Spiritual Directors of Ananda Sangha
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Building Spiritual Power for Our Times: Four Ways of Meeting the Challenge Ahead
November 9, 2009
Swami Kriyananda’s visit to America this summer was in many ways groundbreaking.
The sheer number of projects he completed, and the thousands of people he reached through lectures, radio interviews, YouTube videos and other talks posted on the Internet, was unprecedented. Most important of all, the spiritual power he radiated was like a carrier wave that changed lives.
“Spiritual Power” is a concept so misunderstood that people often shy away from it. Yet God’s power lies hidden within each of us enlivening all we do. This power also gives the ability, as Paramhansa Yogananda put it, “to stand unshaken amidst the crash of breaking worlds.”
Will we need the strength to face “the crash of breaking worlds” in our lifetime?
Swami Kriyananda talks about this in a chapter called, “A Vision of the Future,” in a new book he’s writing:
Now that we are over one hundred years into the ascending Dwapara Yuga of energy, will our future be smoother and brighter? I’d like to think so. Unfortunately, but realistically, the signs point at least to an immediate future that seems neither smooth nor bright.
The constricting attitudes of Kali Yuga … are all still present, militating against the more fluid rays of Dwapara. As nature, according to science, never makes sudden leaps, so also human consciousness moves gradually, only, to new levels of understanding.
There comes a time, however, as the stresses between two opposing points of view build, when something snaps.
So we find ourselves in a time when the dogmatic consciousness of Kali Yuga is resistant to, yet energized by, the increasing energy of Dwapara Yuga, creating conflict and turmoil.
How can we build spiritual power to deal with what may lie ahead? Here are some tools:
1. Channel Today’s Heightened Energy In Positive Ways
Consciously tap into this energy to increase your strength on all levels. Make a more intense effort to go deep in meditation. Bring greater mental focus to your work. Work more diligently on your physical health through right living, eating, and exercise.
In these ways you can transform yourself and overcome any sense of weakness or limitation.
2. Evaluate the Strength of Your Adversary
Whenever you meet a challenge, try to feel the amount of force opposing you.
Don’t wilt or turn away despondently, but exert an even greater amount of positive energy to overcome the test. Meet it head on with confidence in your own strength, and you’ll emerge victorious.
3. Never Allow Tests to Make You Self-Preoccupied
No matter how you are tested, don’t contract into yourself. Self-preoccupation is the cause of most of our suffering. Keep your consciousness expanded in service to others and in love for God.
Find ways to help others, and you will forget your own troubles as you grow in strength.
4. Think “God Is the Doer”
Whatever power you may feel within yourself, remember that it is God’s power, then give it back to Him.
You will find your inner strength increasing when untainted by the ego-principle. This is the secret of Swami Kriyananda’s accomplishments.
When we know that God is flowing through us, enlivening all we do, our ability to serve as His channel becomes unlimited. Spiritual power and the strength to overcome all challenges — these are ours when we realize our unity with God.
May we be one in the Light,
Jyotish and Devi