About the Expert
Bharat Joseph Cornell, a long-time Ananda minister and Kriyacharya (authorized Kriya Yoga teacher), created Ananda's Meditation Support site to help people learn meditation and receive ongoing support for their practice. He is the author of The Gift of inner Peace, a five-minute inspirational video about meditation.
Bharat has also helped people experience inner peace through his nature awareness work. He has written six Sharing Nature books that have been published in twenty foreign languages and have sparked a worldwide revolution in nature education. He has been compared to John Muir for his impact on the world's awareness of nature.
Posts by Nayaswami Bharat:
One of our devotee smells incense during Aum Technique. Any correlation of Aum technique and smells? any guidance we can share with him to put him at ease?
There isn't a direct correlation between the AUM technique and smelling incense. However, since everything emanates from the Cosmic Vibration, I can see how smelling it could happen.
On the spiritual path there are many different kinds of phenomena that the devotee can experience. Divine smells are one of them.
Is it necessary to have taken Kriya initiation to make the Pilgrim vow of intention, and how is the ceremony conducted if one does not live near an Ananda centre?
One can take the Pilgrim vow of intention without taking Kriya Yoga initiation, because being a disciple of Yoganandaji is not a requirement for joining the Nayaswami Order. Swami Kriyananda sees the Nayaswami Order being for all devotees.
We encourage people to receive initiation in the Nayaswami Order in a group vow ceremony. They will then be able to experience the magnetism of the order much more powerfully. I would encourage you to attend an Ananda regional retreat or visit one of the Ananda Communities when a vow ceremony is scheduled. However, Pilgrims initiates do not have to attend group ceremony and can receive initiation from a nayaswami, tyagi, or brahmachari or brahmacharini when one is traveling nearby.
I am a novice meditator, still experimenting with the inner light technique that I have learned from your instructions.
1. It helps me if I use some kind of soulful music, I can then quiet my mind and see inwardly more clearly. Is that something that is recommended to do?
2. Should I order the "Ananda Course in Self-Realization" of should I first meditate for some time prior to getting it?
Listening to music does inspire us, but Paramhansa Yogananda did say that when we are listening to music during meditation, part of our life force or concentration is drawn outwards in order to hear a physical sound. If you do want to use music, use it at the beginning of your meditation practice for inspiration.
i am a buddhist, i have complete faith in the buddha and his dharma. moreover i am also attracted to yoga as it is explained by yoganada in his classic autobiography. i want to be clear if i will be welcome when i approach ananda to learn kriya yoga. will my buddhist faith be a disqualification for initiation into the method of kriya yoga? does your community insist on converting to hinduism or sanathan dharma before any real empowerment can be given?
Your Buddhist faith does not disqualify you from Kriya Yoga initiation.
However, the Kriya Yoga technique does require on the meditator's part a receptive openness and love for Paramhansa Yogananda and our other lineage of gurus.
I can only feel comfortable and relaxed when I set slouching. Whenever I sit perfectly upright I feel knots of tension in my stomach and mind which prevents me from meditating. Any advice?
I would try sitting upright for just a short period of your meditation. This will help to strengthen your muscles and allow you to sit upright more comfortably. You can also put a pillow on your chair and use it to tilt your upper body so that it is easier to keep your spine upright. Also, doing yoga postures will help you to strengthen your back. Many people feel uncomfortable sitting upright when they begin to meditate but this is overcome as they continue to meditate. Hopefully this will be your experience, too. There is an excellent article on the Ananda Meditation Support site on how to sit comfortably in meditation. Go to www.learn-meditation.org and look under the meditation articles.
i have a friend who has recently begun to practice meditation. she is experiencing headaches when she tries to look into the spiritual eye. what would you recommend in such a case?
Your friend is probably physically tensing her muscles while she is concentrating at the spiritual eye. She should "concentrate" on gazing at the spiritual eye with relaxation. I would suggest having her feel that she is looking from the medulla oblongata, through the brain, to the spiritual eye. This will keep her from tensing her muscles around the spiritual eye. She can also feel like she is looking up at a high mountain in the distance.
I have a horrible habit of procrastination. I have never been able to establish a regular meditation routine, for some thirty years. How can I disrupt this habit, if I can't even make time to meditate?
Meditation, by getting us in touch with greater joy, love and harmony, blesses everything we do because we are living more in the consciousna of God and our true nature. Think of having more quality in your life rather than quanity. Take time to get in touch with that which will beautify your whole life, and that is meditation and attunement with God.
I have been meditating for 2 — 3 years, and was able to concentrate and stay calm during my meditations. However, I go deeper, I notice that something is fighting me. When I concentrate on the third eye my body jerks; sometimes the hole body shakes. What could that possibly be?
As one's life force or energy becomes interiorized during meditation, some people do experience sensations like the body jerking or shaking.
This is energy withdrawing from your physical body and starting to make its way up the spine. This energy rising in the body is a good thing and it just needs to be refined. We can do this by deeply relaxing our our body and mind so much that the physical body does not have to move with the energy. Keep concentrating at the third eye with devotion. In time the energy will refine itself and you will notice your body moving less.