Terri Locicero: When I'm competing on stage and it is not going well — for instance, if the audience is not applauding or there is a technical problem with my back-up music — I have to struggle not to lose my concentration. How can I keep poised when problems arise?

Sri Chinmoy: Either you have to be clever or you have to be spiritual. If you are clever, you can say to yourself that it could be infinitely worse. By saying this, a kind of relaxation and mental peace or poise comes. But if you are spiritual, then before the performance you can meditate most powerfully for 15 or 20 minutes. This will enable you to acquire tremendous mental power, and when you have this mental power, the problems that may arise during the performance will not be able to disturb you at all. Your mental power will be able to silence the power of the so-called problems before or during the performance.