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Rusha Verma
India

Question

Hi Mary! Thanks for your answer to my question.Can cracked relationships be healed?" We can talk out as you said if our loved ones are near. But what do we do if they are far far away and out of touch for over 2-3 years? Can such relationships be healed too with patience, diligence and prayer? Does the universe respond to our prayers and love?

Mary Kretzmann

Mary Kretzmann

Ananda Village

Answer

If this is a romantic relationship and you have been out of touch for 2-3 years, and you are the injured party, I suggest that you focus your prayers on releasing the person and the memories into God’s hands. Let it go, especially if it only reached the romance stage, but had not yet progressed to marriage, and no children are involved.

If however, you are the one who created the most pain and injury, it is very worthwhile to offer many prayers of healing, not to restore the relationship outwardly, but rather to make things right with God, and with the person’s soul. At some point you will leave this world and review those events in which you hurt others, feeling the pain from their point of view. Heal that. You can use the techniques that I listed in the original post — (linked above).

Healing energy can be sent across the globe, and even across time to loved ones we have known in past lives. There is no limit, except our own motivation and dedication to the process.

God answers all prayers. Restless prayers, however, He answers only a little bit. If you offer to others something that isn’t yours to give, won’t that be a merely empty gesture? If you pray to God, similarly, but lack control over your own thoughts, that prayer will be without power. Thoughts and feelings, both, must be focused when you pray. Otherwise God will meet your little trickle with another trickle of His own! He will dole His answers out to you in a teaspoon. Too often, prayer is more like the halfhearted mumbling of a beggar than the confident, loving demand of a friend. Meditation Wisdom from Paramhansa Yogananda

Rusha Verma
UK

Question

Can normalcy be restored in relationships especially romantic ones where we have treated people badly or where we have been treated badly? Can time or prayers heal the cracked relationships completely or should we consider a divine purpose behind those bitterness and leave things as they are?

Mary Kretzmann

Mary Kretzmann

Ananda Village

Answer

Yes — normalcy can be restored, but the journey may not be easy. At the heart of any relationship is the past karma (good or bad) and the current spiritual maturity of the two individuals. We have seen relationships and marriages healed by prayer and right action.

I was intrigued years ago to read about a marriage counselor who had noted success helping couples on the verge of divorce. She said that healing was possible if both of the individuals were able to say, "I am truly sorry" for whatever was their part of the problem. Her sessions were designed to help the couple feel safe enough to do that. Most people find it very difficult to make a sincere apology, from the heart. Instead they may feel a need to say, 'Well — I am sorry, but..." and the apology turns into a defense of their actions in some way or another...

Similarly, another famous marriage counselor, John Gottman, made an interesting discovery about healing severely distressed marriages. He would ask such couples to tell the story of how they met, and if each partner could tell the story of their meeting, and courtship, with a recollection of the love that had started then, the marriage could be healed, for original spark was still there, though hidden. But if one or both partners had begun to "rewrite history" even of the courtship phase with negativity, he said that was the final death blow.

So, if a couple can see each other with empathy and understanding, and if both resolve to heal and improve the marriage, there is hope. Healing prayers can be very helpful in healing any family relationship.

If you feel you have injured the other person, please do what you can to make amends, for that will heal some of the pain you have caused, but please know the partner may not want you back, if the injury was severe. Respect that.

Only you know what is at stake in the relationship you are asking about. Sometimes people hurt those who are most precious to their souls, and deep prayer should be used to heal those relationships.

These prayers and resources can be helpful to you now:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

kiran
india

Question

Most of time nowadays I remain in blues and cant change my personality, some this cause slurring of speech, no interest in anythings. What should I do to enhance my mood, for continuous joy and eternal feelings, to boost up my confedence, and fluency of speech?

Nayaswami Premdas

Nayaswami Premdas

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Kiran,

I want to direct you to a wonderful book that addresses this very issue and is the first step in The Ananda Course in Self-Realization, Lessons in Meditation . You can learn more about it here: http://www.ananda.org/meditation/ananda-course-in-self-realization-the-path-of-kriya-yoga/. These lessons offer the new yogi, spiritual adept, simple and direct practices of controlling one’s energy. This is essential if you wish to address the despondency, blues, and moods your letter references. The fact that you are asking for a way out of the downward pull (tamas) you’re feeling is a GOOD indication of the presence of your willingness and inherent rise in the god-given energy (prana) that is within you already. It wants to move! And there is something you can do about it….

Let’s assume there isn’t a medical reason for your despondency and speech issues (if you think there may be, then please see a proper doctor). Yogananda said the greater the will, the greater the flow of energy. If you are feeling depressed, moody, emotional, sometimes it’s best to use exercise, be it formal techniques or just simply moving, such as walking or running. Even playing vigorously! You’ll have to use your willingness and will to get it started. In other words, the first step is “Yes!”. Have you ever noticed that when you are busy, putting out energy, you often feel even more energetic? The universal energy we call prana is already within and all around you. It’s waiting for you to affirm it and use it! Pranayama is the term used for “energy control” which is one of the cornerstones, bases, of yogic philosophy and practice. The book I referenced introduces you to Yogananda’s beginning techniques and explanations for both energizing and moving the energies already in your body’s nervous system in such a way as to bring you calmness, peace, joy, and even more wisdom. And it does so with easy to understand charts, videos and even personal guidance. These mentioned 4 qualities are just a few of what are called aspects of God! (4 more with explanations are shared in Ananda’s Course) And as we mentioned, you already have them, within you. Now it’s a matter of feeling and realizing them through 1) Hong Sau meditation and 2) Energization Exercises. Regular and consistent practice makes these a viable tool not only to change your present lethargy, but to change your life to reflect the magnificence you truly are, just hidden and awaiting your call.

You can get more support through our Ananda centers and communities near you as well as online at any of our websites. You can find them worldwide, just see our online listings at our home page. Should you seek further guidance, you are welcome to address your questions and concerns directly to me, Nayaswami Premdas at course@ananda.org where I assist students from around the world studying and preparing for Yogananda’s teachings on Kriya meditation. I hope these recommendations and insights help your rise in joy and happiness, and to becoming a loving channel for God’s presence throughout your life.

In Divine Joy, Nayaswami Premdas

June 5
2013

subir
india

Question

I tend to eat a lot when I am angry. What do i do?

Nayaswami Premdas

Nayaswami Premdas

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Subir,

God, Divine Mother, gives us gifts and we often miss the opportunity. This question of yours is a good one because it points not to what is wrong but what is truly wanting to happen. She is waiting, Yogananda is ready, so what do you say we take the next step and let them play with us?

I give you credit for acknowledging this issue. The first step is to accept the truth and you have done just that. It is obvious you wish to break this hold on you and set a new direction; to be free from the behavior to eat for the wrong reasons and to remove the anger response. OK, (rubbing my hands together!) now you are already declaring/affirming your openess for change so let’s begin to work together, providing we do so with Divine Mother, She doing 50%, Guru 25% and you (with my help here now) offering up the remaining 25%!

#1) Start with checking your overall energy. Do you have enough and is it balanced? Is it more satvic, having a quality of calm, inward and upliftment? Do you feel at peace? (Chances are “No” as that’s why you’re writing) Or is it more outward, fleeting and leaving you tired? We call this rajasic energy Or is it depressed, leading to darkness, tamasic? I believe from your short note that you’re likely experiencing lower amounts of energy, being depleted and tired and then “over”-reacting to outside circumstances and inner disappointments. My guess is you are tired, sensitive, and therefor firey/angry with certain circumstances. I would classify your circumstance as rajasic, wih the desire to leave this swinging pendulum of excitement and disappointment making you first angry then upset. And no better way to douse the fire of emotion, nervousness and brain-activity than with abundant food to dull the senses and mind. And done enough times, this behaviour and inappropriate unhealthy eating becomes addictive, physically and emotionally. Naturally you want to change. After all, who wants “pain & suferring”?

#2) Before we talk about the eating-anger relationship, it’s important to detach yourself from the circumstance that is making you angry. Play with me here...Try to understand that you are not the Doer nor the Receiver. It is Her, Ma, God, playing through you. Do not attempt to own the angry reaction nor set conditions that result in your anger. See it playing out as a dispassionate observer, and set no agenda while being aware and cautious of your past inclinations to do so. Give thanks for the ability to see clearly now that you’re becoming dispassionate. Make sure you go to a peaceful place, physically and emotionally (these words again). Stay away from anything that irritates or fires you up! Avoid Rajas. this includes food, friends, environments. Replace them with soothing uplifting aspects of Spirit: do you have an altar, or a quiet place to meditate? Then ask God for guidance, i.e.; pray for strength and peace, calmness and light, wisdom and energy, love and joy. All are good, but only one or two if you’re already befuddled and off-centered by whatever is pushing your button!

#3) Circumvent your tendency to anger and to conditional eating with techniques/practices from Yogananda’s training and lessons with mantra, japa, affirmations throughout the day, but especially when you feel yourself being drawn out into anger. Try “I am filled with the presence of God & Guru. I am whole and full as I always am. I draw God’s Light and Love to nourish my body and mind.”

#4) Read, practice and live the timeless instructions from a Guru such as Yogananda. Tune into his spiritual strength and what he offers us, complete freedom, Moksha and a life in God. The first two steps from Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, found within Yogananda’s teachings and specifically explained in The Art & Science of Raja Yoga book, the Yamas & Niyamas, are critical and direct actions for changing habits and directing us back into preparing for our highest consciousness. They literally circumvent and dissipate Karma. Read them, understand them and practice the rest of your life. Again, find a still place, pray to the Guru, imagine being with him and ask for guidance and strength to overcome this habit. And if for some reason you still react and eat unhealthy, declare what Swami Kriyananda used to say when overcoming a smoking addiction, “I haven’t yet succeeded!” And then get back to your practices. And love God.

#5) Without dwelling on one issue, do ask, “What is making me angry?” We often have expectations of others and of ourselves, of circumstances that we really have no control over and become/channel anger when our desires aren’t met. Give responsibility for others and their behaviours over to God. Have you heard the admonition, “Change me, not my circumstances!"? Peace and calmness can enter into our whole being when we loosen our grasp on people, things, and results. Yogananda said, with these teachings and pranayams, “You can stand unshaken midst the crash of breaking worlds!” He meant this for each and every one of us and for all circumstances. He also said never let any one get your goat, because your goat is your Peace. They cannot take it away. According to the Vedas, it is who you really are. With these tools of mediation, their practice, your own willingness, willpower and energy you, yourself, can feel, see and know it in your own life. You will experience its manifested Truth in this very challenge you share.

#6) Remember, in the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna says “Even a little practice of this inward religion will free one from dire fears and collosul suffering.” That is your part, your 25%. Practice what the Guru gives us to make us stronger, to win these battles of life. Be the spiritual warrior like Arjuna. It is alright to have doubts, to have misgivings, disappointments, even failures. But don’t give up. “Fight the battle!” That is when your true strength, your true soul, shines. Imagine, Subir. all that anger, all that reacting, all that unwarranted ill-timed, unhealthy eating — replaced with your own peace, your own wellness, your own joy. It can and will happen. Such a short and simple sounding request, “I overeat when I’m angry, what do I do?” and such a deep life-changing opportunity for higher awareness and God Realization. Feed yourself the bliss of knowing God through these teachngs and all else will disappear; the need for anger, the desire for inappropriate food, to be replaced with expansive life-affirming sweetness feeding you in body, mind and soul, attracting more and more of divine consciousness to you and all who associate with you.

I wish you the very best. If I can be of further help in this or related issues, you can address me personally.

God & Guru bless you, Nayaswami Premdas

Bina
US

Question

Hi!

I met a woman who said she was 40. I was surprised as when I met her first, I thought she was a high school or a college student 19 or 20 years old. Her voice sounded young too and so was her attitude. She looked bight and pure. When I inquired further, she said she does yoga. Can yoga defy age to this extent?

Nayaswami Gyandev

Nayaswami Gyandev

Ananda Village

Answer

Hello Bina,

It’s true that yoga can help a person look younger than his or her physical years—in large part because it promotes good health and teaches you how to relax and uplift your energy. A healthy, relaxed, uplifted person naturally looks younger. The yoga postures can help significantly with this, and meditation is even more effective.

A healthy lifestyle and positive attitude also play major roles in how young we look, and yoga emphasizes both of those. I suspect that the woman you describe has one or both of those two factors in her favor as well, supplementing her personal yoga practices. In addition, she probably also has some favorable genetics on her side.

So it’s a combination of factors. Fortunately, all of them (except perhaps genetics) are well within the reach of anyone who gives yoga a try. Keep in mind, however, that true yoga is about much more than how young we look. Youthful looks are merely a pleasing side effect of yoga practices. Far more important is how those practices help us connect with our own divine nature.

Blessings,

Gyandev

Nina
India

Question

Namashkar!

My Dad’s a great humanbeing. Extremely intelligent with a pure and innocent heart. He is 71 now. Whoever sees him, falls in love wthhis smile, innocent face. He'salways been highly respected in office and amidst his friends and kin coz of his competence and character. But,one thing worries me. He doesn’t believe in God or spirituality. So much so that he walks into our pooja ghar wearing shoes. He breaksdown during tough times and ended up with a brain haemorrage. How can I help and pray for him?

Nayaswami Gopal

Nayaswami Gopal

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear One,

Sorry to hear about your father. If it’s O K with you, I too, would like to pray for him to return to good health.

For it is written, “Seek Ye first and all these things will be added unto you.” It is to say, if you want your dad to know God or develop spirituality then a good plan of action would be for you to increase your spiritual magnetism. The law of attraction says, “Like attracts like.” The closer your relationship is to the Almighty the more positive and uplifting your energy will be. If your father is open to receiving this heavenly energy it will naturally lift him to want to know and love God. The more in tune you are to a true spiritual master like Jesus Christ, Yogananda, Krishna or other divine saints the more your light will enlighten those close to you. For their light will merge with your light.

Deepen your relationship with the Divine Light and your light may change the molecules in your dad’s mind to want to be with God. As you progress spiritually your inner radiant ray may shine like the sun and become inviting to your dad. Meditate deeper and longer with sincerity and devotion. And it may have a quite an effect on your dad.

Keep your heart open to accepting God’s plan for your dad. Pray and meditate for your dad with unconditional love. There should be no judgment what so ever from you. I have seen for my self how powerful unconditional love can work. If it is your dad’s good karma to be closer to God then it will happen effortlessly and naturally as if by magic.

Peace to your and yours.

Nayaswami Gopal

suchitra chavan
india

Question

i am a 27 year old girl, due to some incident I was under depression and during that period some negative words and thoughts came to my mind and I use to get restless even now such words frequently keep coming.

How to get rid of it? I am really upset I am not getting confidence and not able to create mood to start new work, sometimes I feel irritiated.

Plz help me sir, I was never like this before there has been great difference in me now. I don’t feel free, plz help me.

Nayaswami Savitri

Nayaswami Savitri

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Suchitra,

We are sorry to hear of the difficulties you are experiencing in your life right now. There are many tools which you can use to pull yourself into a much happier mental and emotional state. If you don’t have a regular practice of daily prayer and meditation, that would be the first place to start. Let us know if you need help with that process.

Next, it would be good for you to begin using positive affirmations as much as possible, to counteract the negative moods or thoughts you are having. This book would help you get started with that process: Affirmations for Self-Healing by Swami Kriyananda.

Being around cheerful, positive, spiritually-minded people will also be a great help to you. Do your best to find people like this and be with them. If you are near an Ananda group or center, this would be a good place to go regularly.

Finally, I would also recommend this really great book to help you boost your corage and confidence: How to have Courage, Calmness and Confidence, and/or our wonderful on-line class called "How to Be Happy All the Time."

Carol
USA

Question

I was diagnosed with a chronic disease and live with it everyday. I work and help as many people as humanly possible during my time. Yet, since being diagnosed I can't help but feel afraid of dying sooner than expected or living getting worse and worse until I'm not a person but a disease. I can't feel happiness for myself anymore, and I don't feel like anything is worthwhile anymore. I feel void, afraid, lonely, and negative. I wonder what exactly God's plan was for me. I can't change anything.

Nayaswami Parvati

Nayaswami Parvati

Ananda Village

Answer

Of course your situation is a difficult one, but it sounds as though you have chosen to make the most of it in one way, and that is in serving people. This is a good beginning. But what I don't know about you is, are you on a spiritual path? Are you interested in getting to know yourself on a deeper level, and, most importantly, do you have a regular meditation practice? Regarding God's plan for us, Ananda members follow the teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda, which allow us to make sense of this world we find ourselves in through communing with the higher Self, the soul within. Through the practices of our spiritual path, and the guidance of the guru, we gradually understand that God's plan for us is that we remember our oneness in Him, and that we live in the experience of His bliss within us.

But the road back to our essential, and eternal, oneness with God is a long one. We have chosen, many lifetimes ago, to identify with and to love His creation rather than Him. We have also chosen to become attached to His creation, instead of enjoying it in remembrance of Him. These are eternal realities that every human being is part of. Still, throughout all of our wanderings, we have also, in our inner-most nature, been part of God, children of His light and love and joy. This is what prods us to keep looking for fulfillment, even though for many lifetimes we look in all the wrong places.

We are children of God in our deepest essence, not children of this world. We are also not defined by what happens to our bodies, nor to our minds and personalities. Disease may come, but it never changes who we really are. This is an understanding, and a consciousness, that we develop over time through regular and deepening meditation.

Once we finally begin to remember that deeper part of who we are, then we begin to make the choices that lead us toward true fulfillment in God.

Pain and suffering are often the ways that people take up the spiritual path in a more serious way. It doesn't have to be that way, but suffering, either physical, mental or spiritual, is frequently the way that this process begins. The stories of the lives of the saints provide many examples of this.

A book I would recommend to you is Sister Gyanamata's God Alone. She was the most highly advanced woman disciple of Paramhansa Yogananda and lived the last 20 years of her life with a great deal of physical suffering. Her wonderful and supportive writings may help you to find a better way to relate to your present reality, and to understand how to gain from it spiritually. It can be purchased through Self-Realization Fellowship on their website:

http://bookstore.yogananda-srf.org/c15/Other-c19.html

Many blessings to you. and I hope through spiritual seeking you will find peace and the highest solutions for your situation.

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