Meditation and sincerityConcentration, meditation and contemplation entirely depend on our inner cry. When a child is hungry, really hungry, he cries. He may be on the first floor and his mother on the third floor, but when the mother hears his cry she comes down immediately to feed the child.
Let us take concentration as an inner hunger. If we are really hungry, then our Father Supreme will come running no matter where we are crying. If we have intensity and sincerity in our cry, then I tell you that we can learn concentration in a few days' time. Otherwise, it can take years and years. And then, when will we have time to learn meditation and contemplation, which are more advanced subjects? There are people who have spent forty years learning how to concentrate. They have not developed an inner cry. It is like a good student and a bad student. A bad student will fail and fail and fail, whereas a good student will every year go on to a higher class.
Again, God-realisation is not like drinking water; it is not like instant coffee, something that you will get immediately. No, it takes time. If somebody says that he will be able to make you realise God overnight, then do not take him seriously. You have been to school, to college and university. It has taken you twenty years to get your Master's degree, which is based on outer knowledge. God-realisation, which is infinitely more important and more significant, naturally will take many more years. In no way do I want to discourage you. Only I wish to say that if your hunger is sincere and if you are desperately in need of God, then if you need the power of concentration, I assure you that God will give you the power of concentration.
There is also something practical you can do to strengthen your concentration-power. Please feel that inside your mind there is a room and naturally there is also a door. Stand either inside the room or outside the room, just in front of the door, and wait there to see who is coming. As soon as you see that some people are coming — "people" here means thoughts — you just keep the door closed. In the beginning, in order to become strong, you do not allow anybody in. Otherwise, while you are allowing friends to come in, your enemies may also come in and then you will be totally lost. But there comes a time when you become inwardly strong and you are in a position only to let your friends come in. At that time you will allow your friends in and let the enemies remain outside.
Good thoughts are your friends. Thoughts about self-sacrifice and loving God are good thoughts. So when these good thoughts want to enter into your room, you just leave the door open. But as soon as you see bad thoughts like fear, doubt, jealousy, frustration, depression and so on, you will keep the door closed.
If we practice concentration and meditation regularly, then we are bound to succeed. If we are really sincere, then we will reach the goal. But our difficulty is that we are sincere for one day or for one week and then we feel that spirituality is not meant for us. We want to realise God overnight. If we can't get our God-realisation overnight, then we think, "All right, let me pray for one week, one month, one year. After one year, if I don't realise God, I will give up." We feel that the spiritual life is not meant for us; it is only for others. It is like turning on the stove. If you turn the handle just a little and then stop, there will be no flame. You have to turn the handle to a certain spot and only then the flame will appear. But you move the handle only a little and then you think, "There will be no flame, so the best thing is to bring the handle back or to leave it where it is." This is what happens. People go one step and then they feel that God is not there. But God is standing at the end of two steps. If we don't go to where He is, then how are we going to see Him?