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

Category: Health and Healing

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Rafal
Poland

Question

I feel strong tendency in my mind and very very strong in my heart to go into situations which cause a lot of pain. I am aware of that I do things which will cause more suffering but I cannot resist it. I feel like I want more and more pain. And on the one hand I do things which cause it, and on the other I feel guilty and am sorry for myself.

I’m torn between these two forces. I ralely find a moment of peace lately. Should I sink into this tendency? Give up to this not reasonable tendency?

Mary Kretzmann

Mary Kretzmann

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Rafal,

I am sorry you are suffering like this. We each have to make the choice in our lives, every day, to lift our energy toward our higher potential. Laziness or the downward pull can try to catch us in many ways.

You are feeling it particularly strong right now, but you are also reaching up to the Light, and to your higher nature, that you have taken the time to write and ask this question. So, no, please don’t give up and give in to the downward pull. Try to resist it each day with some kind of positive energy. This will help you will get stronger, and you will begin to feel inner peace. Take positive steps like going for a walk, or doing even more vigorous exercise, if you are able to do so. And please visit this page and do this affirmation every day for a month. It will help life your energy. This affirmation has the power to change you life, by reversing that downward pull into a healthy, upward direction. In the beginning, please do the affirmation along with me in the video so you can give it proper vigor and vitality. Do it this way for many days, and gradually you can do it on your own. The most important thing is to do it with energy, and with your focus uplifted to the point between the eyebrows, the seat of divine will in the body. The affirmation will help you to awaken that spiritual will power, and it will help you in all areas of your life.

God bless you,

Mary Kretzmann

Ananda Healing Prayer Ministry

Kailash
India

Question

What is the best and most spiritual diet one can follow in a week? I got an inspiration to try healthy food/right time for a while (hopefully for long), so would like to try out Ananda’s method.

Thank You!

Nayaswami Diksha

Nayaswami Diksha

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Kailash,

According to P. Yogananda food should be viewed in terms of life force and energy. Life energy sustains us and is responsible for our well-being.

Therefore our diet should include only foods that are easily converted into energy.

Our thoughts, actions, and health are generally determined by the foods that we eat, so we need to choose foods that are rich in life force, calm our nervous system and help to uplift and expand our consciousness.

Foods that are refined, processed and preserved should be avoided because they have lost their life force.

The diet that Yogananda recommended for the body includes: fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and legumes, nuts, seeds, some dairy products, and spices. This is a diet that help us to live a balanced life, keep our worldly duties, and meditate deeply.

Yogananda said that vegetarianism is in alignment with the consciousness of Dwapara Yuga, the age of energy.

Try to avoid, as much as possible, acid forming foods like meat, coffee, sugar, and white flour products.

Yogananda recommended for a person with good health a diet that includes:

60% fruits and vegetables, 20% protein, and 20% starches and simple carbohydrates.

Here are some great resources from Ananda that can help you:

How to Achieve Glowing Health and Vitality by P. Yogananda

Vegetarian Cooking for Starters by Diksha McCord

Vegetarian Cooking Online for Health and Vitality with Diksha McCord

Blessings,

Diksha

John
Italy

Question

Dear brothers and sisters in One,

Recently I read ”Autobiography“ and I really fell in love with the amazing guru Yogananda. In my heart I feel a strong desire to follow Him.

My question is: I am a Reiki practitioner for many years (I’m a Reiki Master-Teacher). Reiki helped me very much with my health condition, but most with my spiritual growth. Is it ok to practice kriya yoga and Reiki?

I owe Reiki so much and I don’t feel ready to abandon it.

Thank you in advance for your time and effort!

Mary Kretzmann

Mary Kretzmann

Ananda Village

Answer

Thank you for your question, for it is one that often comes up. First — listen to your heart. You read his book, Autobiography of a Yogi and “fell in love with the amazing Guru, Yogananda.”

That is wonderful! That is a precious gift to feel that connection with the Master!

Swami Kriyananda often mentioned that Shankaracharya, the great Master who lived many centuries ago in India, said that the greatest blessing in all the three worlds—the causal, the astral, and the physical universes—is the guidance of a true guru.

So it is important in these matter to keep a sense of spiritual priority. There is another saying from the teachings of India, “When a lower dharma (right action) conflicts with a higher dharma, it ceases to be a dharma.”

So, as you travel this journey of discipleship, let that be your guide. There is another quote from Paramhansa Yogananda that helped me very much, after I had come out of a time of spiritual testing:

“The greatest miracle is when the devotee no longer says, ‘I want what I want,’ but instead says, ‘I want what You want for me.’”

What is remarkable about that statement is that he says “the devotee”...not the worldly man, etc. Presumably the devotee, by definition, is one who is seeking God and true discipleship... So this implies it is fairly common for people to want to “qualify” their terms of discipleship in the beginning. It also explains why Babaji originally said that Kriya Yoga was only going to be for those disciples who would drop everything and seek God alone. Lahiri Mahsaya asked him to soften his stance, and so it was...

So, follow the highest instincts of your spiritual heart, and He will guide you. I think at this stage, simply ask for the Guru’s grace, if you were ever inwardly given the guidance to give up the Reiki — you would be able and willing to follow that guidance... For he would only ask that of you to give you something even better.

I practiced Reiki I & II many years ago, and at a certain point I felt guided that I should pray that the Reiki initiation be revoked, so I could be purely an instrument of healing through the grace of our line of Gurus. I had to take it as a “leap of faith”... and so I prayed powerfully for it to be removed. I did not know what the outcome would be, but overnight I felt a very strong increase in both healing power and intuition, for now the Gurus could flow through me more directly. I go into it more here:

God Is the Doer: A Healer’s Journey: An Interview with Mary Kretzmann

For now, simply allow it to be a question for the future. It is not a requirement to give up Reiki in order to take Kriya. But you may feel guided to do so at some point, to feel closer to the Guru in all things... And you needn’t feel that you were somehow being disloyal to the Reiki journey, and the blessings it has given you... Feel instead that your own inner journey and good karma has now led you to this extraordinary opportunity to have the greatest gift in all the three worlds: a true Guru... and in that know that even greater blessings await you.

I wish you the utmost blessings and soul healing on your journey!

Further Reading

Psychosis and Schizophrenia
February 24, 2014

Tyler Alexander
Canada

Question

What is Yogananda’s view on psychosis and schizophrenia-related symptoms? Did he recommend any technique to someone to overcome and heal psychosis/schizophrenia?

Nayaswami Savitri

Nayaswami Savitri

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Tyler,

Paramhansa Yogananda called himself a “spiritual psychologist,” and certainly must have encountered many souls with mental illnesses of many kinds. It is my understanding that he said that the root cause of mental illness is “...over-indulgence in sensory pleasures in past lifetimes."

That statement would seem to hold at least a partial answer as to what NOT to do in this lifetime. But of course, not over-indulging in sense pleasures is good advice for everyone, no matter when or where.

Otherwise, I don’t believe he spoke or wrote much, or at all, on this subject.

I have also heard Swami Kriyananda say that mental illness is at least partially caused by “a person’s inability to relate to anyone’s realities except his or her own.” Again, you can see the direction idea for healing in that statement — to help and serve others as much as possible and to quit thinking so much about one’s self.

Healing of all types of illness can often be helped greatly by prayers from those who practice Yogananda’s healing prayer techniques. This would be my best recommendation for a “first line of defense.” Please see: http://www.ananda.org/prayers/prayer-resources/

Marcela
Santiago of Chile

Question

Hi Dear Ananda Members,

I‘m happy I found this site. I just saw videos of Mary Kretzmann and I’m very interested in sending energy to my father who is going through a difficult time. Very recently I have started to meditate, so I find it a little difficult this technique of prayer. Especially if it is a family, because emotions do not help me. How I can improve this? And finally, will you be able to help my family and send energy, while I learn? Thank you very much.

Mary Kretzmann

Mary Kretzmann

Ananda Village

Answer

Thank you for your question. Yes — you are right. When someone in your own family is going through something, it can be difficult to pray deeply, because it may awaken your emotions of fear or sadness. That is why it is important to ask others to pray with you.

We can help you pray for your father; you can submit a prayer request here. I think part of the problem is that you feel all of the responsibility to help your father is upon your shoulders. Remember that he is God’s child. When you know that we are praying with you, I feel that your own heart will relax and you will begin to feel some of Divine Mother’s healing grace flowing through you.

And please do continue to pray for your father using the Divine Mother healing prayer technique. ( You can find many healing resources here, translated into Spanish.) Even though it is important to ask others to pray, it is also very good for you to pray. Simply do this prayer — for it only takes a few minutes. When you say the words to Divine Mother Prayer, and then chant AUM three times, it gives you something positive and helpful to do for your father. I think you have been worried it is not “enough” — and that is why it is good to ask for help. But he is also helped by your prayers, too, for you are his daughter. That makes your efforts on his behalf very precious.

And your own soul is helped by your prayers for him, as well, for if nothing else, your prayers express compassion for him and his situation right now. When you do the Divine Mother Prayer, think of her Compassion, and how She loves us, even if we have erred in life. She doesn’t love the errors — She loves us, and wants to help us. Think of this when you pray for him.

Healing an Emotional Trauma
February 18, 2014

Geo Grant
US

Question

How can one recover from making the mistake of associating with a very negative, threatening person? I was on vacation in Hawaii staying in a hostel and came across an ex Special Forces, very negative, angry man who out of kindness I gave a ride to the beach.

Later that day, he started drinking, and sneaked up behind me, grabbed me and proceeded to demonstrate how to kill someone using various techniques. The next day the man apologized, but for me I feel some damage was done. How to recover?

Puru (Joseph) Selbie

Puru (Joseph) Selbie

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Geo,

Sudden and frightening experiences can often leave us unsettled. Sometimes such an experience “stays with us” well after it is over. You may want to try the following technique:

Stand quietly with eyes closed. After a few moments, keeping your eyes closed, slowly raise your arms. As you do so, visualize a sphere of light surrounding your body. You may want to lower and then raise your arms several times to “strengthen” the aura of light in which you are now safe, centered, and protected. Imagine that wherever you go, whatever you do, you are protected in God’s light.

In the safety of your sphere of light consciously relax the heart and release the emotion that is still unsettling you. Imagine that it is evaporating into the light that is filling your heart.

Ask God and guru to bless the man who unsettled you as you remain within the safety of the light. Imagine that as God and guru’s blessings poor over him your connection to him and the feelings you have toward him are dissolved.

You can do this as many times as you need. The key is to let go of the negative emotion and to disconnect yourself from him psychically.

Warm regards,

Joseph (Puru) Selbie

A Singh
India

Question

Although I am not officially trained as a healer, whenever I pray for someone in deep trouble (could be physical or mental), he/she feels some relief or in fortunate situations a total relief. Every time I get this affirmation there is an inner feeling that I should channel my energies and focus more, as I do not actually know how to direct God’s healing power. Please suggest ways in which I can send healing vibes to others in best possible way. Thank you!

Mary Kretzmann

Mary Kretzmann

Ananda Village

Answer

It sounds like you have a natural attunement and affinity for sending healing energy. Paramhansa Yogananda shared many deep teachings on the topic. To learn more I suggest you look through this section on Healing Resources: Many Ways to Share in the Blessings.

And I also invite you to consider joining us in prayer via the Ananda Healing Prayer Ministry whenever it feels like the right time for you to do so. Many of our members have felt their healing ability and intuition increase over the years by serving in this way.

Blessings,

Mary Kretzmann

Healing High Blood Pressure
November 19, 2013

Sharmila Chakravarty
India

Question

Jai Guru, My brother is suffering from extremely high blood pressure and is not responding to the medicines prescribed by the doctor for the past few months. I suggested him some healing affirmations, but his will power has gone extremely down and is very depressed due to his anxiety caused by his increased heart rate. In what way can I boost his energy apart from sending healing prayers?

Mary Kretzmann

Mary Kretzmann

Ananda Village

Answer

I am very sorry to hear about his difficulties with high blood pressure. Please do continue to pray for him, and you can ask the Healing Prayer Ministry to pray for him, as well.

It is very important that he should engage in his healing process in some way, beyond just taking his pills. This will help his healing, and also help prevent depression. And since he seems reluctant to do affirmations, please do ask him to at least watch this short video that I made about this Powerful Healing Affirmation, by Paramhansa Yogananda.

Focus deeply at the spiritual eye, and repeat three times:

“I will with my own will, which flows from the divine will, to be healthy to be well, to be prosperous and spiritual, to be well, to be well.”

Paramhansa Yogananda also stressed that most foods have more vitality in their raw state. He was not fanatical about it, but he did say that most people would benefit if they ate 50-90% of their food raw. This can seem daunting if you are not used to it, but one way to increase the raw food in one’s diet is to always start the meal with a raw fruit, or a vegetable salad. In this way you bring your full appetite to the raw food first, instead of at the end of the meal, when maybe you are no longer hungry.

These raw foods are known to be very helpful for high blood pressure: Beets, carrots, ginger, apples. They can be grated up and eaten as a salad, or blended in a high powered blender, such as Vitamix. You don’t need to eat them all together – but they are good this way. Use only a small chunk of raw beet at first until you get used to it.

Cucumbers are also helpful. And many people find that cayenne pepper lowers their blood pressure quite quickly – often within hours. Several studies have found that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables helps lower elevated blood pressure.

Another strategy, besides striving to increase raw fruits and vegetables, is to consciously decrease foods made with white flour, white rice and white sugar. These tend to spike insulin and that can be an aggravating factor for high blood pressure. Change the proportion on the plate to reflect a big increase in the fresh foods, and a decrease in the “white” foods mentioned above. Many people will find that the body responds well to such a plan…

And the good news is that dark chocolate is also helpful for high blood pressure, if it’s at least 70% cocoa solids. And it helps depression, too. So maybe these dietary changes will be easier to embrace if he knows he can top of f the day with a small chunk of dark chocolate. Life is about joyful balance!

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