A Deeper Spiritual Life vs. a Relationship
June 13, 2014
How do I reconcile spiritual differences with my spouse? I want a deeper spiritual life and my spouse in not interested yet and I’ve been waiting and praying for twenty years.
This is a difficult situation to be in. I don’t think I can answer this for you. But if your spouse isn’t interested in a deeper spiritual life after living with you for 20 years, it seems that it probably isn’t going to happen in this lifetime.
Yogananda said that environment is stronger than will power, and if you have been in a 20 year relationship that’s a fairly strong environment. Something will have to give one way or the other. I have to assume that you’ve tried many things over 20 years to make this work within the relationship before writing such a question.
The dharma in this situation could be that you need to leave the relationship to pursue your deeper spiritual life. But would that really work for you? Twenty years is a long time to be with someone, and it wouldn’t be easy to move out of that situation. It seems as though there will be pain no matter what. But pain is often how we grow.
Sorry I can’t be more specific, but there are no easy answers to your question.
June 12, 2014
Why do my friends think that I don’t understand them when I’m solving a problem between my friend and his girlfrien. I tell the girlfriend to not to tell anything that I told her to anyone else but she does that and then my best friend betrays me. Can anyone please me how to solve this?
We learn so much from these interactions. First not to get between couples. Sometimes friends just want to express their thoughts and are not really interested in advice. It’s best then to just let them talk. Be a friend in understanding, commenting only on bringing the discussion to a higher level of consciousness.
Second, it’s best not say anything about the person under discussion. I’ve learned that my thoughts relate to my own understanding of life, but this understanding may not be helpful to another. Advice should be helpful and positive. Sometimes saying nothing but conveying love and understanding will do more.
If you feel the action of betrayal of your friend is true, then change yourself. This may be a wake-up call from God to learn how to be a friend. If the betrayal is not your fault, then the action should not concern you. In any event do not become angry towards him. Anger brings only more confusion and more betrayals. Keep your mind clear and open to love and compassion towards these souls who are struggling with their lives.
You can develop compassion and love through meditation on God, bringing Him into your life, listening to Him. You can also help others through this more enlightened consciousness.
Question About “Snooping”
May 5, 2014
Is it ok to snoop on someone before starting a relationship for a background check, or even on someone whom we are in a relationship with and have sensed dishonest traits about the other person and not willing to tell the truth? I guess it is ok as long as our intention is not to harm but protect ourselves. Or should we keep praying to God to turn around things for the better and not snoop, as snooping is dishonest and even we won’t feel God if someone snoops on us?
You state that your intention is not to harm the other but protect yourself. I suppose that certain types of inquires might be appropriate. Asking the advice of friends and family, for example. Consulting a wise and experienced marriage counselor, for example.
By contrast, hiring a detective would probably go beyond the dharma, except in unusual circumstances.
You are not going to find perfection on someone else if you have not found it within. Only in God can we find the everlasting happiness we chase in outward circumstances.
Marriage can bring surprises, happiness, sadness, betrayal and much more. It is not ours to know the future or our karma. If we think we are going to find the perfect mate we will invariably be disappointed.
So do what you must but do nothing for which you may have to apologize or regret. Offer your common sense actions into faith.
Energy, Magnetism, and Relationships
March 25, 2014
I’m struggling to understand if I have the right attitude. There was a man at work who tried to attract my attention and I would not give him any acknowledgement. I had no reason to speak him about any work related questions so I avoided even walking by his cubicle to prevent more occasions when he would try to force me to acknowledge him. I was forced to retire so the situation is resolved that way but after today’s webinar, I wonder if I am free of whatever caused the issue.
This is a very good question. From what you have described, I would say that it’s not as much about your attitude, as it is about understanding the workings of energy and magnetism. I would like to give you a little background on this subject before addressing your particular situation.
Many people today are not aware that they live in a world of energy. This energy is behind all matter and is the basis of all that we see around us; in fact, of all of creation. We as human beings, every cell of our bodies, are made of energy.
Because of this, it is important to understand how energy works. One example, especially as it relates to the question that you’ve asked, is what happens when energy, in the form of electricity, is passed through a wire. That electricity, in turn, creates a magnetic field around the wire. And this magnetic field draws more electricity to itself.
People are very much like that wire. They are made of energy which is also constantly passing through them. As that energy passes through, it creates a magnetic field around them. Depending on the person, and the amount of energy passing through them, this magnetic field can be either strong or weak. This field is sometimes referred to as the “aura” of a person. Although you may not be someone who can see auras, you may certainly feel the effect they have on you. Each person you meet will differ in the kind of magnetism they exude, and in the strength of that magnetism.
To return to your question, there exists an inherent magnetism between people. Most people are aware of it, but usually in a superficial way. For those who understand the principles of energy and magnetism, it is important to be aware of the kind of magnetism you direct outward to other people. I have found that when I meet someone who has a kind of magnetism that I don’t feel good about, I need to be very careful in how I relate to them. I don’t mean that I would necessarily be outwardly cold or aloof toward them. But I would be careful to not relate to them in a familiar way. I would try to keep things on a more impersonal level. In the workplace, this would most likely be seen as relating in a “professional” way.
The other very important thing to understand about magnetism is that when two people meet and interact with each other, whoever has the stronger magnetism will influence the other person. It’s simply the law of magnetism. This is why you may instinctively feel to avoid some people, such as you have done with the man at your work. It is tiring to have to do so, but very important to your own energy. It is especially important when you are engaging in the spiritual life and trying to live in a more uplifted way. This is why the concept of “satsang,” or fellowship with truth, is so emphasized on the spiritual path.
So to answer your question more directly, I would say that it is good to have experienced this situation. In this way you now have a direct understanding of how energy and magnetism work. And they are at work all the time! Sometimes leaving the situation is the answer. But when that is not possible, then it is important to be vigilant and strong in your own energy (as you have done), and to project this energy in an impersonal way. Familiarity is usually what people will project to open you up to their influence. If you don’t want that influence, then you need to keep your distance energetically.
When you are forced to project a positive and impersonal energy to someone, this also works in your favor magnetically. By doing this, you create a stronger magnetic field around you of that kind of energy. In most situations this will eventually be unappealing or unattractive to the other person, and they will not continue trying to engage you. But if they feel an opening, and that it’s a game you are playing with each other, then they may well persist.
If you would like to learn more about the influence of energy and magnetism in your life, I would recommend the book Awaken to Superconsciousness by Swami Kriyananda. Chapters 10, 11, and 12 focus on the subjects of both energy and magnetism.
Age Difference in Relationships
March 25, 2014
There a girl that I like. I have confessed my feelings to her but there is just this one obstacle between me and her. I actually younger than her by one year and she minds it. How do I change this?
One year difference in age is not very much by adult-age standards. So perhaps you both are still quite young! Nonetheless, we who practice meditation and yoga and who speak of past lives find one year to be insignificant! Speak to her about friendship and that friends are always friends regardless of their differences, which in this case, are slight. At age 33, one year of life is only a 3% difference — almost insignificant!
Perhaps this attraction does not run deep if one year is a serious objection. Perhaps she is not for you!
God alone is our nearest and dearest Beloved through Eternity. All else is like foam upon the sea! True friendship sees the Divine and the Highest in one another, not the superficial.
Help with Friendship
February 24, 2014
Hi, I always find it hard to progress with friendships beyond the first initial contact. How do you earn people‘s respect, friendship, and caring attitude? How do you learn which people are worth your time and which are using you? Or which are jealous of you. I am considered an attractive female and extremely sensitive and shy. This combination always makes it hard for me to open up discussions or immerse myself in conversations where people don't ask me questions or I am asking all the questions etc.
Our dear Swami Kriyananda, aka J. Donald Walters, wrote a wonderful little booklet called Secrets of Friendship.
My suggestions here are based on those “Secrets”.
First of all you must be a friend. You can do this by demanding nothing from others but instead showing appreciation. Don’t worry about getting friends to listen to you, actively listen to them. Take action when a friend needs help.
Next (very important) never belittle a friend’s enthusiasms. Hold kind thoughts even when there are misunderstandings. Be true to your word, your promises and commitments. Be respectful of the opinions of others even if you do not agree.
Last of all, try to feel God’s love behind the blessing of friendship and hold up the very highest in your friends. Try to see others as God sees you; with love.
Dating an Atheist
February 24, 2014
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? :(
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?
So, your friend may say he’s an atheist, but what he is in his character and consciousness are more important than his beliefs (or in this case, lack of belief). You are right to observe his behavior and attitudes, though one shouldn’t expect perfection in another person if you haven’t achieved it yourself!
The dividing line is on the basis of respect. If, as a self-proclaimed atheist, he is dismissive, antagonistic, and disrespectful of your (and others’) sincerely held spiritual practices and beliefs, I’d call the match finished! If he’s closer to being an agnostic (one who says, simply, he doesn’t know whether there is a God etc. etc., and may even be open to it but prefers to keep his distance from any assertion that, to him, is unprovable), and assuming other positive and compatible qualities, I’d say carry on and see how the relationship unfolds.
May the Light of Wisdom guide your steps towards truth and true love,
Meditation Can Help to Know Whether a Relationship is Right
February 18, 2014
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?
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!)?
Meditate on things such as this and try to be honest with yourself about how you really feel about this person, not what you wish you felt. Have a variety of experiences with them over time to see if there is something more there in the way of a relationship.
Regular, daily meditation will help you be more impersonal and discriminating about what is actually happening between the two of you. Each day in meditation hold up the relationship with this person in God’s light and ask that He bless and guide you in it.
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