Question: After we have been on the path for many years, all the things that we have to do for our spiritual progress start to become just routine. How can we regain the same intensity that we had when we were new disciples and we thought that we could reach the goal very quickly?

Sri Chinmoy: When you enter into any new field of activity, there is enthusiasm. Then afterwards it becomes monotonous, boring, and frustration starts. Now, think of a plane. When the plane takes off, it makes so much noise. It gives us the feeling that it will absolutely destroy everything around it. Once the plane is high in the air, its speed is much faster than when it was taking off, but we hear practically no noise. And if the plane has a good pilot, will he not reach the destination? We have to keep in mind that the same Pilot who gave us the inspiration to hurry up and come to the airport, who put us into the plane, who made so much noise when the plane was taking off, is still piloting us to our destination.

Always in the beginning there is tremendous joy, inner energy, because we are entering into a new field. When we come into the spiritual life, we have sincerity, eagerness, intensity — everything that is necessary to make the fastest progress. Is there any disciple who entered into the spiritual life and said, "Now I do not have to conquer my insecurity, my jealousy, my impurity, my undivine qualities"? Only to conquer our imperfections everybody joined the path. Again, most of you, if not all, have lost that intensity. Insecurity, jealousy, impurity, negativity — all the things that you wanted to conquer twenty or twenty-five years ago — now you feel that they cannot be conquered. Then what is happening? Since you feel they cannot be conquered, you allow yourself to be conquered by them.

To come back to your question, nothing is boring if we have the right attitude. Every day if we pray to God, God gives us new inspiration. Every day the sunlight appears. If we have inner will-power, we will see the beauty, the purity, the divinity — everything that is normal and natural — inside the sunlight. In the same way, every day you are meditating, every day you are taking exercise, every day you are running and doing so many other spiritual things. The mind will always make everything old, fossilised. For the mind, after one month or one year everything becomes uninspiring because the mind believes in age, while the heart does not. If you can remain in the heart, if you can feel always that you are a seven-year-old child, as I have been begging all of you to do, you are bound to feel at every moment new inspiration, new light, new hope, new promise. For a seven-year-old child every second is a new opportunity and a new happiness.

The other day when I was answering someone else's question, I said that every day she has to feel that she has taken new birth. The answer to your question is the same. Every day think that you were born only today. Never think that you are forty-five or forty-seven years old. Now my mind is telling me that I am sixty-eight — I am ancient! But if the heart is our reality, then the heart will say that we are seven years old, and if wisdom is our reality, then wisdom will say that just today we were born. Every day presents itself to us as a new opportunity if we can think of every day as a new beginning, a new birth.

If you enter into a gymnasium to take exercise, the mind will say, "You have been doing this for years and years!" The mind is telling you a reality that is true on the outer plane. Again, the same mind is so eager to discourage you: "You are doing the same stupid thing. For years you have been dying for a seventeen-inch bicep and still you are struggling with fourteen inches!" But the heart will say, "No. Just today I have started." Then tomorrow when you come, you will have the inner promise that you will make yourself stronger and stronger.

Take every day as a new day. Do not take it as a continuation. If you think of your spiritual life as a continuation, then the mind will say, "Oh my God! Twenty-five years I have been on the path, and I have made no progress!" But you have used the mind in a wrong way. You have allowed the mind to exercise its supreme authority. Use the heart. The heart is ever-new, ever-blossoming. The heart will say, "No, I am blossoming petal by petal. I am an ever-blossoming flower, a most beautiful flower."

If you can remain in the heart, you will never even think of the fact that you have been on the path for twenty-five or thirty years. But if you are in the mind, then after ten years your mind will again cry for newness: "Oh, there is so much discipline. I have to get up at six o'clock every morning. I do not have any freedom. I cannot move around as I wish." But that very thing — the outer freedom — you wanted to surrender. That is why you entered into the spiritual life. Spirituality means inner freedom. The inner freedom you get when you identify yourself with something vast. God's Will is vaster than the vastest. On the strength of your prayer and meditation you are trying to identify yourself with God's Will. God's Will is infinite, like the ocean. When you look at the ocean, you see huge waves. If you are using your heart to look at it, even with your ordinary naked eyes you will see that it is ever-new. But if you are using the mind, you will say, "Oh, it is the same thing — the same kind of waves."

Never use the mind. After one day, the mind will make everything seem old, ancient. The mind will take away your joy because the mind will make you see everything, every day, in the same way. But the heart will make you see everything in a new way, a better way. It will bring new joy and new satisfaction into your life.

Most of the disciples who have been on the path for over twenty years have descended. Why? Because they are using the mind that says, "It is boring. Every day it is the same thing. There is nothing new." But instead, use the heart of a child or feel that just today, early in the morning, you were born — a new cry you embody. You are crying, crying, crying, but your parents are smiling and smiling. Each time we offer our heart's cry, we can see the Smile of God, of our own highest Divinity. Here the aspiring reality is crying and the descending Divinity is smiling.

Do not use the mind. If you use the mind, you cannot conquer your problems. The mind only creates problems. The mind has never solved any problem. The mind thinks that today it has solved a particular problem, but tomorrow another problem will arise that will be infinitely more difficult to deal with. The problems of the mind never end — never, never! The heart sees only one problem: has my love of God increased? Has my devotion to God increased? Has my surrender to God increased? Only three words the heart knows: love, devotion and surrender — how much I love God, how much I am devoting myself to God, how much I am prepared to surrender my existence to God. If the mind uses the words 'love, devotion and surrender', it absolutely ruins everything. The mind takes the beautiful heart-flower and starts tearing off all the petals one by one. But when we use the heart, immediately the heart-flower that we see is only blossoming and blossoming.

Take every day as a new beginning. A new beginning will always have a new hope, a new dawn. We have been here on the Christmas trip now for some time. Already some people are thinking, "Oh my God! I have been here for twenty days. Now everything is boring!" Some people were extremely happy for the first ten or twelve days. Now their happiness is going away. They are not doing the right thing. They should feel that instead of today being the 23rd of December, that it is the 4th of December — the first day of our trip.

Always if the mind is creating problems, challenge the mind with your wisdom. Discard the mind that says, "I have been here now for eighteen days. Now my enthusiasm is waning." Use the heart that says, "No. I came here on the 4th of December, so now it is still the 4th for me." You are not fooling yourself. You are only illumining the mind. You know that there is something called ever-increasing happiness. You are trying to become that ever-increasing happiness on the strength of your oneness with God's Will. Every day is a new beginning. When there is a new beginning, there is new hope, there is new promise. But if you count the days, then you will be miserable. After a month you will be desperate to go back home. There you will see that more frustration awaits you.

Always, after a few days we change our goal. But if we choose our goal with the mind, then even when that goal arrives, we do not get happiness. If the heart chooses a goal, then like a flower, that goal is constantly blossoming, blossoming, blossoming, no matter whether you are here in Brazil or in Africa or somewhere else. If we are spiritual people, we have to feel that our real existence is the heart. Others can exercise their mind and make it vaster than the vastest. But no matter how vast the mind is intellectually, philosophically or in any way, if the mind does not enter into the heart, it is absolutely impossible to get happiness. Someone can be the world's greatest pandit, but where is happiness? Immediately he will feel that if somebody else has said something, that somebody else has more wisdom. Then he becomes miserable.

If you use your mind to look at your body, immediately you will say, "Oh my God! I thought I was the most beautiful person. Now I see that somebody else is infinitely more beautiful!" Your pride is smashed. But if you use the oneness-heart, first you will see and then you will feel that you are that person with boundless beauty, that there is no difference between you and that person. You will see and feel that you are the only beauty. When we use the mind to see anything, the mind immediately makes a comparison and then we become miserable. The mind will say, "I thought that I was the greatest scholar" or "I thought that I was the most intelligent." Then somebody with more knowledge or more intelligence comes and we have to touch the dust of his feet.

The aspiring heart is a stranger to imperfections. The aspiring heart is only increasing its beauty, its light and its power. When we look at anything, the mind makes a comparison but the aspiring heart only feels oneness. Again, this oneness can be fed only by newness. Every day we have to not only think of newness but also become newness. Then only we will be satisfied. Where does newness come from? From Eternity's Home.

All those who have been on the spiritual path for a long time are suffering from the same disease — "it is boring, boring, boring." Do not keep a link between yesterday and today or even from one moment to the next. If you keep a link, you will be miserable. Yesterday you had such a miserable day. Today you are carrying the same dead elephant again. No, feel that yesterday did not exist for you. Feel that the only thing that exists is here and now, the Eternal Now. Then nothing can be boring.

Every day feel that you have taken new birth. If you feel that you are an infant, only a few hours old, then you are bound to feel that there is somebody who will take care of you. The mind always says that we have to take care of ourselves. But the heart says, "No, my father is there, my mother is there. They have infinite affection, infinite compassion, infinite fondness for me. They will take care of me." This is so true. God is both our Father and our Mother. God is only for those who feel that they are true children. Others think that they are grown up, that now they can enjoy their freedom. Little children are happy because they listen to their parents. If their parents say, "Do not go there. That is fire," then immediately they do not go. But when somebody is seventeen, eighteen or twenty and his parents say, "Do not go there. That is fire," he will think, "It is not fire. Let me go there and see. I am sure it is nothing." Then he touches it and burns himself. When a little child sees fire, he remembers, "Mother said, 'This is fire. Do not go there.'" Then the child comes back. The little child's obedience saves and illumines him, while the older child will challenge his parents' wisdom. As soon as disobedience comes into life, destruction follows. Obedience is all safety. The obedient child is in the heart of his parents.

The spiritual life is always the life of inner obedience. From within, from your prayer and meditation, you will get the inner message, "This is good; this is not." The things that you feel are good, always do. Obedience, obedience, obedience. The day we lose our obedience, that very day is our spiritual death. Physically we die at a particular time, but spiritually we die when we exercise the power of our mind, which is disobedience. By nature the mind wants to find a new way, its own way — which is all darkness. The heart feels that there is somebody who has already found the way, our father, our mother, our spiritual Master or God.

The spiritual life is not boring, no matter how many years you follow it. It is only a question of how you utilise the spiritual life. I always say that with a knife you can stab someone or you can cut fruits and share them. Every day you have to take as a new beginning in Eternity's Now. Each day embodies new hope and new promise. Never think of how many years you have been on the path or of how much progress you have made. Again, those who are still on the spiritual path often do not value what they have. When their parents are alive, often the children do not pay any attention to them. Then when the parents pass behind the curtain of Eternity, the children say, "Oh my God! What we have lost!" When we have something, we do not value it. When we lose it, then we value it. If you leave the spiritual life tomorrow and if your soul or your inner cry comes to the fore, immediately you will see what you have lost.

Again, if we do not have newness, then everything will disturb our mind. While the mind is disturbed, it will try to bring that disturbance into the heart, into the vital, into the physical. From the beginning to the end, the only answer is the heart, the heart, the heart. If we use the heart or become the heart, the aspiring heart, then for us there is no such thing as a stagnant pool. Our life is a murmuring, running river, entering into the vast ocean of light and bliss.