Can spiritual progress take place at this moment?
Is it possible for spiritual progress to take place at any point in time given that a person starts practicing yoga and meditation with a focused mind, but for a very short duration? It was a little disheartening for me to realize that it took a lot of years for even the greatest people before making spiritual advancements. The least duration someone took for having the highest spiritual experience was just 3 years! But how about at this moment?
—A Seeker, India
You are quite right. It could indeed happen in this very moment. Samadhi, the highest state, is yours already. The trouble is, there are mental and karmic cross-currents which tell you “I am not yet there,” “reality is something else.”
Yogananda explained it to a disciple like this (In The Essence of Self-Realization):
“The simple thought that we are not free is what keeps us from being free. If we could break even that one idea, we would go into samadhi. Samadhi is not something we have to acquire. We have it already. Just think: Eternally we have been with God; for a short time we are in delusion; then again we are free in Him forever!”
“Sir,” asked a disciple, “if I said I was free, I wouldn’t be, would I?”
“Oh, yes!” The Master then added with a wry smile, “But you answered your own question. You said, ‘I wouldn’t be!‘”
Swami Kriyananda explains it in this way:
“‘When will I find God?’ Many devotees have asked this question. Because worldly goals require time, usually, for their fulfillment, we imagine time to be a factor on the spiritual path. And so it is, but only because we think it is! God is as much with us now as He will ever be.”
That’s the crux. Our mind is too conditioned. That’s why it takes time, to purify and elevate the mind and karmic thoughts and patterns.
Still Yogananda emphasized affirming that you are there already, right now, in this moment. In meditation, tell yourself: “I have Him already! I am alive forever in the Divine Light.”
May your mind believe it fully, right now!
In divine friendship,