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

Category: Meditation

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Nancy Smith
USA

Question

I have been trying to meditate I have so much clutter I can’t clear away

Nayaswami Gyandev

Nayaswami Gyandev

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Nancy,

Well, don’t we all? It’s tempting to think that, in order to meditate, you need to clear the clutter away. There’s logic to that, but unfortunately, it doesn’t work. At best it creates a temporary vacuum that quickly gets filled with pretty much the same clutter.

Instead, you need to bring into your meditation efforts something more attractive than the clutter, something that can lift you above the level of clutter. Make God that “something.” Meditate with God as your partner. Ask Him/Her to guide you, to show you how to reach for a higher octave or your own being. Cultivate your devotion to God, because that will lift you above the clutter, into the light.

Blessings on your efforts,

Gyandev

ruchit
India

Question

i’m getting spiritual chills everytime i do my spiritual practices or when i worship lord i get some chills around my body i.e cold sensations like something floating around me sometimes those chills are very strong,people tell me that it’s because there are some spiritual guardians around me and some tell it’s your aura,i’m confused please provide guidance to me.

Nayaswami Diksha

Nayaswami Diksha

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Ruchit,

Since I don’t know the specifics of your spiritual practices, I can answer your question only in a general way, and I hope it will be helpful.

Many sorts of phenomena, like seeing light, hearing sounds, having visions, feeling cold or hot, and so on can and sometimes do happen when one meditates. It is generally a sign that energy is on the move and that’s a good thing. Best thing to do, when it happens is to pray to your Guru if you have one, to guide you about the best way to proceed. It’s nothing to be afraid of and it happens to just about everybody at one time or another. Generally the sensations will pass away in time.

Keep the attention at the spiritual eye and always pray for help and guidance before, during, and after meditation—in fact, all the time. The experience of chills doesn’t happen to everyone, but that’s OK. When you meditate, make sure that you practice with relaxation, with loving God, and not over-doing any particular technique beyond your comfort zone.

Blessings,

Diksha

Rahul Solanki
India

Question

I want to start meditation and yoga, but in my locality there is no yoga teacher to teach me.

So please guide me, how to start yoga and meditation.

Thank you

Nayaswami Gyandev

Nayaswami Gyandev

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Rahul,

Congratulations on your resolution to start practicing yoga and meditation. You are correct that it is ideal to have a teacher guiding you, but even if that is not possible, there is much you can do.

Since you are in India, for meditation, start by visiting Ananda India’s website: http://anandaindia.org/meditate/

You will find there many excellent resources for learning meditation.

As for the yoga part, I don’t know where you live, but you can check the Ananda India website to see if there is a teaching center near you. Aside from that, your best option is probably a book. My book, Spiritual Yoga, would be an excellent resource (it also addresses meditation). I wish it were available in India, but it isn’t yet. If you don’t mind ordering from the USA, you can do so here: http://www.crystalclarity.com/product.php?code=BSYHA

I hope you will find these resources helpful.

All the best to you in your new practice(s).

Blessings,

Gyandev

Suzann
United States

Question

I have found it uncomfortable to look upward towards my spiritual eye while also concentrating on the Hong-Sau breath. Today I become confused as everything I had read had advised to look upward: Until I found This:

Should one concentrate on the breath and also at the point between the eyebrows

Not until the attention focuses itself naturally on the flow of breath at the beginning of the nose. To do so otherwise would constitute a division of concentration which would be self-defeating

Nayaswami Diksha

Nayaswami Diksha

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Suzann,

You should lift your gaze only slightly above the horizon. Perhaps you are turning your eyes up at a sharp angle, which would be both difficult and uncomfortable. In any case, do not try to see something in the direction you are looking, as that will divide your attention, which should be completely on the breath. Concentrate on your breath wherever you can feel it most easily. Gradually you will feel it higher and higher in the nose, until you feel it at a place toward which your gaze is turned.

Here is an approach that Swami Kriyananda suggested and you might find helpful: feel as though your eyeballs exist only in the upper half of their sockets. In this approach, there the gaze will turn slightly upward by itself. Try it.

I hope this will help.

Blessings on your practice,

Diksha

Hitesh Khiani
India

Question

Is attaining the permanent state of Nirbikalpa Samadhi (Nivikalapa or Nirbeej Samadhi) necessary for a soul to attain Liberation/Moksha?

In Adi Shankara’s vivekachudamani he seems to be indicating very clearly that unless one unites one’s soul with spirit in samadhi, there is no question of moksha.

However, in the Bhagavad Gita Lord Krishna in several places indicates several ways by which we can reach him and he does not seem to insist on Nirbikalpa Samadhi for Moksha.

Please clarify.

Nayaswami Gyandev

Nayaswami Gyandev

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Hitesh,

According to Paramhansa Yogananda, nirbikalpa samadhi is indeed a necessary step toward the higher state of moksha (liberation). I suspect that Sri Krishna does not elaborate on samadhi states in the Gita because he is emphasizing the things we need to do in order to approach samadhi. First things first!

But do not be discouraged, for we do not know what states we have already obtained in past lives. Yoganandaji asked one of his most advanced disciples, when she was on her deathbed, if she had any last wish. When she asked for samadhi, he told her that she was beyond that. And yet, advanced as she was, she didn’t know! I find that very encouraging.

In any case, Hitesh, all we can do is keep meditating and leave the results in God’s hands.

Blessings,

Gyandev

Argha
India

Question

I am doing meditation but by blood pressure is increasing after meditation .Also at time of meditation sweat is leaving from all over my body .My question is is this natural ?if not please give me some suggestion

Nayaswami Diksha

Nayaswami Diksha

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Argha,

Since you have not described what kind of meditation you practice, I can’t answer it specifically, but I can give you some general tips that might help you. Usually true meditation doesn’t raise blood pressure, or cause excessive perspiration.

What can raise blood pressure is vigorous breathing techniques, holding the breath deliberately, and keeping the body or mind tense. The sweat can be caused by overly exerting the body through aggressive breathing techniques, by moving energy too quickly through the body, or encountering energy blockages.

Please check if what you are doing is straining your body instead of relaxing it. Meditation should not agitate or strain the body.

You might stop practicing your particular technique until you can discuss the specifics of what you are doing with someone who is an expert in meditation and can help you.

You can also try this meditation technique offered by Paramhansa Yogananda, which is unlikely to cause these symptoms.

I hope you will be able to meditate peacefully.

Nayaswami Diksha

Meena
U.k

Question

Hello,

I would like to ask if there are any tips you can suggest to keep myself awake during morning meditation.

In my case, I wake up, cleanse my face and mouth in the morning, sit to meditate but at times feel so drowsy that I’ve to shorten the meditation or at times i fall asleep while meditating. I feel that if you can suggest tips of staying awake, I will be able to meditate on the duration i set myself on.

Thanks

Nayaswami Diksha

Nayaswami Diksha

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Meena,

There are things that you can do to help you stay awake during your morning meditation.

Paramhansa Yogananda created a set of 39 simple exercises which are called The Energization Exercises. He recommended to practice them before sitting for meditation. These exercises will recharge your body with energy, help focus your mind and fill your soul with joy.

(You can purchase the Energization Exercises DVD here. If you have an iPhone, you may also find the Energization Exercises app very helpful.)

So after you wash up in the morning, practice these exercises, then sit to meditate. Make sure that your meditation room has good air circulation and that the temperature in the room is on the cool side. You can wrap yourself with a shawl to stay warm. Here are a few breathing techniques you can use before meditation—start with them you meditate.

Once you learn the Energization Exercises, it will take you 12–15 minutes to practice them, and you will be awake and ready for your morning meditation.

Blessings on your practice,

Nayaswami Diksha

Joseph
USA

Question

Greetings of joy! ive been seeing a lot of astral symbols and I don’t always know the meaning. ive learned the meaning of some and im eager to know more. these astral symbols appear before my awareness bright with a similarity close to caricatures on a monopoly board. I know these symbols are meant to guide me and affirm whats going on with my consciousness at the time. Also I see numbers and Id like to know the meaning. please inform me of any informational resources. Thanks. Joseph

Nayaswami Savitri

Nayaswami Savitri

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Joseph,

Thank you for your greetings and joy to you also! Are these symbols and numbers coming to you as a part of your meditations? If so, then they are probably gifts to you from God to encourage you to go yet deeper into your meditative life.

As to their exact meaning, it would be hard to say unless I could know exactly what they looked like. If you want to e-mail me personally being more specific, I will try to answer back more specifically. You can write to contact@ananda.org.

But in general, it is probably best for you to pray to God/Guru to be given the answers to your questions about symbols and numbers. They are being given to you personally and thus, their meanings should be give to you personally also, from the Divine Source where they came from, if at all possible.

They best way to do this is to pray deeply at the beginning of your meditation, that the answers to your questions will be revealed to you. Then set aside the questions and go ahead with your regular meditation practice calming your breath and mind.

Try not to think of these things, but meditate with peaceful assurance that your questions will be answered in the right time. At the close of your meditation, ask again and sit quietly to see if it is revealed to you. If it doesn’t happen immediately, then go on with your life and have faith that the answers will eventually be offered to you at your next meditation or at some later time.

Often answers come to us in very unexpected ways and at unexpected times, especially when we sincerely pray for divine guidance.

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