About the Expert
Devi is one of the founding members of Ananda, having lived at Ananda Village and other Ananda colonies since 1969. She is a Kriyacharya (authorized Kriya Yoga teacher). Over the years, her duties included teaching, outselling, and directing many aspects of Ananda's work.
Together with her husband Jyotish, Devi serves as a Spiritual Director for Ananda Sangha Worldwide.
She travels and lectures extensively throughout the world sharing Yogananda's teachings of integrating meditation and spirituality into daily life.
Posts by Nayaswami Devi:
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i read Yogananda's autobiography in the early '70's and have been meditating ever since. Love to read Swami Kriyananda's books too. My worldly duties seem to have ended....children grown....their Mom is off on her own live in a cave. My question is, "what to do, when all that is left is the "search" for God??
i am not at all wealthy, but have little interest in financial concerns, realizing my responsibility to support myself others as possible.
if i were in India, i would be in a cave
As you may remember from "Autobiography of a Yogi," Master talks about the 4 ashrams or stages of life: the young student, the householder with family responsibilities, the mature person whose responsibilities are lessening and who begins to withdraw, and final sannyas, or renunciation.
One of my references in spiritual life are the 2 commandments of Jesus, "love God above anything and love your neighbour as yourself".
I notice though that in order to lift selfesteem and being able to love others, you need to love yourself first.
What is your view on the correct order and the most direct way of finding freedom. Mainly focussing on the relationship with God or focussing on loving oneself unconditionally.
Jesus' words: "Thou shalt love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself" have such profundity and beauty. To answer your questions: What order should we approach these two practices? and Do we need to love ourselves first before we can love others?, I'll share these thoughts.
I'm having difficulty understanding the concept of "be more loving and you will attract love." This is something I hear repeatedly from many teachings. However, I'm don't understand who to be loving towards - Myself, God, others? Where do I start? Is there a prayer or affirmation? Thank you
We can't love anything - yourself, God, or others - in the abstract. We need to start from our own heart and feel a flow of energy (which is God's love for all) flowing through us.
In Swami Kriyananda's book, "Living Wisely, Living Well," he writes, "How can one love everyone on earth? Here is one way: Reflect that God's nature is Satchidananda - ever-existing, ever-conscious, ever-new Bliss. He, the Creator, gives to each of us the motivation to seek bliss as our true nature, also. Everyone on earth hungers for that fulfillment, though people usually seek it indirectly. Isn't this reason enough to love, and to be compassionate toward, every being on earth?"
What does Divine mother want from me? I am training to become a scientist, but Ive been feeling hugely disillusioned by science and I find joy only in the company of spiritual people and in contemplating love/god. Many days, I just feel like quitting and becoming a spiritual teacher. However, for what ever reason, I'm constantly given more opportunities and career breaks than most others who actually enjoy science! why? is this gods way of telling me to remain in science? How do I find out?
One of my favorite quotes from Yoganandaji is: "Life is a battle for joy every step of the way. Let me win that battle on the very spot on which I now stand." What we do in life is less important than the inner environment that we create within ourselves by practicing meditation and right attitudes.
I have a practical question.
Did Yogananda ever discuss special techniques on how to remain focused while in a hectic office environment. Specifically I am talking about Call Center work where it can be very draining listening to people asking many times the same things in multitude of different ways! Are there special things one should observe when dealing with people on the phone to protect energy levels? Clasping a bangle? Or is a deepening of a home meditation practise what is required?
I'm sure that everyone faces the challenges in life that you describe in one way or another - how to keep our minds focused and uplifted in midst of demanding activities.
First, as you mention, a deep, daily practice of meditation raises both our level of energy and our consciousness. Meditation fills our minds with calm, refreshing energy that enhances everything we do.
can you answer this? Who was i and who am i now
The Bhagavad Gita gives a poetic and inspiring description of the nature of the individual. This great Scripture tells us that we are the immortal soul that can never be destroyed. We are sparks of the infinite consciousness of God, and have played many different parts in past lives, but none of them have significance other than the fact that we are a part of God's great dream.
Dear Minister: I'm 43, single mother for 13 years. I've always wanted to get marry and have a family. But I didn't find my soul mate. 2 years ago I had a dream.I felt the way GOD loves me, all I was love,an experience beyond words.This year I started to meditate and realized that I will never find a love like HIS in this world, that nobody it's going to love me like him.I've lost most of my desire to find my soul mate, but not completely. How do I do to concentratrate myself in looking for GOD?
The conclusion that you have drawn from your dream that no one can love you the way God does is absolutely true. There is a beautiful statement by a great Christian mystic, St. Augustine, "Lord, Thou hast made us for Thyself alone, and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in Thee."
I have been on a spiritual path for 30 years. I had an intense spiritual experience and invited Jesus Christ to be my savoir. I have experienced alot of growth but still hunger for a more steady life in the spirit. My heart has been broken by childhood misunderstandings (never welcomed to just be) and two physically and emotionally abusive marriages, drug and alcohol addiction I must say I am growing but it still seems like too much effort. At times my heart still feels broken.
One of the greatest blessings in the life of a sincere devotee is a constant sense of longing in the heart for fulfillment. This can cause us much suffering, because we keep looking for this longing to be fulfilled by our experiences in the world. But ultimately it keeps us seeking the one source of true happiness and love — God.
I have begun doing Yoga and meditating. Lately I have been bothered by bad dreams, and when I awake I find that the fear and the problem persists in my mind throughout the day. I have prayed for relief, and do not get it. Should I just stop the spritual practice?
First, don't stop your yoga and meditation practice. In so many ways, these practices are healing and strengthening to our body, mind, and consciousness, and are part of the solution to your problem.
Someone once described the practice of meditation as being like pouring boiling water down a snake hole. It brings a lot of scary things to the surface. What is probably causing your bad dreams is that old, buried fears from the subconscious mind are being brought more powerfully to your awareness. They've always been there, but now they are coming into your conscious mind for you to deal with.
I am baffled by the inability of people to forgive over petty things! I have recently tried to "bury the hatchet" with people whom I have had quite petty differences, only to find them unable to do so on their end. This transcends my comprehension as I find forgiveness to come quite naturally, especially over petty differences. Even when I resolve to hold a grudge I find it hard to do so. What makes people unable to forgive?
The ability to forgive is born of strength within ourselves. If we are fearful of being hurt (or hurt again) by someone, we close our hearts and build barriers to letting love and acceptance flow to them.
Swami Kriyananda has written, "Forgiveness is the sword of victory! When we forgive those who seek to hurt us, we rob them of their very power to do us harm. Better still, if they respond with love, they will unite their strength to ours, and so our strength becomes doubled."