Question: At our Centre meetings, sometimes people are not on time, or they are restless, or they leave in the middle of the meditation. But then these same people get angry at the person leading the meditation if he tries to maintain some discipline.

Sri Chinmoy: That is our fate! What can we do? Some people come late. In New York, some people are eager to be near their Master, while others like to sit farther than the farthest! There is plenty of room, but they deliberately sit far away so that they can enjoy themselves in their own way. Again, quite a few disciples die to be as close as possible.

We cannot discipline others. If we inwardly curse them, then our consciousness goes lower than the lowest. If we get angry with people who behave badly, it does not help us, and also it does not help them. Our anger is not going to transform them or give them discipline — no! We have to be on our own. We have to say, “Here I have come to make progress. I have to do my very best.”

In general, for outer discipline, the person who is leading the meditation is responsible. If the leader is not there, others who are running the meditation are responsible. Whoever is taking the responsibility and acting like a real leader should be very, very strict. Then again, how can you be strict with everyone? In some cases you cannot; you have to maintain silence. What can you do? Only try your very best to make your own progress. You cannot transform anybody else’s nature; but you do have the capacity to make progress. And if you have the willingness and eagerness, then you will make progress, definitely.

Everything has to come from deep within, deep within, if we want to make progress. We cannot force others — we cannot force.