Question: Why do we encounter all sorts of problems and difficulties when making preparations for public meditations?

Sri Chinmoy: Anything that is important needs preparation. It all depends on how we take it. If our attitude is good, then there is no hardship at all. It is only divine fun, a divine experience. It is when your attitude is bad that the problem starts. Suppose one day the weather is not good. If we want, we can curse the weather. Then we feel that the weather is very bad. But we can also say, "No, it is excellent weather, for now I don't have to go out; I can stay at home and write poems and songs." In this way, we are taking advantage of the experience of bad weather. If we change our attitude, we will have a great experience, and we will see this experience as another opportunity.

When I worked at the Indian consulate, I used to live in Brooklyn, and it took me an hour and ten minutes, or sometimes even more, to get to work. I went on the subway with the attitude that it was a great opportunity, because then I didn't have to talk to anybody. At the Indian Consulate I had to talk and work eight hours a day. So there for at least an hour and a half I was so lucky. My attitude was that I had an hour and a half in which I was able to meditate. Otherwise, I could have said, "I am so unlucky! I am poor, that is why I have to stay in Brooklyn. It takes me more than an hour and a half to get to work, and I am tired and exhausted even before work starts." If I had had this kind of attitude, it would have tortured me. But instead I said, "I am so lucky — I am getting an hour and a half to meditate here." So it all depends on your attitude.

When you are putting up posters and taking pictures, you can say, "I am so lucky that I am able to prove my sincerity. I am going through these difficulties but I don't consider them as difficulties. I only take them as hurdles." Once you cross one hurdle, you go on to another hurdle. There will be quite a few hurdles to cross before you reach your destination. If there is no hurdle, there is no game. You have to run some distance in order to reach the goal. If the starting point and the goal are the same place, then how can you run the race?

On the highest plane of consciousness, the starting point and the goal are the same. They go together. On the highest plane the starting point is vision and the goal is reality. There, the goal and the vision always go together. You can't separate vision from reality or reality from vision. But here on the physical, vital and mental planes, the goal and the starting point are in two different places. If you are sincere and devoted, you will feel blessings right from the beginning of your journey, because you have sincerely tried. Your sincerity is your reward. If you get sincerity, you get tremendous joy, so please work for it.