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Questions and Answers About Meditation, Yoga, the Spiritual Life, and More

Category: Meditation

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ruchit
india

Question

i’m meditating at night and concentrating on god within myself and i don’t sleep so will this not getting sleep affect me in any way??

also sometime i feel tingling sensation on my forehead point like getting pulled or some ants moving on that point what is it?

Nayaswami Hriman

Nayaswami Hriman

Ananda Seattle

Answer

Dear Friend,

Meditation will sometimes cause sleeplessness or reduce one’s need for sleep, but sleeplessness is also very common and can be caused by many other factors. The first and most important thing is whether your lack of sleep is causing problems in your life: doing your work during day is an obvious one; mood swings, fatigue, sleepiness, irritability and similar symptoms usually occur as well.

If, therefore, lack of sleep is causing problems (as I assume it is, or, soon will), you should adjust the time during the day when you meditate. Perhaps meditate earlier in the evening rather than just before bed. You might also have your longer meditation in the morning rather than late at night. It is important to have balance in your life that allows you to sustain your meditation practices over the years. Krishna in Bhagavad Gita says that yoga is not for those who sleep too much or sleep too little. The balanced, middle path is the way to find God.

As to the other symptom of — tingling in the forehead — that does indeed happen sometimes as a result of concentration at the point between the eyebrows. Of course, there can be other, natural causes as well. Unless it is very bothersome, I wouldn’t be concerned. If helpful, rub your forehead when it occurs; or, simply ignore it. Beyond that I would not ascribe any particular spiritual meaning to that phenomenon.

Ok?

Blessings to you,

Nayaswami Hriman

Henric Niles
Netherlands

Question

Yesterday I meditated and saw Europe from above, and I could see dark and gray energy covering it. From where I was I could see light energy pushing it away. Just before I almost fainted I saw a turquoise dragon with the golden mustache thing that Chinese dragons have. It had yellow eyes with a red iris. It came towards me, and it felt like it went through me. After I was just exhausted. What I saw, what does it mean? I have to say that I saw the dragon before multiple times while meditating.

Nayaswami Savitri

Nayaswami Savitri

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Henric, Thank you for writing us all the way from the Netherlands! Blessings to you!

Regarding visions in meditation: Just as is true in trying to analyze nightly dreams, it is not always necessary or even helpful to do so, unless it feels especially important to you for some reason. In any case, it is your vision or dream and no one can determine what it means better than you can.

Here’s one good way to do that for yourself. Just before your next meditation, write down the most striking elements of your vision. In this case, I’d say that would be the dark, gray energy covering Europe and the dragon. Pray for guidance, then set your list aside and try hard to forget it completely while you quiet your mind, watch your breath, and do whatever meditation techniques you practice ordinarily.

At the close of your meditation, ask again (without attachment or trying to figure it out on your own) what these symbols mean for you. Sit quietly and wait for the answers to come into your mind. If they don’t come immediately, then prayerfully wait a while — even for a few days or weeks, if necessary — don’t be impatient. Almost always, the true answers will be revealed to you at some point — and you'll know without question that they are true —  if you humbly and quietly keep asking for divine guidance. And remember that often the symbols represent a part of your inner being, rather than representing something or someone outside yourself.

Ricardo
Brazil

Question

Sitting in Half Lotus Position at the end of hong-sau technique, when I exhaled and held the breath as much as is comfortable, something strange happened. I did not feel the need to breathe again and the top of my body began to spin counter clockwise faster and faster. I was scared and went back to breathe forcefully. I meditate using the SRF techniques for more than two years and is the first time this happens. I ask, is it normal? and what should I do? Should I keep breathlessness and allow the spin?

Nayaswami Gyandev

Nayaswami Gyandev

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Ricardo,

An experience such as you had is a very good thing. It is not unique, but as your past experience bears out, neither is it ordinary. The spinning was likely the result of your Kundalini energy beginning to rise, which needs to happen in order for one to grow spiritually. Kundalini rising should be a pleasant, enjoyable experience, not a scary one. However, even a positive thing can be a bit scary if it is extremely unfamiliar.

Swami Kriyananda recommended that, in a case such as this, you simply try to keep the body still so the experience stays as inward as possible, rather than getting translated into so much outward movement that it takes you out of the experience.

One more thing: Do not force the breath to stay out after you exhale at the end of Hong-Sau practice. Let it stay out as long as it wants to, but not longer. True breathlessness will happen on its own, not by force.

Best wishes for many more deep meditations.

Blessings,

Gyandev

dodge
usa

Question

Hi, a couple days ago I had quite the experience. Usually before going to sleep I meditate, while I was doing this I started to feel the beginning stages of the "out of body". I told myself that I was just too tired and wanted to go to sleep, then I had a ray of golden light surround mainly my head and golden orbs were flying in to my head and with each orb I can feel a rush of energy go through my spine. What does this mean?

Nayaswami Pranaba

Nayaswami Pranaba

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Dodge,

These types of experiences indicate that you are likely tuning into the subtle astral realms of light and energy.

As we go deeper in our awareness, often the inner obstacles are released, which then allow these experiences to come to us. Enjoy them as gifts from the divine, but then release them back into the divine. Don’t cling to them. Rather, offer yourself into the center of whatever experience is coming to you. Give yourself more completely to God and then the right results will happen in the best possible way in your life.

Blessings,

Nayaswami Pranaba

Siddharth Patel
India

Question

Is there anything wrong for a beginner to worship 'OM' as a form of God? I am a beginner. I am not interested in developing devotion towards any particular physical form of God. I am interested in Jnana Yoga rather than Bhakti Yoga. So is it alright to worship OM as a form of God by a beginner?

Nayaswami Parvati

Nayaswami Parvati

Ananda Village

Answer

AUM is wonderful, the sound of the creation of the universe! But, as a beginner, you might want to approach meditation and the spiritual teachings with more of a sense of exploration. Otherwise you are determining from your beginning understanding of them what they have to offer you. It would be like coming to a professional to learn to play the game of tennis, but determining how you want to play before you even know much about it.

In the beginning of my own spiritual life and meditation practice, I also was drawn (by my mind and intellect) to a more gyana (also spelled "jnana") type of approach. But it was so dry and abstract that I didn’t really engage seriously in the practices. It wasn’t until I found a more balanced teaching that things began to fall into place. Without this I would have given up the practices completely — yet again.

Paramhansa Yogananda’s guru, Sri Yukteswar, who was considered a Gyanavatar (incarnation of gyana) during his lifetime, said that you cannot take one step along the spiritual path without developing the heart’s natural love. It’s not a matter of bhakti or gyana, it’s a matter of doing what works. And it’s not a matter of what we "worship," but of what we experience and become. So you don’t so much want to worship AUM, as to "become" AUM. It’s not enough to hear the sound of AUM. You need to eventually, through your deepening meditation practice, become one with it.

On the path of yoga, what matters most is your own direct experience in meditation. To gain this direct experience you have to commit to practicing, with devotion, the meditation techniques that will give this to you. Without having this, the ideas we have about spirituality, and how we relate to it, are only that — interesting ideas.

The meditation techniques that Ananda offers, based on Paramhansa Yogananda teachings, are very good for doing this. You might want to explore them through our Ananda Centers in India. You can find out more about this at the Ananda Sangha India website.

I hope these thoughts will be helpful for you, and I wish you many blessings in your practices.

Nayaswami Parvati

Mark
Germany

Question

Hello, thank you for brilliant answer.Just a few very important questions for me. When i try to put my concentration on spiritual eye, i feel tension on my forehead and cant mentally find that point between the eyebrows, what wrong im doing? Im new in meditation, does only Hong-sau for the first months is ok? How can i concentrate on spiritual eye, breathing, mantra and looking upward at the same time?It seems too hard. When i say mantra but dont understand the meaning of thewords its ok?Thanks

Nayaswami Diksha

Nayaswami Diksha

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Mark,

When you experience tension on your forehead while gazing at the spiritual eye, it usually a result of either trying to position the eyes awkwardly, or a long-time habit of squeezing your eyebrows together when you try to concentrate.

When you close your eyes, turn your eyes slightly upward, as if looking at a peak of a mountain in the distance, slightly above the horizon level. This should not involve any strain. Feel as if your eyes are resting in this upward position, not as if you’re trying to look into the distance.

Here is how to look slightly upward with no strain:

Sit up right, and extend right arm forward, and make a fist with the hand. Bring thumb up, and raise arm 2"-3" above the horizon. Gaze at your thumbnail, then close your eyes and visualize that thumbnail. Bring arm down. Your gaze should be out and up about arm’s length.

When you first start to practice the Hong-Sau technique, it takes time to get used to doing all parts of the technique (just like all the different things you have to do when driving a car), but gradually it becomes natural and easy. Be patient.

The mantra Hong-Sau means: I am Spirit. The mantra has power in it, and it has impact on your energy. You don’t need to focus on the meaning of the words; it’s the vibration of the mantra that will help you. Just keep practicing it.

Please visit this page for more information about meditation.

Blessings,

Diksha

Sanjay
USA

Question

Hi,

Is going almost breathless and having out of body experiences during meditation better than feeling calmness and inner peace after meditation?

Puru (Joseph) Selbie

Answer

Dear Sanjay,

Yogananda used to say, "Whatever comes of itself, let it come." He used this phrase to describe the right attitude for dealing with what life brings you — failure or success, poverty or wealth, sickness or health — just let it come but do not let what comes define you or determine your happiness. If you live centered within your Self then whatever does come cannot change your inner happiness.

I think this is also the right attitude for what you experience in meditation — "Whatever comes of itself, let it come." — don’t deliberately seek any particular kind of experience. One genuine experience of Divine consciousness is no "better" than another. Instead, concentrate on becoming still in body and mind, and offering yourself to God. What you experience in meditation will grow and change over time.

In the Autobiography of a Yogi, Yogananda wrote that God is "ever-new Joy." Don’t become fixed on what you want to experience. Let God’s blissful ever-newness beguile you. Let the guru decide what experiences you need.

Warm regards,

Puru (Joseph) Selbie

vishwas
India

Question

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 ????

Nayaswami Hriman

Nayaswami Hriman

Ananda Seattle

Answer

Dear vishwas:

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.

At your age it is important to develop a healthy life style: body, mind, and soul. Ananda has excellent online resources for meditation classes and has centers in cities around India.

Here are some how-to-live suggestions for daily life:

  1. Do physical yoga: hatha yoga to help the body relax and to gain control over your body’s energies.
  2. 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.
  3. Exercise. At your age some strenuous exercise (running, swimming, fitness, etc.) is very important.
  4. 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.
  5. 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).
  6. 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.
  7. Satsang. Be around those who are wise, kind, and spiritually mind. This includes your reading material and listening.

Blessings and joy to you!

Nayaswami Hriman

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