Question: When you hold a meditation such as the recent one at Woodstock, where many, many people come, but a lot of them aren't very attentive, are you still able to offer something to them?

Sri Chinmoy: Many people will definitely receive something from me. Even if I sit and meditate in a particular hall for only five minutes, if that place is receptive, it receives much from me. Even if it is not receptive, just because of my presence it gets something. It is one thing to receive willingly, eagerly and consciously, and another thing to receive reluctantly or even unconsciously. In some cases, the place receives willingly and consciously; in some cases, unconsciously and unwillingly. The places that take from me consciously and willingly will naturally get much more benefit. But although the place as such receives, the individuals inside may receive very little or not at all. At our Wednesday night meditations at Columbia, and wherever we have what you call special meetings, the audience is bound to receive. My very presence awakens them or compels them to receive something. Those people in the audience may not be my disciples, but they will get inspiration, and when they go home, some of them will want to start going to church or to some spiritual place or to some other spiritual Master. So everything that I am doing has some special purpose. The result may not be noticeable all at once, but it will definitely be noticeable in the near or distant future, whether or not the audience is receptive.

What happens from time to time is that the force that I leave behind in a place will radiate out for one or two or ten or twenty miles. Then, either on that day or two months later or two years later, somebody walking along the street may receive something, although he will not know why all of a sudden his consciousness has gone very high. In the morning he may have fought with his wife and children, or he may have done something wrong. But as he is walking along the street all of a sudden he is thinking of something very high and sublime. He feels that he is breathing fresh air; his mind is very clear, and feelings of joy and love are coming to him. He will think that everything has descended from above. But no, it is only that six months or one year ago I left a good force near that place and it is still radiating. That man happens to be there, so he is getting the blessings and joy. This has happened many times.