We would like to place the pictures of Babaji and Paramhansa Yogananda in our home.
What is the ideal location and direction for placing the same?
Also, is there anything specific other than location and direction that we need to know before we place it?
According to the yogic teachings, one should have a meditation room or a special space set aside for meditation. When we meditate the best directions to face are:
East or North, in order to align our energy with the magnetic flow of universal energy. Therefore the altar should be placed at those places. You can hang the pictures on the East or North wall of that room. So when you meditate, you are facing these sacred pictures.
I have done a basic course of Ananda in Mumbai last year, but I have not yet learned to observe the breath as in the Hong Sau technique. I want to learn to observe the breath. I am very eager to learn it and I have also purchased the CDs for that. Please give me some practical steps or methods to watch the breath.
Congratulations on taking your first steps towards meditating deeply. As the Hong Sau CD mentions, once you prepare for meditation after sitting upright with palms up at the junction of the thighs and abdomen, tense and relax the body with the double breath three times. With the last exhalation of tensing and relaxing, simply allow your gaze to turn towards the point between the eyebrows and observe the inhalation and exhalation at that point. You needn’t try to control it or change it. Simply watch it and use the mantra as directed. As the breath begins to slow of it’s own accord, become absorbed in the peace between the inhalation and exhalation at the point between the eyebrows. Continue this practice with full concentration on the breath at the point between the eyebrows and relax into the peace between the inhalation and exhalation. This technique is very helpful for concentration, interiorization of consciousness, and absorption into the kutastha chaitanya or spiritual eye.
I decided to try meditation for the first time. I did the method of relaxing my whole body then counted down from 100. That’s when I first noticed the numbness enveloping my entire body, even my breathing felt numb as if I weren’t even breathing. Then the tingling sensation, at first only slight in my legs then my entire body, it felt like I was going to explode out of my body. Just as I got the sensation of leaving my body I panicked and I severed the connection. Terrifying, any advice?
We are sorry to hear of your unhappy experience the first time you tried to meditate. It is important for you to try again, but this time, be sure to pray for help and guidance from the Great Ones and to use the exact methods they suggest for beginning meditation.
My heartfelt pronam to all.
I have been practicing meditation for 13 years. But I never had any vision nor heard any sound. Only occasionally I feel a throbbing sensation near my heart. Also, I can concentrate only for sometime during the entire course of meditation and more often than not my mind keeps wandering. I cannot understand whether I am progressing in my meditation or whether the process of meditation I follow is right. (I meditate the form of my Ishtam in the heart center).
Thank you for your question regarding your meditation progress. I must start by saying I am not familiar with the technique of meditation you are practicing. With that said, meditation should help us to experience peace and calmness initially and as we progress more love, joy and wisdom. Yoganandaji said, the spiritual path is not a circus. We should not be attached to seeing or hearing various phenomena in our meditations.
I have been meditating for about 15 years. I focus on my third eye and use the mantra “I and my father are one.” A few years ago I started getting strong cramps in the upper right side of back during meditation. Sometimes the cramps get so strong I have to end my meditation because I can’t take the pain. Afterwards the cramps fade away quickly. I also used to hear ringing in my left ear, but that has stopped now.
It sounds to me like you are getting tense during meditation: perhaps in the effort to focus strongly at the spiritual eye. Do you practice any yoga stretches or similar physical movement before sitting to meditate? I don’t know your overall health or age, of course, but at Ananda we practice the 39 Tension Exercises (“Energization Exercises”) that Paramhansa Yogananda created specially for meditators (and anyone). (Not everyone is going to practice the yoga postures, whether due to interest, time, health, or age.) They take between 12 and 15 minutes to do after you’ve learned them.
I’ve been meditating for little over a year and in most cases it has been fine but there are times when I have sleepless nights, hear high pitched noises in my ears, and see blobs of light just below my lower eyelids. I spoke to someone about it and they said it could be “awakening” symptoms and as I was an “advanced” soul, it’s even the more reason why I’m experiencing this. But this person was not sure. I would like your opinion.
Many thanks and blessings.
It’s common for meditators to hear inner sounds and see inner lights. Meditation practice tends to awaken inner energies along with inner awareness, and those energies can cause such phenomena—regardless of whether one is trying to make them happen, and regardless of whether one is an “advanced” soul. (I would say that anyone who seriously takes up the practice of meditation is an advanced soul.) Not to worry. Treat them as distractions, and try not to let them commandeer your attention. This too shall pass. Keep on meditating, and offer these experiences—as well as any others that may come—to God.
I’m doing breath meditation and recently in my third eye area. I’m getting too much pain and too much heat in my head region. As suggested by my friend I’m planning to move my concentration to heart chakra instead of third eye region. Kindly help me how to focus on heart chakra as whenever I’m trying, now automatically my focus goes to 6th chakra. Is it worth imagining my guru in the heart and look at them instead of breathing? Please help.
Yes, it’s wonderful to visualize your guru in the heart center. The Srimad Bhagavtam describes visualizing the heart first as a downturned lotus flower; then, see it turning upward.
Visualize, too, the guru sitting in lotus pose in the heart of the lotus.
I’m a beginner at meditation. The practice of Hong Sau has made me far more calm and peaceful than before. However, my self esteem still remains low. How can I build confidence through meditation? Do advanced kriya techniques help in overcoming emotional vulnerability?
If you continue your meditation practice with regularity you will find that your self confidence will increase. This is because your practice of meditation is putting you in touch with who you really are at the core of your being, a child of God. Daily experience of this reality will gradually remove feelings of lack, and replace them with feelings of peace, love, and joy. Hong Sau will do this as well as the other techniques of the path of Kriya Yoga — Aum, and Kriya proper.