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

Category: Health and Healing

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kiran
India

Question

I am suffering from depression which is caused by the problems of fear of decease n fear of death.i have been practicing haung-sau and om meditation techniques from last 1 year but these thoughts are keep coming during meditaion.plz advice to avoid these negative thoughs during meditation and general advice to improve my condition

Nayaswami Diksha

Nayaswami Diksha

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Kiran,

Sometimes during times when one experiences depression, fear or other negative emotions, it might not be enough to practice meditation, as the heart is too agitated.

Try adding meditative activities, like walking meditation with a repetition of a positive affirmation like this one by Swami Kriyananda:

"I am strong in myself, I am complete in myself. The joy and perfection of the universe, await discovery within my inner being."

Try walking in nature and relating to the beauty of flowers, trees, and the sound of birds. Focus on deep breathing, and feeling life’s energy and vitality flowing through you. Feel the joy of your own being.

Spend time with positive supportive people.

Find a way to serve other people. Sharing and giving to other people will help you expand your self identity. As you feel more joyful, then you will find that the meditation practices will be more effective.

Right now, it is better to focus on self-expansion, through service to others, through meditative activities, and feeling the joy of your existence. And if you are taking prescription medication for depression, continue that.

Blessings,

Nayaswami Diksha

leow
singapore

Question

Do you have any recommendations on how to use acupressure to stop drowsiness?

Mary Kretzmann

Mary Kretzmann

Ananda Village

Answer

Thanks for your question. I am familiar with acupressure through charts and books but not an expert, so I will simply address the drowsiness factor. The first step is to look at your life and see why you are feeling drowsy and when. Are you pushing yourself too hard and do you need a rest, etc.? If so, seek a more balanced schedule. Paramhansa Yogananda taught that we must be practical in our idealism.

A balanced diet can also be a very important factor. Sometimes when people first switch to a vegetarian diet they may add in too many carbohydrates, such as rice, bread, or potatoes to make up for the meat and fish proteins that have been eliminated from the diet. If you suspect this may be a factor in your own situation, see if you can add in some eggs to make up for the proteins so you don’t rely so heavily on rice, for instance. Too much rice or bread can make a person drowsy.

But if you feel affected by drowsiness to the degree it is interfering with your life, a few things can help. If it overcomes you at an inopportune time, then the fastest way out of it is to focus deeply and strongly at the point between the eyebrows (the spiritual eye). Visualize a bright light there. This can banish drowsiness very quickly.

If you are driving a car, please understand that your drowsiness puts lives at risk (your own and others) — so your duty is to either pull over and take a nap, or have someone else drive. If your drowsiness is not severe, you can take a cup of strong coffee or black tea if you know that will help you. Remember when you are driving or using heavy machinery your first duty is to not kill anyone. Of course, under normal circumstances, you should only drink caffeine in the morning, so that you can sleep again at night. This is important in cases of drowsiness because you don’t want your sleep cycles disturbed and thus causing more drowsiness.

The Superconscious Living Exercises can be very helpful, and you can watch an informal video of them here.

May you be well.

ruchit
India

Question

Is there any way in yoga to heal ourselves if we are infected by harmful diseases , recently i was diagnosed by an herpes zoster virus in my body and i heard that to remove it permanently i need to take help to yoga,

if you know how can i heal myself, please provide guidance to me, it'll be really appreciated.

Mary Kretzmann

Mary Kretzmann

Ananda Village

Answer

Thank you for your question. There are several forms of herpes zoster, but I will answer in a general way.

Whenever you are told something is incurable, instead think of it as simply resistant to healing, but not impossible to heal. The pattern of the illness may be that it is typically incurable. But all things are potentially mutable, so apply your best energy to the situation.

Here are my suggestions:

Please read Divine Will Healing by Paramhansa Yogananda. It is available from Ananda Publications in India (and at Crystal Clarity in the USA). Read from it each day to increase your positive frame of mind for healing.

Please also purchase Scientific Healing Affirmations by Paramhansa Yogananda. There are many suitable affirmations in the book. Read it through, and learn to do some of the affirmations with depth and attention. Please start by doing this powerful affirmation daily, and then learn others. Also helpful is Swami Kriyananda’s book, Affirmations for Self-Healing.

One more suggestion is to play the Gayatri Mantra CD daily for at least one month. This is to help you to heal the body cells and also reset your body vibration to a higher level. It might also be helpful to listen to the  AUM: Mantra of Eternity cd playing very softly while you sleep. This can bring changes in consciousness within about 3 weeks. These mantras will help your soul to dissolve some old energies that may be holding you back. You can experiment with both CDs and see which one resonates with you most deeply, and focus on that one for a while. I want you to feel that there is some flexibility in this process.

Of course, please do learn to meditate as this will help you to focus deeply on your healing affirmations and visualizations.

Paramhansa Yogananda said, "I know many cures". One that he mentioned for skin ailments was coconut oil. Try to get the purest non-hydrogenated form you can buy. This is a known antiviral. So you can use it topically and you can also eat it daily. A typical dose to heal a chronic viral load would be about three tablespoons a day. You can also simply eat a good amount of fresh coconut daily.  These are simply my suggestions, and I advise you to use this as a starting point for your own research, but I have seen coconut oil help many ailments.

It is also advised to eat a healthy diet, of course, and to avoid artificial sweeteners as these seem to interfere with natural cures for herpes zoster. Another powerful remedy is oregano oil, another known antiviral.

Please do the affirmations and listen to the mantras, and know they will help to heal you directly, and also they can serve as a divine magnet to bring healing solutions to you. Paramhansa Yogananda demonstrated miraculous healing power, so please pray and ask him to guide you in your healing process.

I hope these suggestions are helpful to you. Use the mantras and affirmations to raise your vibrations and to help to dissolve the old karmic pattern. Then choose any of the above remedies and apply them with a positive mind. Put your faith in God even as you apply the remedies. God is the healer, but if you also use remedies, ask Him to infuse them with healing potency.

Be well.

Mary Kretzmann

Director, Ananda Healing Prayer Ministry

James
UK

Question

I am a highly sensitive person suffering from depression since childhood. In the past I’ve experimented with hypnotherapy and shamanic journeying. I’ve not felt myself since. I continue to be plagued by dark thoughts and presences. I’ve practiced light worker ceremonies in the past. I feel this darkness wants to destroy me. How do I finally free myself? I’ve tried everything. Do I face it without fear? The darkness holds onto me so tightly.

Nayaswami Savitri

Nayaswami Savitri

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear James,

We are very sorry to hear of all your difficulties. In a private e-mail to you, I will send a long list of suggestions from Paramhansa Yogananda’s and Swami Kriyananda’s teachings which offer many excellent suggestions on how to pull away from the forces of darkness, which seems to have a strong hold on to you.

To sum it up, Yogananda says: "Never fear the darkness or beat at it with a stick. Instead, turn on the light and it will vanish as though it had never been." The dark forces are a reality, but we should never give them more power by fearing them or angrily fighting them.

"Turning on the light" means to add as much spiritual power into your life as possible. Having a God-realized guru to help you is one of the best possible things you could do.

Sometimes we really do not have enough strength to overcome dark forces alone, but the Great Ones certainly do! It’s a matter of inviting their energy and light into your life and then, though it might take some time, you will see that by being in a partnership with this best-of-all kind of Divine help, you come out of your cave of inner darkness and depression into the clear light of perfect, unending joy.

As you have found out, hypnotism and shamanic journeying definitely can cause psychic problems. Be sure to leave these things alone in the future.

Finally, I suggest that you ask for further help from having others pray for you. Please contact the Ananda Healing Prayer Ministry and request healing prayers. I will pray for you also. Take heart! This is not a hopeless situation, especially if you are willing to put out enough strong, positive energy to meet what is troubling you.

Thomas Petak
Australia

Question

Hi, I really hope you can help me figure out this dilemma. My mother is mentally ill and she has an extremely negative influence on me. She has no friends and my dad, my brother and me are the only family she has in Australia. Due to her condition she is the source of conflict in our family.

Is it correct to remove myself from her life to seek a more harmonious environment? Even if she ends up alone, experiencing unimaginable suffering?

Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you so much.

Nayaswami Parvati

Nayaswami Parvati

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Thomas,

I certainly do appreciate that this is a difficult situation for you. What comes to my mind first is, do you feel you are doing your mother any good by being physically present with her? This may seem like a strange question, but do think about it seriously. If being in her presence has “an extremely negative influence” on you, as you have written, then I would doubt that this is the case.

In such an intense situation – the negativity you experience, and the fact that she is your mother – I would think that it is best to remove yourself from it. This may seem heartless in one way. But at the same time, I would also suggest that you not abandon her. I think you should put a lot of effort into understanding healing prayers done at a distance, and how to do them effectively. Then every day set aside time after your meditations to pray deeply for her. If done correctly and regularly, your prayers will have a much more healing effect on her than your physical presence. Here is the link for healing prayer on Ananda’s website. There is a 10-minute video on the right side of the screen for doing Healing Prayers at a distance.

Your mother is already experiencing suffering, whether you are with her or not, so I wouldn’t put too much emphasis on this. The karmic ties between people can be very deep, so it’s good to recognize them and to try to do something about them, especially when they are very negative.

I hope these suggestions and information will be helpful to you.

In divine friendship,

Nayaswami Parvati

You Are What You Think
March 25, 2015

S
India

Question

Hi

I have been told several times that our body face and overall physical appearance is a manifestation of our thoughts. The shape of our eyes, nose, forehead, lips, smile, limbs, palms, fingers, texture of our hair.... all tell us the thoughts we have harboured for years. Is it true? Is there any science to study the character of a person from his appearance.

Puru (Joseph) Selbie

Answer

Dear S,

Current discoveries in science and the ancient teachings of the sages both tell us that our every thought, our every feeling, affects our body. Every thought or feeling we have sets in motion a cascade of physiological events. With a single thought, neuropeptides, the body’s chemical messengers, are sent to billions, even trillions, of our body’s cells instructing the cells to produce proteins. Those proteins can set in motion even more physiological events such as turning on or turning off genes, stimulating or subduing he body’s metabolism, or triggering the stress response.

The ancient sages simply say that our consciousness manifests the body every moment. As our consciousness changes so does our body.

Over time our habitual thoughts and feelings etch themselves into the appearance of our body. Various systems have been developed to "read" what is etched in our body. The lines on your palms, the colors in the iris, the shape of your ear, your feet, and more, all tell a story to one who has been trained. But you don’t have to be trained in one of these sciences to read what is etched in the body. Just look at a person and you can “read” them by their posture, their walk, the way the carry their body, the expression on their face when they think no one is looking. A habitually positive person will be looking up, spine erect, with an energetic walk and a smile on their face. A habitually sad person will be looking down, body slumped, with a plodding walk, and a blank look or a frown on their face.

To the sensitive, every aspect of a person has a story to tell!

Warm regards,

Puru (Joseph) Selbie

Carina
Germany

Question

Hello ,

In the past the Ananda Experts have answered questions about the spiritual view of donating organs. But what about blood, stem cell, and bone marrow donations? Have either Paramhansa Yogananda or Swami Kriyananda ever commented on that? Is it spiritually right? Is there a spiritual difference between donating organs and donating blood, stem cells or bone marrow? (A family member was saved by a stem cell donation and many people I know regularly donate their blood and so I wonder... ) Thank you very much

Nayaswami Pranaba

Nayaswami Pranaba

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Carina,

I don’t remember Paramhansa Yogananda commenting on these things but it seems fine for devotees to offer blood, stem cell, or bone marrow donations. These are done while one is still living. The issue with devotees donating organs at the end of life has to do with the impact on the soul leaving the physical body.

In divine friendship,

Nayaswami Pranaba

Adam
USA

Question

I mean no disrespect, but from my studies, those who practice the energization exercises and Kriya have the ability (in time) to recharge their "body batteries" to maintain physical strength and avoid sickness. Why then, did Swami Kriyananda seemingly suffer from so many physical ills in his older age (unable to remain standing during lectures, etc.)? Even Yogananda seemed to age quite noticeably before he left his body. Just trying to understand, thank you in advance.

Nayaswami Gyandev

Nayaswami Gyandev

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Adam,

It can be tempting to think that spiritual advancement equates with physical health. But it doesn’t. Many perfectly healthy, long-lived people have not a touch of spiritual interest or attainment. And highly advanced souls, having human bodies as they do, inevitably grow old and die. Meanwhile, they often use their spiritual attainment to take upon their own bodies the karma of others (usually that of their disciples). Add to that the fact that, when a great master has finished what he or she was sent to earth to accomplish, God calls them back home through the agency of a body that, at some point, simply stops working.

If you read the lives of saints and masters, you'll discover that they seldom use their spiritual power to heal themselves; in fact, I’ve never heard of one doing that. They’re too busy helping others to fuss over their own health. As Swami Kriyananda said, “My body is Divine Mother’s problem.”

Blessings,

Gyandev

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