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February 24
2014

N
India

Question

Dear Nayaswami Hriman, I’ve recently started dating a man, who as it turns out, is an atheist. We’re still getting to know each other, but I feel like this bit of info has thrown me off. It’s not that I feel superior because of my meditation practice (which he says he’d like to learn) but I feel like I am constantly looking for flaws in him now. Like a bad temper, unkindness, horns(!!) I am praying for help and guidance, but feel like something’s “stuck” in my heart! What should I do? :(

Nayaswami Hriman

Nayaswami Hriman

Ananda Seattle

Answer

Dear Friend,

As Paramhansa Yogananda (and many others) have said, “Your beliefs won’t save you.” This is as true for religionists as for atheists! Or as Ralph Waldo Emerson once put it, “Who you are speaks so loudly I can’t hear your words.”

How often do we see orthodox believers who believe all the “right” things but who treat others unkindly or with judgment?

RN
nz

Question

Hi there,

When I fall in love with someone (It‘s a new feeling for me. My last relationship was 6 years ago, and this is only a few months old.) I have noticed I want to be around that person all the time, and I imagine my future with this person. How do I meditate to help me see my path of life I have chosen is right and true?

Nayaswami Parvati

Nayaswami Parvati

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear friend,

It’s interesting that you phrase your new relationship as “Falling in love.” In a new relationship of any kind I would suggest you use this phrase instead, “Getting to know you.” Whether it’s simple friendship or a romantic relationship, it’s best to take the time to get to know the other person first in a number of different ways, rather than assuming that something more is going on. I would assume an attitude of friendship as a basis, then try to have various kinds of interactions with that person such as working with them, enjoying entertainment, etc. Sexual energy can very much distort what is most important in a relationship, so it’s best to get through the initial energies of finally finding someone who may be “the one.” Take the time to see which direction this new connection is going in. Do you really like them as a person and is there good compatibility “chemistry” between you? Are you moving in the same direction spiritually? Do they meditate? How do you each feel about family life, social life, and spending time apart? Will you enjoy spending time with their family (because you most likely will!)?

A Singh
India

Question

Hi Ananda Members!

By God’s grace I get to know the real intentions/feelings of people around me, no matter how hard they try to hide from me or others. And it so happens that time also reveals those things sooner or later. Now my problem is I am always silent and just watch everything instead of speaking out and I do suppress my feelings and anger which causes trouble to me in many ways. Please suggest how can I best handle such revelations and still maintain my calm. Thank you.

Puru (Joseph) Selbie

Puru (Joseph) Selbie

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear A Singh,

Yogananda often said that we are here to learn to love. We are not here to correct the behavior of others. As we deepen spiritually we can often more clearly see the faults and selfish motivations of those around us. Our challenge is to learn to give them our unconditional, non-judgmental love regardless of their behavior.

January 27
2014

Niraj
India

Question

I know this question has been asked frequently. But is premarital sex wrong? If a man and woman love each other intend to marry — and do it moderately, and are have spiritual inclination.

A happily married man told me that he was spiritually inclined and had prayed to God to give him the right partner. He found her and indulged in it but not frequently and then married her and they are leading a happy life.

Nayaswami Pranaba

Nayaswami Pranaba

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Niraj,

Perhaps the best way to approach this question is to put it in perspective of what is the ideal and then see how that plays out in the world we live in!

The ideal is to not let sex be a strong emphasis in a relationship, and even more so, before there is a commitment such as marriage. It would be better to have the emphasis on divine friendship with one’s partner which allows a deeper and more fulfilling relationship to unfold; one that merges the personal love for one another into the one love of God. If a couple can redirect their energies from sex to a more uplifting love then certainly that will help the couple grow spiritually.

Rob
United States

Question

How does one practice non-attachment with those that don’t, or can’t, understand the concept without getting drawn in to their drama?

Tyagi Jayadev

Tyagi Jayadev

Ananda Assisi, Italy

Answer

Dear Rob,

If I understand correctly, your question is: “If I am non-attached, some don’t understand, but react emotionally. How should I handle this?”

Especially where close relationships are concerned, we have to learn to become mature. Swami Kriyananda established a Maturity Principle: “Maturity is the ability to relate appropriately to other realities than one’s own.”

Dan
united states

Question

Hi there. I have what for me is a hard question. Is it falling to the desire of sex if its just my girlfriend who asks for it ? I have said no many times without haste but I don’t want to ruin this relationship because of sex. I feel God's love in her. What should I do? Because I don’t desire it anymore. But I can’t let her suffer, can I? I can’t. What to do? I follow these teachings of your Master very strictly myself.

Nayaswami Diksha

Nayaswami Diksha

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Dan,

It’s common for a sincere spiritual seeker to want to leave sex behind. However, when two people share a committed relationship, the needs of each person must be respected. Sex is a powerful desire, and if one of the partners has that desire, it’s quite normal, and the other person should honor it. It doesn’t have to be a constant thing, after all. Just remember when having sex to take God with you. Give love and make sure that the occasion uplifts both of you.

Suma
India

Question

Is it all right for a person on spiritual path (who does meditation regularly) to neglect the wishes of his children, wife (like go for a movie and do activities with children which may not be of any spiritual value but may provide joy and happiness to them). I have an understanding that spirituality is to become one with God. Also, all Gurus say God is in everyone.

Puru (Joseph) Selbie

Puru (Joseph) Selbie

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Suma,

Your question is one that has been asked by sincere seekers for millennia: Does living only for God require one to distance oneself from all worldly activities?

Paramhansa Yogananda, and our line of gurus, stressed, especially for householders, the importance of nishkam karma (desireless action) or “being in the world but not of it.” How does one live in the world but be not of it? The key is to adopt an attitude of service, to perform ones duties lovingly, faithfully, and responsibly, not for self-gratification, but for the benefit of others.

November 7
2013

Sohan
India

Question

I have been looking for a solution to a problem for many days and while surfing saw this site. Someone very dear to me, out of a misunderstanding, hates me so much and snubs me that it feels unbearable. I feel scared to even approach that person out of fear of being snubbed. I have never meant any harm to that person but it was just situational which had compelled me to be harsh to that person on one occasion wen it was her fault and she knew it very well. Is there any way to reduce the negativity?

Kristy Fassler-Hecht

Kristy Fassler-Hecht

Ananda Maine

Answer

Dear Sohan,

The first thing that is appropriate is to apologize for the harsh words you said to the woman. She probably felt your anger or other negative emotion more than the truth of the words you expressed to her (assuming the words were true and not hurtful).

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