One often notices a tendency in the traveller on the spiritual path, who considers the change of spiritual practices as a sign of progress. But this is an error. And it comes from the habit that one has made by studying the knowledge of the outer world, as it is taught in the schools and colleges and universities, one thing after another. So he is accustomed to feel that by getting a new practice he is advancing. In reality it is quite the opposite. It is not the change of practices, it is the continuity of them which brings it to a desired result.
One sees the same in music. The best player of music, an instrument, considers the scales as the most important thing to play. The others will go on from one music to another, but the best player will still continue his scales. So it is with the singer. It is not by changing of the song that the singer becomes great. It is by singing the same song more and more effectively that brings the singer to fame. In this is the secret of spiritual progress.
Most often it is the lack of patience that keeps a person back from advancing. Spiritual practices in time become a capital that brings an interest. This interest makes the capital larger and larger. In order to be rich, therefore, one does not need a new coin every day; the same coin can make one rich. The benefit that one derives from a practice, in the first month that he has begun it, is much smaller compared to the benefit he derives by the same practice in the next year. And the way the benefit increases cannot be explained in words; it becomes unimaginably greater, which comes as the reward of patience.
It is not the change of practice which is necessary to progress; it is one’s belief in the effect of the practice, it is the centralising of one’s mind upon it, it is the hope with which one looks forward to the effect that the practice brings. When a person says, “No, I don’t feel anything with this practice,” he may just as well go on saying that, and he will never feel anything from it. The fact is that it is not that the practice does not bring to him anything, it is that he derives unconsciously what the practice will bring to him. There is sometimes money invested which does not bring interest for some time. That does not mean that the money is lost. The day when the interest will commence, it will come to you. Therefore, what is needed is patience in the absence of the effect that one expects to derive from it.