May 25

What You Gain, You Should Not Lose

Never give up. Know that your spiritual goal is something great. You have fallen down from the summit, and you are on your way back up. It is greater even than climbing Mount Everest. As soon as the climbers get to the peak of Everest, they have to go down again. They never rest. But with the spiritual climb, once you get there you rest there forever.

This is the highest peak. Just go on, steadily climbing. If you get tired, if you see some dense clouds coming, if there is no visibility, set up camp. But don’t go back to the base. Every time you need to stop, set up camp there. When the mountain climbers cannot continue, do they go back to the bottom and start over again the next day? No. What you gain, you should not lose. Whenever necessary, stop, build yourself up, regain your strength; and when the storm has cleared, continue to go forward.

The mind also has storms. Sometimes the storm is so violent that nothing seems to help; not even reading scriptures or repeating your mantra. It doesn’t matter; just don’t give up. Stay in the camp and wait for the storm to pass. Make a resolution, “I will march forward a step at a time, no matter how slowly. I am never going to turn back. Even if I am not going to achieve anything in this life, it doesn’t matter. I’ll continue in the next life and the one after that, and the one after that. Never, never will I turn back.” That kind of courage is necessary. It’s a big task. The hardest thing in the world is to train one’s own mind.

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