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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!

m
india

Question

Hi!

Did Yogananda give any diet suggestions for people suffering from colitis?

Thanks!

Nayaswami Gyandev

Nayaswami Gyandev

Ananda Village

Answer

Yogananda stated that one cause of colitis can be Vitamin B deficiency. He suggested the following food sources of vitamin B: wholemeal flour, whole barley, whole unpolished rice, oatmeal, rye, nuts, eggs, milk, peas, beans, lentils, and yeast. Vitamin B is also present in small amounts in nearly all fruits and vegetables, especially tomatoes and spinach. Because Vitamin B is soluble in water, care should be taken to use the water that vegetables are cooked in. Better still, steam your vegetables.

In his book The Art and Science of Raja Yoga, Swami Kriyananda wrote, “Basically, what is necessary for all stomach [i.e., digestive] ailments is the elimination of poisons, and the stimulation of energy in the stomach, through fasting, better diet, and right exercise.” Concerning colitis specifically, he wrote: “Colitis, like most stomach ailments, is usually associated with some nervous disturbance. Concentrate on curing not only the effect, but also the cause. The postures and breathing exercises, and above all meditation, can gradually restore one to a state of harmony, physically as well as mentally.”

Blessings,

Gyandev

Cooking in a Microwave
November 19, 2013

Oleg
Russia

Question

I often heat up my family’s food in the microwave. It is so convenient.

However, many people who practice yoga recommend me not to use the microwave oven.

They argue that the microwave destroys the quality of the food.

What can you advise?

Regards,

Oleg

Initiated into discipleship this year.

Nayaswami Diksha

Nayaswami Diksha

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Oleg,

I once read about a research that was done comparing different methods of cooking vegetables: steaming, sauteeing, baking and using a microwave. Kirlian photography was used, which photograph the magnetic field (aura) of the objects, in this case vegetables.

Before cooking, the raw vegetables had a nice bright aura around them.

After cooking in different methods the aura shrank a bit, but was still there. The only method of cooking that the aura was completely diminished was after using microwave.

From what I read, microwave does destroy the molecular structure of foods.

You can try a simple experiment: boil a cup of water in a microwave and another cup of water on the stove. Taste each one and see if there is a difference.

I don’t use a microwave myself, unless there is no other choice.

Blessings,

Diksha

Sleep and Depression
October 24, 2013

Leigh
USA

Question

What happens to the soul when we sleep? When I am depressed, I find it very hard to get out of bed — it is as though I can go on sleeping even though my body has surely had enough rest! Are there any spiritual benefits to sleep? Is the tendency to sleep biochemical secondary to what is released during depression? Thank you.

Nayaswami Gyandev

Nayaswami Gyandev

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Leigh,

Nothing happens to the soul when we sleep: it is ever-perfect. What changes is our level of consciousness, as we (usually) go into a subconscious state during sleep. Our awareness retreats partially from the senses, and our energy becomes more centered in the chakras. This gives body and mind an important rest, enabling us to make better efforts—physically, mentally, and spiritually—when we awaken, as well as have a generally better outlook on life.

So yes, sleep is beneficial on many levels. Too little sleep, said Paramhansa Yogananda, is harmful to the nervous system. Sleep is particularly helpful for the heart and digestive tract. He also said that one who aspires to develop uniformly and steadily in spirituality must always keep the body quiet and not in perpetual motion and restlessness.

One can get an even better rest through deep meditation, to the extent that highly advanced meditators need to sleep very little, if at all. But the rest of us need some sleep to rest and rejuvenate ourselves.

Yes, depression can make it difficult to get out of bed, and not only because of its biochemical effects. Depression can engender pessimism, despair, and hopelessness, which rob a person of energy, and thereby incline one toward needing more sleep.

I pray that you will soon find your way out of that insidious illness.

Blessings,

Gyandev

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