And when you hit, first just wait and become completely silent. Because it is not just a question of a stick hitting; it is a transfer of energy. So first stand, be very prayerful, very silent. A deep compassion should come, you should feel much for the person in front of you and then hit.
[addressing the group leader] How did you feel about the group?
At the seventh day things looked bad but then picked up again, though one person left the group.
It will happen many times after the fifth, sixth day, or near the seventh; it is the most tense day, because seven days is the limit the mind can tolerate anything. And when it becomes intolerable it is the right moment, if you can persist, for something to happen…you can escape and miss it. So it may differ with each person. Some may come to this point after four or five days, but as a general rule the seventh day is the point where you will feel that the whole process is intolerable; so heavy that you would like to escape.
So make people aware that this is natural; that it is not just them but a natural process of the mind. In the beginning tell them that around the seventh day this point will come when they will feel like escaping. But that is the point that there is a breakthrough, if one persists.
After the seventh day things relax, and near the tenth day things become perfectly good again. The tranquility that is attained near the tenth day is totally different, but one has to persist to reach it. The same happens if somebody does the course for twenty-one days. Near the fourteenth day, trouble will arise again; now on a deeper level and even more anxiety-creating than the first week. The end of this second week will be more trouble-creating, but if one persists then a deeper silence will happen.
And this goes on. After each seventh day it will happen, so just let people be aware of it, otherwise one starts feeling guilty – as if one is not worthy of doing it. It should be remembered that nobody should be allowed to feel guilty. Guilt is the only guilt in the world, and once you feel guilty, things shrink. That is the tendency: that if somebody is doing something that is not to be done, the whole group will make him feel he has done something wrong – never do this.
If somebody says he would like to stop, tell him to rest for an hour – to go into the bathroom and relax in the bath or sit under the shower, or to go outside and sit under a tree, to take rest and not be worried. After one hour he will be able to continue again.
We are not in favor, in any way, of regimentation. People are there of their own will, voluntarily. Nothing is to be forced and nobody is to be condemned. If somebody escapes that too is good – maybe it was needed.