Question: Sometimes when I meditate, I feel that I am about to go through some experience, but nothing happens. What is the cause of that?

Sri Chinmoy: The reason nothing happens is that you have not reached the height, the ultimate. You are just on the verge of it, but you do not quite reach it. It is like lighting a stove. When you turn on the gas, you have to turn it to a certain point before the flame comes. You may come almost to that point, but you stop too soon. If you had turned just a fraction of an inch farther, you would have succeeded.

It is the same with your meditation. If you had gone just a bit higher or deeper, you would have had your experience. But your attention was diverted or something made you pull back instead of going on. Something inside you failed to maintain the same type of aspiration that you had before and then your consciousness fell. It is as if you were climbing up to the highest branch of a mango tree, but all of a sudden somebody called you from below and you forgot about the delicious mango at the top of the tree and you climbed down. This is what it is like when consciousness falls. But if you can maintain your height and not respond to any call from below, then you will reach the Highest, and here you will get the experience.

While you are praying and meditating, imagine that you have a bicycle inside you. When you ride on a bicycle, you have to pedal it all the time. If you don't pedal, you cannot make any progress and you will fall down. While you are meditating you have to aspire all the time; otherwise you will fall. You cannot balance motionless at one point. In the spiritual life movement has to be constant. Either you move forward or you move backward. If you try to remain motionless, the ignorance of the world will pull you right back to your starting point.

While we are aspiring we have to make ourselves conscious at every moment that what we need is not success, but progress, progress, progress. Progress itself is the active form of success. When we start meditating early in the morning, if we think, "Today I have to get the highest experience or I will feel miserable," then we are making a mistake. Right now we are full of ignorance, imperfection, limitation and bondage. But if we remain imperfect, how are we going to be the chosen instruments of God? And if we cannot become instruments of God, then God remains unmanifested. In the morning when we pray, if we cry for our progress, then automatically God will make us His chosen instruments. But if we cry for success, then God may give us the experience which we call success, but He will not utilise us as His instruments because we are already trying to get something from Him. We are demanding that He give us the highest experience of Peace, Light and Bliss, whereas we should be asking only for the opportunity and privilege of being His instrument to serve Him in His own Way.

So I wish to say that if experience is your aim, until you actually reach the height from which you can get the experience, please continue to aspire intensely. But if your aim is only to become an instrument of the Supreme, no matter how high or how deep you go, then you are bound to get all the experiences which God has in store for you, even without climbing up to the top of the tree. Right now it is you who are trying to climb up to a great height in order to get an experience. But it is very easy for God to bring the fruit down and give it to you. He is an expert climber: He can climb up and climb down. So if you can please God, even if you remain at the foot of the tree, God will climb up on your behalf and bring the experience down, if it is His Will that you have it.