Chapter 1: The Foundation of Meditation
So it is necessary that each one of you look within him-self to see whether or not he has an authentic longing for the divine. Each of you should ask himself this question: “Do I want to know truth?” Be very clear if your thirst for the divine is authentic, whether you have a yearning for truth, for silence, for bliss. If not, then understand that whatsoever you do here will have no meaning; it will be meaningless, without any purpose. If your meaningless efforts don’t bear any fruits, meditation will not be responsible - you will be responsible for it.
So to begin, it is necessary that you look for an authentic seeker within you. And be clear about it: do you really seek something? And if you do, then there is a way to find it.
Buddha was once visiting a village. A man asked him, “Every day you say that everyone can become enlightened. Then why doesn’t everyone become enlightened?”
“My friend,” Buddha replied, “do one thing: in the evening make a list of all the people in the village and write down their desires next to their names.”
The man went into the village and he asked everyone; it was a small village with only a few people, and they gave him their answers. He returned in the evening and gave the list to Buddha. Buddha asked, “How many of these people seek enlightenment?”
The man was surprised because not a single person had written that he wanted enlightenment. And Buddha said, “I say that every man is capable of enlightenment, I do not say that every man wants enlightenment.”
That every man is capable of enlightenment is very different from every man wanting to be enlightened. If you want it, then consider it to be possible. If your quest is for truth, there is no power on earth that can stop you. But if you don’t long for truth, then too there is no power which can give it to you.
So first you need to ask if your thirst is a real one. If so, then rest assured that a path is available. If not, then there is no path - your thirst will be your path to truth.
The second thing I would like to say by way of an introduction is that you often have a thirst for something, but you are not hopeful of ever getting what you desire. You have a desire, but you are not optimistic about it. There is the desire, but with a sense of hopelessness.
Now if the first step is taken optimistically, then the last step will also end optimistically. This too should be understood: if the first step is taken without any optimism, then the last step will end in despair. If you want the last step to be a satisfying and successful one, the first step should be taken with optimism.
I am saying that during these three days - and I will be saying this as long as I live - you should have a very optimistic attitude. Do you realize that as far as your state of consciousness is concerned, much depends on whether your acts are rooted in positivity or negativity? If you are a pessimist to begin with, then it is as if you are sitting on the branch of a tree, and cutting the branch at the same time.