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.
Lying Down for Meditation
September 16, 2014
I suffer from hemorrhoids and so I am unable to sit for Hong Sau technique. Will it be effective if I do it lying down with my upper body slightly elevated?
When you have any body discomfort, you can adjust your body to allow you to practice. Yes, you can lie down with the upper body slightly elevated.
You can also meditate while sitting on a special pillow for use with hemorrhoids.
At the end of your meditation practice, you can visualize light and send it to the area of the hemorrhoids for healing.
Discouragement in the Spiritual Life
September 16, 2014
It was October 11 I enrolled in the YSS Self Realization lessons. I am a kidney transplant patient. I am not regular in practice. I feel I am not able to perform the techniques correctly. My mind keeps thinking of all nonsense things. I get upset I am not able to develop love for God Guru. Kindly help me.
Dear Ruma Nath,
It is common for the mind to think of nonsense things when we try to meditate. That is due to (a) habit, (b) concentration not yet well developed, and (c) resistance of the ego to meditation (so it sends distractions of thought). Do not be discouraged. Every time you find your mind wandering, bring it back to your practice. This happens for everyone, but persistence will make it happen less and less. (Here is a blog that I recently wrote about overcoming the tendency of the mind to wander in meditation.)
Also, the very fact that you are upset about not having developed love for God and Guru tells me that such love is already inside you. It might not take the form that you expect it to, and it might not be as strong as you want it to be (and as it eventually will be), but it is there. Just keep your longing alive—that will carry you far. Strive to increase it, and pray for devotion; Paramhansaji recommended that!
Paramhansaji also said that discouragement is the greatest tool of the darkness. It may seem as though it comes from within you, but it really does not. Do not give it a home in your heart—not even for a moment. You cannot afford it. Turn to the light. Turn to the guru.
Centering During the Highs and the Lows
July 22, 2014
Meditation leaves me wonderfully lighthearted but some times during the day I also feel angry thoughts. I am diabetic and this usually happens during high sugar times. Negativity charges like a bull at me.
Meditation does not change the outward circumstances of our life but it can profoundly change our reactions to those circumstances. As meditation becomes a regular part of one’s life one becomes more centered. The highs of our lives don’t pull us so far out of our calm self that the only possible outcome is to come crashing down from that high. The lows of our lives don’t pull us so far out of our calm self that we lose all perspective.
Staying in our calm self may initially sound kind of boring! But I can assure you it is not. Staying centered allows one to appreciate all the good things without becoming over excited. Staying centered also allows one to weather the (inevitable) bad patches without becoming depressed. Instead, one lives with steady heartfelt joy.
I think in time, if you stay committed to finding the calm stillness within yourself through regular meditation, that your angry thoughts will become less pronounced, that you will not identify with them as much, and simply let them pass through, so to speak, until they eventually cease. You may also find that meditation will help you physiologically as well. You may find that your high sugar times become less intense or less frequent.
Puru (Joseph) Selbie
Visions in meditation
July 22, 2014
When I meditate on ajna and guru chakras I reach a uninterrupted blissful state. However, while in that state after some time I get clear, powerful visions of the Buddha in various forms and divine light showered by him on me. I am neither a practising buddhist nor have I ever visited a vihara or spoken to any buddhist monk so far. So I wonder why I am getting these visions? Thanks.
Perhaps these visions are simply a gift from the divine, to bless you spiritually and help you in going deeper still in your meditations. But because they are specifically of the Buddha, perhaps they represent a spiritual direction for you to explore further. That will be for you to determine, mainly in your meditations. One way to do this is to be aware of what kind of inspiration these visions leave you with. Is it simply Divine upliftment, or is there a directional feeling to the inspiration that you experience?
Regarding why you would be receiving visions of the Buddha specifically, I would say that our experiences in this present lifetime make up a very small part of the totality of who we are. This totality will include experiences from many lifetimes. For that reason I don’t find it unusual that you would be receiving these visions.
Also the Buddha, born as an Indian prince, was an avatar who came to awaken people to their own divine reality within. As with Krishna and Jesus Christ, it is the followers of these great masters who create separate religions in their names. But the essential message of each master is the same, “Go within and know who you really are in your true Self.”
One of the Buddha’s universal statements was that the reason we should love everyone, is that everyone (in one lifetime or another) has been our father, mother, son, daughter, friend, lover, etc.
Many blessings to you on your spiritual journey.
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