Ask Ananda’s Experts
Questions and Answers About Meditation, Yoga, the Spiritual Life, and More

Category: General

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RUCHIT
India

Question

From my spiritual practices i’ve became a lot better person but now an problem has occured with me whenver i’m thinking or lost in thoughts unknowingly i project my thoughts to other people around the area so i don’t want them to hear my thoughts sometimes there are too much personal thoughts what can i do to stop people hearing my thoughts.

Nayaswami Gyandev

Nayaswami Gyandev

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Ruchit,

First of all, your thoughts are not your personal creations. Thoughts simply "are," and different people often tune into the same thought at the same time, especially if they happen to be in the same location.

If you think that other people are picking up "your" thoughts, that would be a wonderful incentive to be extra careful about what you think. Keep your mind focused and strive to have only good, constructive thoughts. Then you will be happier and you'll have a beneficial influence on others.

Blessings,

Gyandev

How to Develop Confidence
August 18, 2015

Geetika
India

Question

I am a dancer, and always set a standard of perfection and the highest for myself. As a result, I am always stressed. I reject programmes and shun public performance many times as I think I am not well prepared. I am always scared of performing less than perfect, and as a result, half of my life is already wasted in waiting for a time when I will be perfect. Most of my energy is drained in fear and nervousness. I will be happy if you suggest a way to come out of it.

Nayaswami Pranaba

Nayaswami Pranaba

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Geetika,

It’s important to be able to release the tensions that come from expectations. Try to feel that the Divine is the one moving through you rather than you have to do it all.

True confidence comes from being in tune with God and feeling that flow within us.

Here are some suggestions from Paramhansa Yogananda, from the book, How to Have Courage, Calmness and Confidence:

  1. Deep breathing: Breathe deeply a few times, concentrating at the point between the eyebrows, just before the performance. This will remove timidity and insure self-confidence.
  2. Mentally rehearse very clearly how masterfully, joyously, and eagerly you are going to perform.
  3. Remove nervousness by tensing and relaxing.
  4. Take a bath two hours before, or immediately before, the performance. If time is limited, simply wash all the openings of the body with cold water.
  5. Humbleness is magnetic and will draw kind attention and sympathy from your audience, while pride will cause sneers and apathy. An inferiority complex will cause pity, disbelief, and lack of enthusiasm in your audience. An inferiority complex will cause you to underestimate your real ability and will destroy whatever faculty you may possess. Cool confidence in your ability and the positive outcome of your performance, due to God working with you, must always keep you happy and contented just before your debut. Make up your mind to do your very utmost to make people appreciate your performance.

Yogananda also recommended going on “worry fasts” to free us from anxiety and tension that results from worrying. Simply take a few times during the day to be free from any worries that assail you. Be disciplined in this effort and then gradually extend the times until you can go the whole day without getting caught by worries. Also, go on “joy feasts” by associating with those who have a contagious joy in their lives.

I hope this will be helpful to you.

In divine friendship,

Nayaswami Pranaba

The Meaning of Dreams
August 18, 2015

AB
Europe

Question

Hello!

Are dreams a window into parallel universes, or is it your astral body traveling in an astral plane?

Or is it just fantasy?

Tyagi Jayadev

Tyagi Jayadev

Ananda Assisi, Italy

Answer

Dear AB,

Most dreams are simply "materialized" subconscious thoughts, or projections of the subconscious mind. So in general dreams are not really fantasy, but they are not much more important than that. What happens is that in sleep our life force withdraws inside and makes subconscious impressions come alive. Yogananda says it much better: "In sleep, life energy is released from various bodily demands and retires to the brain cells, in which are stored the thought films of all past experiences. The enlivening action of the energy on the stored-up thought films in the subconscious mind results in the projection of the mental motion pictures we call dreams."

However, he also explains: "Not all dreams are meaningless. If your mind is calm and attuned, you will know someone is trying to get in touch with you through that dream. As you develop spiritually, your loved ones may appear to you in visions in meditation. And when you are very highly developed, you can behold those souls right here in front of you."

There are also superconscious dreams which are very meaningful. They are on the level of a vision, giving inspiration, guidance, blessing. However, these are rare. Swami Kriyananda once experienced kundalini awakening during such a dream.

You ask: while dreaming, are we in the astral body? Yes. In sleep our consciousness retires from the physical body and it is in the astral body. In deepest sleep, it is even in the causal (thought) body. You may read in the Autobiography of a Yogi: "If man’s sleep be deep and dreamless, for several hours he is able to transfer his consciousness, or sense of I-ness, to the causal body."

Seen in the right perspective, our nightly dreams are a cosmic teacher: they tell us that in truth ALL life is a dream, and that you are dreaming right now, reading this dream text. Self-realization means waking up from this dream, in superconsciousness, in oneness with God.

In divine friendship,

Jayadev

How to Deal with Anxiety
August 17, 2015

Geeta
India

Question

Hello. I have been having anxiety concerning being left alone since many years. I have a job. My parents and I were living together but my father passed away last year. My mother and I still live together. I send good wishes to my father in the astral realm and want to meet him again very much. I do chant and pray. Daytime is busy, but at night after sleep, great anxiety comes of being alone,and being afraid of a long life. I feel current-like movement between my ankles and knees, a horrible feeling when attacks of anxiety come. I am grateful for your kindness.

Nayaswami Pranaba

Nayaswami Pranaba

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Geeta,

Here are a few suggestions that may be helpful:

It would be good to develop more relaxation in your daily life. Here is an excellent article by Nayaswami Jyotish with instructions for gaining relaxation.

Secondly, having a regular daily practice of meditation is essential for shifting the consciousness in dealing with your challenges. When you are able to dive into a meditative state then you are much more able to open up to superconscious solutions and go beyond the stresses and anxieties of life.

Third, try to fine others who are spiritually inclined and who have an uplifting, positive approach to life. This satsang will nurture and remind you of your true purpose in life and give support in overcoming your challenges. Here is a link to Ananda India and it’s various groups.

I hope this is helpful to you.

In divine friendship,

Nayaswami Pranaba

Ruchit
India

Question

from my years of spirituals practices there has been a lot of changes into my consciousness sometimes during meditation i enter deep and higher consciousness i feel like i’m not of this world and why am i here? and the interesting part the things around me starts moving without touching them sometime electric bulbs fluctuate when i’m near them,sometimes whatever i’m thinking is becoming true.what’s all this please provide guidance according to your knowledge.

Nayaswami Gyandev

Nayaswami Gyandev

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Ruchit,

It’s natural for anyone who is spiritually inclined to wonder why he or she is here. But there’s always a reason: we have some things to work on!

Because people have magnetic fields, some devices (especially those that use electricity, such as lights, telephones, digital watches, computers) can be affected by those magnetic fields. Some people need to wear old-style mechanical watches, because digital watches malfunction due to those their magnetic fields. In fact, some people affect mechanical watches as well.

If your thoughts are materially affecting external events, that can be a useful ability. However, it carries with it great responsibility to think only beneficial and selfless thoughts. Anyone who thinks harmful or selfish thoughts will experience corresponding bad karma—and the stronger that person’s mental power, the worse the karma.

So strive always to use your magnetism intentionally and beneficially. Try to focus your thoughts and energy, and be very conscious of how you use them. Toward this end, it will help if you practice Paramhansa Yogananda’s Energization Exercises, meditate regularly, and try to live from your center, from your spine. And if you do feel the ability to affect outward events, always ask God to guide your use of that ability.

Blessings,

Gyandev

jon
noway

Question

friends what are the diffrence between the hindu Goods and the old greek and the gods from egypt and the old scandinavien gods like tor and odin are the hindu gods more real then the others? odin was for sure real to does how pray to him ,or are they consider false gods?thank u jon

Nayaswami Hriman

Nayaswami Hriman

Ananda Seattle

Answer

Dear Friend, Jon,

It is taught, down through the ages, that the Infinite Spirit creates and sustains the cosmos through the agency of astral and causal Beings: namely, gods, goddesses and the like. The existence of many levels of astral Beings has been affirmed and taught in every culture: angels, demons, devas, fairies and on and on.

These Beings play roles and have functions, much like a President or Minister or Government official. Thus the roles remain even if the names of those performing the roles change. In different cultures, names are given to the "deities" who hold certain universal roles. The sun god would be a common example. Known by many names, the role remains the same.

Some humans, more so in past times than now, worship these "lesser gods" perhaps to gain favor and material benefits; perhaps out of fear. But the highest teaching is that "God is One!" Thus the highest form of worship and inner communion is with the one and true God: the Infinite Spirit. Jesus prayed to God in the form of the father.

But our hearts and minds find it difficult to relate to an "infinite spirit" without name or form and not having been "introduced" as it were. Thus the worship of deities or one’s sat (true) guru form a stepping stone in the direction of Oneness, allowing our human hearts and minds and hands to relate and engage more easily.

It is less important to ask "Which god is more powerful or real" than it is to ask "How deep and sincere is my love, devotion and service to God" (in whatever form we hold dear and true to ourselves). The devotee should see in his beloved deity, the Infinite Lord standing behind, as it were. See the lesser god or guru as a vehicle for transmitting God consciousness.

So pray to God to help you find the "best way or form to worship." God is in all forms; all atoms; all people; all teachers. Best, however, to find that form which inspires and guides you to become the best you can be.

Sincerely with blessings,

Nayaswami Hriman

Deeapk Kumawat
india

Question

Sir, when i study my mind think another thing like what i talk with people, what thing they say to me by this my mind divert but not totally some time think I control it again happen and happen and I have to give more input to study but get very less result. If I do 9 hour study its output is like 4 to 5 hour plz suggest me so I can prepare better.

Kristy Fassler-Hecht

Kristy Fassler-Hecht

Ananda Maine

Answer

Dear Deeapk,

Your challenges with keeping a focused mind on what you are doing may be overcome with steadfast practice of concentration techniques. Here is a link to some articles that may be useful under the topic of concentration. Be sure to read the one on how to develop concentration as well as others.

Some very important keys to overcoming difficulty with concentration are to keep practicing, never give up, and stay calm and relaxed inwardly while focusing your attention on what you are concentrating on.

In Divine Friendship,

Kristy

Darshan koundinya
India

Question

I am a student pursuing engineering degree. But, I always fail in executing plan. Every time I plan to do better but, I fail every time because of my absent mindedness please tell me how do I overcome this and do my best. Even I forgot to take medicine which is very essential for me.

Nayaswami Gyandev

Nayaswami Gyandev

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Darshan,

Since you are an engineering student, you are clearly a very capable person. However, it seems that you are not taking charge of your life. I suggest that this difficulty might have been brought on by one of two things:

  • You have way too much on your mind and need to lighten your load—either in actuality by getting rid of something, or in perception by beginning to meditate, become more efficient, and clear the mental debris.
  • There is something rather large in yourself or your life that you do not wish—or do not think you have the time or ability—to attend to. This can develop in you a tendency not to attend to other things as well (your medicine, for example). It only gets worse if you let it continue.

I suggest that you look into one or both of those options. You cannot afford to let this continue.

Meanwhile, as you are an engineering student, you have plenty of tech available to you. Therefore, while you try to sort things out, I suggest you start using a calendar app that will remind you, at the very least when it’s time to take your medicine, but for other things as well. It’s a step toward taking charge of your life. Any step you take in that direction will be helpful.

Blessings,

Gyandev

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