Celibacy, meditation, and right living
December 11, 2014
Hi , I am 24 year boy I have a couple of questions :
Is brahmacharya ( celibacy is one part ) is necessary to go deep in spirituality ??
My body moves vigorously in meditation and feel somebody whispering ( worried whether its ghost ?)
Some other symptoms in meditation : feel my body grows and crosses the earth and becomes one with universe and sometimes I feel I enter some planet ... Is these are illusions ????
Celibacy may be helpful but I would caution you from pursuing this without some guidance from someone who knows you well, is spiritually minded, and has only your best interests in mind.
As to the meditation symptoms, I have the same advice: find a meditation mentor who is experienced, and who you trust to keep your own highest interests in mind.
Here are some how-to-live suggestions for daily life:
- Do physical yoga: hatha yoga to help the body relax and to gain control over your body’s energies.
- Make sure your diet is a healthy one: avoiding excessive consumption of sugar, caffeine, and avoiding all alcohol. Fresh and freshly cooked vegetables and a good protein source (vegetarian is best, usually) are important.
- Exercise. At your age some strenuous exercise (running, swimming, fitness, etc.) is very important.
- Media. How many hours a day do you spend on a computer, tablet or smart phone? Movies? TV? What you watch and how many hours spent passively on media can cause problems.
- Sleep. Your sleep patterns should be regulated so that you get at least 7, perhaps better, 8, hours of sleep and do so between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 p.m. (at least not be going to bed midnight or later every night).
- Meditation. You should have a solid meditation and pranayam practice that is NOT excessive, but gentle. Ananda has online courses that are perfect for this. / I highly recommend developing more devotion in your life and in your meditation. There’s nothing better than chanting! (During the day AND as part of meditation). When you have the symptoms you describe, pray to God in some form dear to you (deity, guru, etc.) to ask how to respond or to give you the mental strength to re-direct your attention from these symptoms to a more devotional focus.
- Satsang. Be around those who are wise, kind, and spiritually mind. This includes your reading material and listening.
Blessings and joy to you!
When do we need to face issues head-on?
November 25, 2014
I am interested in the spiritual path, but have also observed many people who seem to use the path to disconnect from painful feeling and unresolved issues from childhood rhather than for authentic growth. How can we know what feelings and issues must be faced and whilch will "vanish in meditation" if we are persistent enough. Thank you for any clarity you can offer.
You’ve asked a very good question and made a good observation also. Yes, people sometimes use the path or their meditation practices to deny or disconnect from pain or unresolved issues. But they will soon find out that simply denying or disconnecting does not work as an effective way to deal with unresolved issues.
What we are going for with deep meditation is transmutation rather than suppression or denial. This means not denying your past issues, but learning to work with them as energy patterns, stored within yourself, which can be released through meditation techniques, especially Kriya Yoga, very effectively.
Then again, sometimes people do need assistance from others, in the form of counseling, to overcome certain deep-seated issues which they are finding that meditation alone simply can’t take care of for them.
But I believe your main question is "... how can we know what feelings and issues must be faced and which will vanish through meditation practices?" Answer: You really cannot know this absolutely perfectly until you have developed perfect powers of discernment or discrimination. This is what the great Masters have done and what we will eventually do also.
In the meantime, we can use any technique that we feel is most appropriate at any given time. How to find out what is most appropriate? Pray a lot as a part of your meditative life. Develop your intuition as a way to be inwardly guided to find that perfect balance between looking within and looking outside to others for help. Pray and then trust that you will be guided, meditate as much as possible, and these answers surely will come at just the right time.
Here’s a book I would strongly suggest that you read this book to find out more ideas on exactly how to do this. See Intuition for Starters. Blessings!
Why so much stress is given on padmasana and khechari mudra? How padmasana help us spiritually except giving fixed posture? And is talabhya kriya enough to accomplish full khechari mudra, or there are some other techniques also? I also wanna know that is it safe to practise kriya yoga without any guru? I tried to find a guru but after failing i started practising myself. Thanks.
In addition to assuring fixed posture, Padmasana puts both hands and both feet in an upturned position. The soles of the feet and the palms of the hands are among the body’s best life-force receivers, so this position of the body provides unique benefits — provided there is no discomfort.
Khechari Mudra is given much emphasis because it is a powerful technique for sending energy directly from the medulla oblongata to the spiritual eye, thereby avoiding having energy go down the spine and out to the periphery of the body. Talabhaya Kriya is one excellent technique for working toward Khechari. Another is simply to reach the tip of the tongue as far back on the roof of the mouth as possible, and hold it there.
As for practicing Kriya Yoga without a guru, there are various techniques that have the name Kriya Yoga, and I do not know which of those you are practicing. Therefore I cannot comment on the safety of what you are doing. If you are doing any of the Kriya Yoga techniques with which I am familiar, you would not be endangering yourself. However, the real power of any technique is awakened only when you tune in to the guru’s consciousness.
In any case, do your sadhana with deep sincerity and devotion. God will send you to your guru when the time is right, and your guru will show you what is best for you to practice.
When I started meditating, I stopped dreaming
November 4, 2014
I realized after I started meditation, I completely stopped dreaming or if I am dreaming I no longer recall my dreams. Prior to meditation, I constantly dream every night and remember multiple dreams within one night. What do you think this could mean?
Dear Anna, Paramhansa Yogananda teaches us that most dreams come from the subconscious mind, which weaves dreams out of our memories of this and other lifetimes.
Most dreams simply are our subconscious minds meandering about among our memories and creating dream-movies to keep us entertained while we are sleeping. And they remind us also of the very important point: "Life also is a dream-drama." A nightly dream is like a little dream within the BIG DREAM of life.
When your meditations are effective, you are not in a subconscious state. You are in or approaching superconsciousness, which is a very good thing! Perhaps your superconscious mind is dominating your sleep/dream-life now, which would be a very great blessing.
And you are right, it could be, that for whatever reasons, you are still dreaming regular subconscious dreams and just not remembering them. Many people say that they never remember any dreams — this is not unusual at all.
In any case, I’d suggest that you pray deeply about this matter and ask that you receive an answer from God and Gurus at the close of your meditations, or whenever it might come to you. The true answer will come to you eventually.
Is Babaji alive?
November 4, 2014
Hi I am 24 year old guy working for my Masters in computers. I am son of priest. My father didn’t teach any mantras, but I had strong spiritual inclinations and went to various ashram, finally settling on ana pana sati meditation. In meditation I started seeing lot, so consulted a healer who took me to a past life in which I was a black magic performer and brahmin. So these days in meditation I see some feet walking towards me. My healer tells me I am getting blessings from Babaji. Is he alive?
Dear Vishwas, I will answer your last question first. Yes, Babaji is very much alive! You can read all about him in Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramhansa Yogananda. I suggest you do that right away, especially if you feel you are receiving a special blessing from him.
Now to comment on the rest of your question. It is good that you have strong spiritual inclinations. We hope that you are able to "fan the flames" of those inclinations with deeper meditations and satsang with like-minded truth-seekers. I’m not familiar with ana pana sati meditation, but if it is working well for you, then give it your best. If you want to know more about the Kriya Yoga techniques of meditation given to the world by Babaji, please let us know.
If you were a performer of black magic in some past lifetime, that is not such a good thing. But remember that we have all done many bad things in past lifetimes — creating bad karma. It doesn’t matter that much, however, if we are making the right spiritual effort now — this will help clear up all the wrong things we have done and move us quickly to freedom and oneness with God.
Been interested in spiritual development for a some years now, because my father has a lot of books about it. I have practiced yoga, pranayama and researched a lot through the web. But have been struggling with depression and anxiety for 7 years now (fear of living my life). I sense that I am not yet ready to ask some profound questions (because when I do, I get anxious), but would like to know where to begin, in order to live a more fullfilling life. Thank you so much.
The best thing you can do to begin a more fulfilling life is to learn to meditate and to practice it daily. This, more than anything else, will help in grounding your energies and emotions and will begin to remove fear from your life. The daily practice of meditation will bring you repeatedly back to your own deep spiritual center within.
On the Ananda.org home page menu look at the Meditation dropdowns. The Getting Started section is a good place to begin. You can learn how to meditate with the instructions and support given there. Online with Ananda also offers a meditation course for those who are learning to meditate. If there are other people in your area who you can meditate with, this can also be very helpful as you begin a meditation practice.
Meditation, as you continue and deepen your practice, changes everything in your life for the better — in how you view life, in what is important to you, and in being centered during stressful times. It can help you to tune into a much broader understanding of life, and help you to better understand who you are and why you are here.
In divine friendship,
Disturbing Dreams After Meditation
October 16, 2014
I find that when I fall asleep again after my morning meditations, I have scary disturbing dreams. The theme is always the same. Spirits of some sort or someone harming me in the dreams. I am always trying to say Om Guru or call out our Guru’s name but I can’t seem to find my voice, nothing comes out. I can only call mentally. Why does thus happen?
Many times when we dream what we experience are simply random thoughts that are stored in the subconscious mind. What is stored there is unique to each person, and contains every thought we have ever had (over all our lifetimes), no matter how insignificant it might be. In fact, the subconscious mind can be compared to a refrigerator, in that it does not discriminate, but simply stores thoughts.
So why you have such disturbing dreams after your morning meditations is not easy to understand. Perhaps it’s a sign that you shouldn’t be sleeping after your morning meditation! Which, in any case, would be a suggestion I would make to you.
I think I would be more inclined to look at a solution to this disturbance rather than trying to understand what the dreams mean. Most likely, even though they are vivid and disturbing, they don’t mean anything. I would also take this approach because the most important thing you are doing in the morning is engaging in your meditation practice. Anything that comes in to disturb that should be strictly avoided.
My suggestions to you would be: to avoid the situation where this disturbance occurs (so no sleep after morning meditation), and to focus on feeding your subconscious mind a continual stream of positive and uplifting spiritual thoughts through affirmation, music, and good spiritual satsang with friends. These uplifting thoughts and energies will begin to diminish the power of the negative and disturbing ones, leaving them eventually to blow away as dry leaves.
Strong Feeling at the Forehead in Meditation
October 9, 2014
Greetings, in God’s love and peace.
During my meditation I often feel a strong pulling up on my forehead and sometimes it would feel heavy after meditation. What causes that or what are the results of that?
When you meditate, you might be trying too hard, and as a result of the tension, you might have strange experiences, like the ones that you mentioned. You can try to focus on relaxing your eyes while gazing gently above the horizon. To clarify where to gaze: think of a point above the level of the horizon, and try to feel that your attention is drawn toward that direction. There should be no strain in your upward gaze. See if this helps. Gradually, these experiences will go away.
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