A simple secret has to be remembered: your last thought in the night when you go to sleep is always your first thought in the morning when you wake up. You can watch it and you will be surprised – why is it so? You have been asleep for six hours, seven hours or eight hours. The last thought, whatever it was, the last mood, the last feeling is always going to be the first feeling in the morning. You may be asleep, but that which you have left while you fell asleep remains standing at your door. When you wake up, that visitor is still there; it has not gone.
It is because of this reason that many religions have chosen a time for prayer just before you are going to fall asleep. Because if you can fall asleep with a prayerful mood, peaceful, silent, that mood will pervade your night. Your whole night will become prayerful. If you fall asleep meditating, your whole night becomes a meditation.
People have been telling me that they don’t have any time to meditate. And whenever anybody has told me that, I have suggested to him, “You can meditate at least eight hours every day.” And he will look at me shocked: “What are you saying, eight hours? I don’t even have eight minutes.” And I have to explain to him, “I don’t mean in the day: start your meditation while you go into your bed and, meditating, slowly slowly fall asleep. But meditation should be the last thing when you drown in sleep. Then in the morning, the first thing you will remember will be a deep meditative state.” And to remain eight hours in meditation is of tremendous importance. It will transform your whole life.
The pope and a famous Jewish rabbi die and come to the Pearly Gates at the same time. Saint Peter greets them, hands the pope a ticket, and sends him to stand in line for a motel room.
With the pope watching in astonishment, Saint Peter then escorts the Jewish rabbi to a waiting chauffeur-driven limousine which drives the man to an exclusive luxury villa.
After a few days, the pope can’t take it anymore and goes to Saint Peter to complain. “Hey, Pete. I have been your faithful, celibate servant all my life. I finally get to heaven and you send me to a queue for a motel room which I end up having to share with Mother Teresa. But you send this crooked Jewish rabbi in a limousine, to a villa with air-conditioning, beautiful young girls serving him all day. How come?”
“Look, Polack,” says Peter. “You don’t understand. We have never had a Jewish rabbi here before. This is for the first time; that’s why he’s being given a special welcome.”
Heaven is so close by that you can step into it right now. But very few people will ever be able to make it, for the simple reason that they don’t know the door.