Life is Precious
July 4th, 2007
My friend and I in a high school performance
A friend of mine died two weeks ago. He was my closest friend during high school, and was planning to visit me at Ananda Village today.
Events like this give us a chance to ask, after it is all over: where are we, spiritually? how did we react? This experience was surprising for me in this way, and I’ll explain why.
When I found out about his death last Wednesday, I naturally prayed for his soul; for it to rise and seek the light. I used a version of Yogananda’s “Divine Mother prayer,” modified for this purpose. It is:
“Divine Mother, Thou art omnipresent. Thou art in all Thy children. Thou art in the soul of [the person’s name]. Manifest Thy healing presence in [his or her] soul.”
(For a living person you would end with “body, mind, and soul.”)
The next day there was an hour-long healing prayer session, held for a number of people. We have these each Thursday at Ananda Village, and all community members and guests are invited.
Praying for my friend during both of these times, I seemed to feel him very near, as if no gulf of time and space rose to separate us. However, I didn’t feel, until the group prayers, as if it was doing any good! But a couple of hours after praying with a group, a thought of him crossed my mind, and I was surprised to feel joy.
With an experience like this, it is hard to feel that any permanent loss has occurred. With this, and with wise counsel and friendship, what I expected to be difficult for weeks was only painful for a few days. It is like it was the spiritual test that “might have been.”
Yogananda explained much about what happens after death. In The Essence of Self-Realization, he says that materialistic souls fall into a deep sleep, and are reborn after some time, to continue their climb toward spiritual enlightenment.
Spiritual souls, having developed spiritual sensitivity through right action, go to heavenly planes.
And, he says, “Those souls, especially, who in this life have meditated even a little bit, go to regions of great beauty after death.”
My friend had many good qualities. He even had spiritual inclinations, but left them mostly unfulfilled. Because of this, in the last week I’ve been feeling a sense of urgency in seeking God.
Death can come at any time and without warning; life is precious – not something to let slip away, neglecting the things that really matter.
As Yogananda said: “Everything else can wait, but my search for God cannot wait.”
Posts from Nabha Cosley
- How I Found My Guru
- Steve Jobs and the Autobiography of a Yogi
- My First Prayer Was About a Cat
- An Open Letter to Myself Before My Move to Ananda Village
- Day by Day
- The Prayer of Discipleship
- It’s Never Too Late
- “I Will” – A Tribute to Nayaswami Maria
- Behind the Scenes of the “Rescuing Yogananda” Website
- The Trip to Los Angeles
- Are We Ready for This?
- My First Three Months of Meditation
- Much More is Needed
- The Joy of Renunciation – What I’m Telling My Family About My Lifetime Monastic Vows
- Why Be Grateful? — Thoughts from Thanksgiving
- Writing Swami Kriyananda’s Website
- No Regrets
- What Makes Something a Success? (The Story of an Ananda-Style Photo Shoot)
- Daily Inspiration
- The Job of the Guru
- Ananda’s Future
- Dramatic Improvisation for Fun and Spiritual Upliftment
- Smoke, Clouds; Moods, Depression; and Freedom
- How Living in Spiritual Community is Changing the Way I See the World
- The Deer of Ananda Village
- My Parents Visit Ananda Village
- Why I Became a Monk
- Every Kriya Can Take Us To God
- Tea with Swami Kriyananda
- Life is Precious
- Paintings from the Joyful Arts Festival
- Prayer Vigil for Swami Kriyananda
- How to Build a Monastery
- The Easiest Way to God
- Traveling Within in India, Part 2: Our Visit to Vanamali Devi
- Traveling Within in India: Our Pilgrimage to Rishikesh, Part 1
- How to Start Meditating Daily
- Sweetness, Sincerity, and Swami Kriyananda
- Meditating in India
- What is Ananda?
- Thanksgiving blessings, and a way to develop gratitude
- Tibetan Buddhists visit the Ananda Meditation Retreat