Learning to Love Is Not a Passive Process
February 12, 2014
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.
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.
Learning to love is not a passive process. You can learn to transmute your repressed feelings into action. Be of service to others with enthusiasm and thoughtful kindness. Do not ask yourself if they deserve your love. God loves us unconditionally. Love others with the same impartiality.
When we learn to love others unconditionally, we become channels for His love. As channels, we are deeply blessed by what flows through us.
Puru (Joseph) Selbie
Is Premarital Sex Wrong?
January 27, 2014
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.
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.
But for many couples this isn’t an easy proposition! If a couple still feels drawn to have premarital sex then hopefully it is with an attitude of including God in that experience. A suggestion for any couple developing their relationship is to try to meditate together so the bond between them is strengthened at a deeper level; if that energy is strong then the magnetism of God’s presence will be with them and they will tune into what is appropriate from their own inner experience.
How to Live “Non-Attached” Wisely
January 6, 2014
How does one practice non-attachment with those that don’t, or can’t, understand the concept without getting drawn in to their drama?
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.”
A wife might need your signs of affection, sometimes often. Outwardly showing non-attachment might be the worst thing for her present reality. A friend might need to feel that you stand by him, and needs to hear it. Your outer signs of non-attachment may just make him feel that you are not really there for him, and he might react. Another friend may perceive nothing but lack of love whenever you outwardly demonstrate non-attachment, growing upset.
Renunciation is mainly inside, as non-attachment is inside. Outwardly we need to relate “appropriately” to people, just in the way they are.
True non-attachment is never cold or indifferent. Love is a higher principle than non-attachment and should infuse it. Yogananda stated, “I am divinely attached to all,” meaning “I really care for the well-being of all.” And he showed it, even though he was fully non-attached deep inside. If people feel your love, there will be no “drama”.
In divine friendship, Jayadev
Relationships and Renunciation
January 6, 2014
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.
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.
There Is No Conflict Between Meditation and Service
January 2, 2014
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.
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.
Developing an attitude of service is as important as meditation. You might say service is meditation in action. Like meditation, serving others breaks down our ego’s hold on our awareness and behavior. Participating fully in raising children, with the attitude of selfless service, is a golden opportunity to learn how to serve and love everyone — an opportunity to discover the presence of God in all activity.
There is no conflict between meditation and service. Meditation and service go together naturally. A genuine attitude of service helps one go deep in meditation and deep meditation helps one’s service become ever more selfless.
Puru (Joseph) Selbie
November 7, 2013
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?
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).
Then ask if you can meet to discuss the situation that led you to express yourself so harshly in order to heal the rift between you. Don’t try to defend yourself or blame her. Simply listen to her side of the story calmly and try to understand her position. From there, build on what she shares with a desire to be cooperative and work together for the highest good.
If she is unwilling to meet, pray Yogananda’s peace and harmony prayer for her. This involves repeating the words, “Fill her with Thy peace and harmony, peace and harmony, peace and harmony” whenever you think of her.
Stay centered in your peace and harmony and send it to her from your heart whenever you see her.
Joy to you.
Advice About Divorce
November 6, 2013
I was married for 33 years and have been separated for 6 months. My husband walked, saying he wanted a divorce. Yet he has not filed for a divorce and comes home every weekend. Will we ever reconcile or will keep his word and file? I want to celebrate our Golden Years together. What do you see in my future?
I am sorry that I cannot predict the future. The clarity you are seeking will come from direct communication with your husband. Ask him what he wants and then share with him what you want. Look for possible solutions to the disharmony in your marriage. Your husband may have been unhappy for many years or may be going through a mid-life crisis. I don’t know him or what dynamics are at work in your relationship. Try to be open to understanding how he feels.
Pray deeply before engaging in the communication and ask for God’s peace to preside.
May you feel his grace,
October 22, 2013
Hi! I have caught my fiance cheating on me. He vehemently denied all this though it was very obvious and we had a huge argument on this as I was shocked on how he was lying when things were very obvious. Now I have solid proof in my hand. Do you think it would be right to confront him lovingly with the proof?
I’m sorry to hear of the turbulence in your relationship, it must be very painful for you.
You ask about lovingly providing proof to your fiance. If you have proof, then both of you know the truth. If he is lying to you as well as cheating on you, perhaps you should consider getting out of this relationship while you can. May you find solace in God.
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