My school environment is very negative for my spiritual growth. Cursing, profane jokes, and vulgar conversations are a norm for all of my peers. I find myself losing a grip on my inner temple and my own personality when I am in this environment. How do I stay centered as I participate in my school’s activities and how do I prevent losing myself when I interact with my peers?
You are not alone. Why is it that the behavior you write about is so common in our culture? Even as an adult it is sometimes difficult to find others with a refined spirit. I am not talking about people who can play the violin and drink expensive wine, but people who are sensitive to the realities of others and who are committed to higher ideals. Most of us have seen movies that make disrespect and vulgar language seem like something all teens do if they want to be popular. The truth is that these actions are signs of unhappiness and discontent. A first step for you would be to look around your school to see if there are any teachers who are trying to offer a “safe haven” for their students. This might take the form of a service club or discussion group. Sometimes churches sponsor these types of activities, which could be fun if they aren’t too dogmatic in their approach. I’d also like to invite you to be a part of our teen forum that we are getting off the ground at www.edforlife.org (go to “Get Involved” and then “Teen Forum”). Our goal is to create a place for teens like yourself to meet and inspire each other. In the meantime you could write and share ideas with me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’m in a serious confusion as to what should be my next step. My desire has become intense to live a life of spirituality, as I’m simply fed up of living among worldly people and their worldly advises. I’ve to continue my further studies to earn my own money to live later (hopefully) at Ananda, but I cannot imagine living among "unspiritual" people for more years. There are other places for studies with spirituality, but that would feel like being disloyal to Master, whom I see as my Guru.
Finding a spiritually supportive environment for education is a major challenge. Ananda has founded its first college in Laurelwood, Oregon to meet this need (www.anandauniversity.org). If your situation precludes this alternative, you can always pray directly to Master to guide you to the right people who can provide the support you need. One student I know is starting a kirtan group at her college with the idea of attracting other truth-seeking souls. Finding another place that appreciates Master’s teachings, even though they focus on another path, is also a possibility. Putting out positive energy in whatever way you can will create the magnetism that draws your answer.
I've been realizing nowadays that I'm not focusing on the spiritual path like I used to before. I'm in my 12th grade, and therefore there are expectations by my parents and relatives that I study hard and get high marks to join a good college later on. But my mind doesn't seem to be focused at the moment. What must I do to be more spiritual and joyful with the thought of God, and apply that to my studies as well?
Thank you for your question. It is great that you are thinking of how to deepen your spiritual life in the midst of all the pressure to succeed on the physical plane.
We cannot be truly successful without first addressing our connection with God. As it says in the Bible:
Hi, my name is Mattia and I've a question for you. I'm a student and I would like to know some tecnics to improve my study. In fact, I have some problems to concentrate and sometime studying becomes boring. How could I make studying more enjoyable? How could I improve it?
Joy to you! Anything you want to improve takes desire, focus and concentration.
Pray for the desire to improve your study habits, your focus and your concentration. Ask God to work through you while you study. And make the time you spend studying a special time for you to commune with the Divine. Offer your studying to God.
Has Paramhansa Yoganandaji written any book on education?
Although Yogananda did not specifically write a book on education, he put into manifestation many of his ideas regarding this important topic. One of his first endeavors in India was starting a school.
However, his disciple, Swami Kriyananda, brought together Yogananda's ideas on education and presented them in the book, Education for Life. This is probably the best resource on this topic.