know where one is, whether the night is going to end or not.

It is something to be very deeply understood: the path is up and down, it is not always ecstatic. And it is good that it is not always ecstatic, otherwise you will be utterly tired by ecstasy. You cannot smile twenty-four hours a day, you need a little rest, too. Those moments when one feels dark, lost, are moments to relax. And those moments when one feels a joy, a smile, are the moments to rejoice.

But one should not start choosing. Both are equally acceptable, both are equally inevitable. You need to understand this equality of both moments - dark and negative; light and positive. And you are not asking for only the joyous moments. You are not asking for anything at all. You are simply rejoicing, whatever existence gives to you. Whatever the gift - maybe a dark night or a joyous morning, tears or smiles - it does not matter. Your gratefulness remains the same.

Only such a seeker, whose gratefulness never wavers, whatever happens, is equally rejoiced. He is equally thankful for it.

It is a little difficult.When things are going well, it is easy to be thankful. But real thankfulness is when things are not going well - then is the fire-test of your gratitude. And only through such moments does your gratitude become more and more solid, concentrated, centered. You start growing roots. It is very easy, when everything is good, to feel thankful to God, to feel thankful to existence.

You are saying to me that you are thankful because I am with you. Your thankfulness should remain the same when I will not be with you. Only then is your thankfulness not situation-oriented, but centered in your being; not dependent on the outside, but springing from your inner being.

It is yours only when no outer change can change it. And for that you have to learn the art of choicelessness. You are saying that I am running within you like silent water, merging you slowly into an inner smile. It is beautiful, but these are the moments for you to be reminded of the moments when the smile may not be there, when you may not hear the sound of the running water that is bringing the smile to you.

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