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

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Nancy Smith
USA

Question

I have been trying to meditate I have so much clutter I can’t clear away

Nayaswami Pranaba

Nayaswami Pranaba

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Nancy,

Here are some suggestions:

Be sure you are using effective techniques such as the ones which Paramhansa Yogananda taught. For instance, the Hong-Sau Technique is quite well suited to dealing with a cluttered mind. This technique simply brings our focus to the breath and the internal sounds of Hong Sau. When learned properly, you'll find you can move past distracting thoughts and dive deep within to an expanding sense of peace and calmness.

It’s also a good thing to include chanting as part of your spiritual practices. Chanting can take the tendency of the mind to be in thoughts and direct the mind to be more one-pointed. Chanting also has the aspect of devotion which can be very helpful in going beyond thoughts.

Here is an encouraging quote from Paramhansa Yogananda, from the book, The Essence of Self-Realization: “Don’t feel badly if you find yourself too restless to meditate deeply. Calmness will come in time, if you practice regularly. Just never accept the thought that meditation is not for you. Remember, calmness is your eternal, true nature.”

In divine friendship,

Nayaswami Pranaba

P S
USA

Question

Somewhere in an article written by Yoganandaji, he said that great saints have been born more so in India than elsewhere because of the yogic practices. In Bhagavad Gita, this yogic practice has been described in the Dhyan yoga chapter and it is also said that this practices are very ancient. Question is why this practices were given only in that part of the world? I guess we won’t be able to tell much from the history but I am just curious.

Nayaswami Gyandev

Nayaswami Gyandev

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear P S,

You are right: Yoganandaji did indeed say that the West has not had saints of the magnitude that India has had, and he attributed that in large part to the yogic techniques of India. Many Western saints have had great devotion, but without techniques, they could not focus that devotion as effectively as Indian saints could.

I doubt that God withheld those techniques from the West; rather, it was Indian culture’s intense interest in inner science that led to the discovery of those techniques. Plus, India has long honored the guru/disciple tradition.

In consequence, the techniques and teachings of India have been handed down through the generations, through millennia. In the West, there has been such inner, scientific focus and continuity only in relatively short-lived, isolated pockets of humanity, not widespread and enduring as in India.

Techniques and continuity make a big difference.

Blessings,

Gyandev

ruchit
India

Question

Hello in this modern world there are a lot of devices/ electronic machines like computer to play music i’m using these devices to play different mantras during my spiritual practices personally i feel like i shouldn’t depend on something magnetic for my practices so using those devices will be good or bad??please provide guidance.

Nayaswami Hriman

Nayaswami Hriman

Ananda Seattle

Answer

Dear Friend,

Using these devices are just fine but remember that the goal of spiritual seeking is the upliftment of the conscious mind to the superconscious state of the soul. Meditation might begin with aids like these but it is important to go beyond them into meditation and finally going beyond even advanced meditation techniques into the inner silence where, alone, we meet God, Christ, the Masters and our own, divine Self.

Blessings, and, joy to you,

Nayaswami Hriman

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

Nancy Smith
USA

Question

I have been trying to meditate I have so much clutter I can’t clear away

Nayaswami Gyandev

Nayaswami Gyandev

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Nancy,

Well, don’t we all? It’s tempting to think that, in order to meditate, you need to clear the clutter away. There’s logic to that, but unfortunately, it doesn’t work. At best it creates a temporary vacuum that quickly gets filled with pretty much the same clutter.

Instead, you need to bring into your meditation efforts something more attractive than the clutter, something that can lift you above the level of clutter. Make God that “something.” Meditate with God as your partner. Ask Him/Her to guide you, to show you how to reach for a higher octave or your own being. Cultivate your devotion to God, because that will lift you above the clutter, into the light.

Blessings on your efforts,

Gyandev

How Can I Meet Babaji?
June 23, 2015

niti
india

Question

I had put up a pic of babaji and started talking to him. One day in dhyaan I experienced tremendous energy and khechari mudra spontaneously. Since then whenever I think of or talk to babjis pic I have varying experiences(daily, maybe sometimes even 4-5 times a day) including khechari and its exercises.

However whenever I ask him that I want to see him or talk to him, nothing happens. I want to see/meet him or talk to/hear him. Please help!!

Nayaswami Hriman

Nayaswami Hriman

Ananda Seattle

Answer

Dear Niti,

Many devotees would be deeply grateful to have had the responses you have already had as you have described them. Your faith and positive expectation that Babaji will visit you is admirable and touching. However, Babaji visits very few people. (Read stories in the book, Autobiography of a Yogi.)

May I suggest that your prayers continue but after praying meditate deeply and be very still. Let Babaji, God or the Master’s bless you in ways they deem are best for your spiritual growth. It is better not to frame your prayers with too many conditions. Pray that God help to love Him more deeply; to serve Him more willingly and without thought of self, and to be guided by wisdom in all things.

Blessings,

Nayaswami Hriman

ruchit
India

Question

i’m getting spiritual chills everytime i do my spiritual practices or when i worship lord i get some chills around my body i.e cold sensations like something floating around me sometimes those chills are very strong,people tell me that it’s because there are some spiritual guardians around me and some tell it’s your aura,i’m confused please provide guidance to me.

Nayaswami Diksha

Nayaswami Diksha

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Ruchit,

Since I don’t know the specifics of your spiritual practices, I can answer your question only in a general way, and I hope it will be helpful.

Many sorts of phenomena, like seeing light, hearing sounds, having visions, feeling cold or hot, and so on can and sometimes do happen when one meditates. It is generally a sign that energy is on the move and that’s a good thing. Best thing to do, when it happens is to pray to your Guru if you have one, to guide you about the best way to proceed. It’s nothing to be afraid of and it happens to just about everybody at one time or another. Generally the sensations will pass away in time.

Keep the attention at the spiritual eye and always pray for help and guidance before, during, and after meditation—in fact, all the time. The experience of chills doesn’t happen to everyone, but that’s OK. When you meditate, make sure that you practice with relaxation, with loving God, and not over-doing any particular technique beyond your comfort zone.

Blessings,

Diksha

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

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

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