According to the Buddha, no one can attain basic sanity and basic enlightenment without practicing meditation. You might be highly confused or you might be highly awakened and completely ready for the path. You might be emotionally disturbed and experiencing a sense of claustrophobia in relation to your world. Perhaps you are inspired by works of art you have done or the visual and audible aspects of works of art in general. You might be fat, thin, big, small, intelligent, stupid—whatever you are, there is only one way, unconditionally, and that is to begin with the practice of meditation. The practice of meditation is the and only way. Without that, there is no way out and no way in.
From "The Only Way," in The Path Is the Goal: A Basic Handbook of Buddhist Meditation, page 4.