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

Category: Relationships

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Anonymous
United States

Question

I am becoming more sensitive to other people’s inner lives, but in a bad way. For instance, with one person, I will feel white-hot hostility and rage in me while talking to them, but it is a very hostile and angry person... it’s not me. It’s the unacknowledged shadow of the person, what is not being seen or expressed by them. Since most people don’t want to do their inner work, I’m stuck with their darkness. Close family members too, that I can’t just leave.

Nayaswami Parvati

Nayaswami Parvati

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear friend,

From what I understand of yoga teachings, what we see in others can only be a reflection of what we have within ourselves. If there is no resonance within us of anger or other darkness, then we are usually not very aware or affected by these energies in others. And if we do become aware of them, it will be from a more impersonal place that doesn’t directly affect us so directly. So what you are describing is a puzzle to me.

It may also be that this strong awareness and feeling that you have of anger coming from another person is a residue in you from a previous lifetime. But even then, it would not have the effect on you personally that you are describing. So, again, I am puzzled.

I don’t think you ever have to feel that you are stuck with other people’s darkness. If you are doing your own inner work, through meditation, right living, and working daily on releasing the darkness in you, then you won’t feel as personally impacted by other people’s problems and darkness.

Environment is very important, so I do appreciate what you are describing about having to live with others who have strong negative energy. It will be important for you also to try, as much as possible, to spend time with those who are positive and not living in such darkness. Doing this will allow you to build your own inner strength.

I hope these suggestions will provide a direction for your energy that can bring more light into your life, and of those around you.

In divine friendship,

Nayaswami Parvati

hari
Nepal

Question

I recently met one girl and i am very much attracted to her. But she just treats me like a stranger . So i am having a bias in my mind . So what should i do ?

Puru (Joseph) Selbie

Puru (Joseph) Selbie

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Hari,

Yogananda often said that our desires will lead us a merry chase and then give us nothing in the end. There is nothing outside ourselves that can satisfy us. We will always feel unfulfilled until we find the fulfillment of all fulfillments within ourselves.

Until we find that ultimate fulfillment, however, and are no longer motivated by unhappiness-making desires, it helps to be open-eyed and self-honest about our desires. Never convince yourself that your happiness depends on the satisfaction of a particular desire. Offer your desires to God and he will help you transmute them, with your active cooperation, into the highest expression you can achieve.

The woman to whom you are attracted may well be a wonderful person, and may even be the right person for you, but it is difficult for you to know if that is the case if you are distracted by pangs of attraction. Try offering your longing for her to God. Pray for the right thing to happen. If she is the right companion for you, pray that God will make the connection. But also offer your longing to God so that He can fulfill it for you within yourself. Pray for His all-satisfying love while offering to Him your own Love. Offer your desire to God that he can help you channel that longing in a way that will help you grow spiritually.

If your desire persists but remains unresolved, take your mind off of it by vigorously doing other things. Give time for God’s compassionate plan to unfold for you. Even if you are overmastered by your longing and behave foolishly, give that to God too. Remain self-honest and offer your successes and your failures trying to overcome the pulls of wrong desires to God. He likes that.

Warm regards,

Puru (Joseph) Selbie

Amrita
India

Question

I love my parents and my parents love me too. But like most other parents,they have also made mistakes in parenthood which has caused prolonged problems for me in childhood. I used to bedwet till about 15, 16. Instead of showing sympathy, they used to shame me on purpose in front of kin and blamed me of being lazy and indifferent.

Even in school, she would give me less food as she thought that was enough, compelling me to steal from my friends' tiffin boxes. Though they have changed, the damage caused undermined my confidence and performance for a long time. Hunger would not let me concentrate in studies.

Now I am in my 30’s, but I still feel angry at times, and in course of arguments, blame them for their negative attitude years back. But they have also done many good things for us as parents. So when I blamed them in anger, they feel very sad and that makes me sad too. Please help me.

Nayaswami Savitri

Nayaswami Savitri

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Amrita,

You are certainly not alone in this world, that is, in having parents who made mistakes in the way they raised you. Almost everyone has something they can say about how they wish things had been different during their childhoods.

But we must not let the past define who we are right now. The past is over! Ask God and Gurus to help you forgive and forget, and don’t put any more energy into blaming your parents for their errors — put it all behind you and get on with your life! You say that your parents have changed for the better. So that means it’s time for you to change for the better also!

There is no one whose life is free from mistakes. The trick about dealing with mistakes is to blame no-one, including yourself. Give it all to God — turn it all over completely. As many times as blame or anger it arise in your mind, or you want to say something hurtful or complain, ask God to help you to keep silent and to pray for those who have hurt you.

And don’t give in to anger — it can be very harmful to you! Anger is simply wishing that things were different from how they are (or were). It is a much wiser use of your energy to transmute that anger-energy into loving and forgiving energy. It might take some practice and some time, but you can do it! You will have a much happier life, if you strive always to do this.

It is a great blessing that you love your parents and that they love you also, and as you have said, "...have done many good things for you." Concentrate only on these good things. Many people would envy you very much in having loving parents — many people do not have loving parents or any parents at all! Count your blessings and, with God’s help, let all that negativity go away!

Annapurna
India

Question

How can we truly honour mothers on Mother’s day as per Guruji’s guidelines?? Is there any way we can show our love and respect for them in group meditations? Can you suggest any way by which we all can meditate together in a group asking God to bless them? How is it done usually in Ananda group meditation centres?

Kristy Fassler-Hecht

Kristy Fassler-Hecht

Ananda Maine

Answer

Dear Annapurna,

To my knowledge there is no official way to honor mothers on Mother’s Day per Guruji’s guidelines.

At our Ananda center over the weekend, we had a Divine Mother meditation for three hours to share inner communion with our Cosmic Mother. In addition, we will pray that all mothers be instruments of Divine Mother’s love to all. It is perfectly appropriate to use the healing prayer technique Master taught with all the mother’s in the group receiving special blessings and prayers from others at the meditation.

In Divine Friendship,

No Love Is Ever Lost
April 21, 2015

Geeta
India

Question

Hello, my father passed away in June last year. I miss him everyday very much. I pray to meet him after I die. I never get his dream Never to meet him, such thought is unbearable. He was good.I live with my old mother. Thought of being alone after her causes great fear of loneliness, anxiety comes almost every night after sleep. Inspite of praying and chanting. I am unable to get rid of it. How to remove fear of loneliness, dependency on work ,friends. Grateful.

Mary Kretzmann

Mary Kretzmann

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Geeta,

I am very sorry for your loss. Please know that no love is ever lost, and you will see your father’s soul again. Paramhansa Yogananda teaches us to continue to send our love to our loved ones after they have died. You do not have control on whether or not he appears to you in a dream, but you do have the power to send him your love, anyway. Please know that he will receive that love.

These words of Paramhansa Yogananda offer guidance:

Send your thoughts of love and goodwill to your loved ones as often as you feel inclined to do so, but at least once a year — perhaps on some special anniversary. Mentally tell them, “We will meet again sometime and continue to develop our divine love and friendship with one another.” If you send them your loving thoughts continuously now, someday you will surely meet them again. You will know that this life is not the end, but merely one link in the eternal chain of your relationship with your loved ones.

Please know that your father developed good karma by his goodness, and earned your lasting love. By this we know that he is in a blessed place in the astral world.

Yogananda also wrote:

Souls in the astral region are clothed in gossamer light. They do not encase themselves in bundles of bones with fleshly covers. They carry no frail, heavy frames that collide with other crude solids and break. Therefore, there is no war in the astral land between man’s body and solids, oceans, lightning, and disease. Nor are there accidents, for all things coexist in mutual helpfulness, rather than antagonism. All forms of vibration function in harmony with one another. All forces live in peace and conscious helpfulness. The souls, the rays on which they tread, and the orange rays they drink and eat, all are made of living light. Souls live in mutual cognizance and cooperation, breathing not oxygen, but the joy of Spirit.

Do you meditate? If not, it will help you very much. You mentioned that it is difficult to chant and pray. That can happen in grief, because when our hearts are open to God, we also open more to the grief inside, and so more tears come. And of course, we want to feel God’s bliss and the tears don’t feel like bliss at all, and so we become nervous to meditate deeply. Even so, please do try to do at least 5–10 minutes of Hong-Sau on a regular basis, and soon you will be able to meditate more. This short meditation video will help you to renew your practice. Your deepening calmness will bless you, and also allow your father’s soul to send his love back to you.

Deep grief is a heavy vibration, and the lighter vibrations from the astral world have a hard time cutting through it. Please know that he is already sending you his love and concern, but the grief and anxiety create static that make it hard to get through. The calmness of meditation will allow you to receive the love of your father, and also the love of God and Guru.

Your first step is to read the words of Yogananda, believing. And then pray and meditate, believing. Once you meditation goes deeper, you can also try this method that he taught, below.

To send your thoughts to loved ones who have passed on, sit quietly in your room and meditate upon God. When you feel His peace within you, concentrate deeply at the Christ center, the center of will at the point between the two eyebrows, and broadcast your love to those dear ones who are gone.

Visualize at the Christ center the person you wish to contact. Send to that soul your vibrations of love, and of strength and courage.

If you do this continuously, and if you don’t lose the intensity of your interest in that loved one, that soul will definitely receive your vibrations. Such thoughts give your loved ones a sense of well-being, a sense of being loved. They have not forgotten you any more than you have forgotten them...." 

You can read more about these things in Karma and Reincarnation: The Wisdom of Paramhansa Yogananda. It is available in India, and in the USA.

You mention that you are also anxious about the day when your mother has also passed on. For now, please do not think about this. Instead, deepen your relationship with God so that you can be guided in every moment of your life.

Please know you can also request healing prayers to help you develop peace and calmness at this time.

Blessings,

Mary Kretzmann

Director, Ananda Healing Prayer Ministry

Recommended Reading: Karma and Reincarnation by Paramhansa Yogananda

Fran
USA

Question

An older man in my meditation group who has been meditating for decades began giving me lots of attention. He began calling me, writing me spiritual love notes, etc.. I enjoyed this friendship because I felt supported in my meditation efforts and nurtured in friendship. We had a couple of nurturing moments on the more intimate side. Then he wrote, "feelings change but we’d always be friends in God." I feel used and energetically dry. My meditation has not been the same since.

Nayaswami Diksha

Nayaswami Diksha

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Fran,

I am sorry that your intimate relationship with this man didn’t last long, and that you are now going through a rough time.

In a meditation group, it is quite normal for hearts to open and people to feel attracted to each other. You freely opened the door of your heart and allowed him in, so why do you see yourself as having been used? He might have been confused himself, and only after the two of you became intimate was the energy strong enough that he realized that he was looking for something different, so he withdrew—perhaps out of consideration for your feelings. In any case, at least he had the integrity to end it quickly. There is no one here to blame; simply learn from it and move on.

If you are yearning for a loving relationship with a spiritual man, pray deeply to God and ask for it. Keep your meditation practice strong, your priorities clear, and ask God to help you heal.

Blessings,

Diksha

shiffali
india

Question

Namaste,

I am not able to understand what is the basis of relationship in this world? every time i feel some guy is suitable for me, he ditches me in the most horrible way known and i have always been truthful in all my relations. Is it karma or my ignorance that i am not able to see through people as they are? How can i develop this judgement for others so that i am protected in future?

thanx

Nayaswami Diksha

Nayaswami Diksha

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Shiffali,

The spiritual goal of human relationships is to help us get closer to God.

When someone is drawn to you, it is the result of your magnetism. It is not always easy to understand your own magnetism, but daily practice of meditation and daily constructive introspection can help you. Through these practices you will get to know yourself better, and begin to understand why these things have been happening to you. Then you will see more clearly the direction in which you need to change. All the while, pray to God to help you understand what kind of energy you are putting out that keeps drawing to you the wrong sort of men, and how you can change it. Also pray to God for the strength to make the changes that you need to make.

Here is a page where you can learn how to meditate. There is a video and written instruction as well.

I also recommend that you read Paramhansa Yogananda’s book, How to Love and Be Loved — also published as Spiritual Relationships in America. It will give you a much deeper understanding of human relationships.

Finally, it can be difficult to change your magnetism while you are in a relationship, so I suggest that you take a break from relationships for a while, until you can gain a better perspective on yourself and your relationships.

Blessings to you,

Nayaswami Diksha

Jen
Israel

Question

Im on the spiritual path and this is the most important thing in my life, my partner is jewish and we have three years living together. I love him so much but he feels very bad about my path,since the last year that I started seriously. Because of his beliefs, he think that is bad lucky that I meditate and so on. he never never said me dont do it but im scared, I think he is going down psychologically with fears, he loves me. we are so confused please help me, what can I do, im so scared

Nayaswami Diksha

Nayaswami Diksha

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Jen,

It sounds like you have clarity in one area: The spiritual path is the most important thing in your life.

Because of the confusion in your intimate relationship avoid trying to guess how your partner feels and thinks. The most important thing to do right now is to TALK with each other: communicate clearly and honestly with each other how you feel, what is important to you, what are your fears, what are you willing to compromise, and what you are not willing to. This will give both of you a clear picture of where each person is and whether you want to continue being together.

Blessings,

Diksha

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