I am only 27, had joined a raja yoga for sometime, had to leave due to peer pressure, but by then I had transformed myself a lot. Lost I began to meditate with head phones in my ear and eyes closed it got me more lost. For I long time I practised gazing at a point without a wink and believe me I can stare away anyone... but it had made me more dejected. that shows on my face. At times a thought comes and not able to detach from it. Mind becomes very restless. Am not getting anyone to help me out.

—Patrick, India


Dear Patrick,

Clarification on Your Spiritual Transformation

Upon reading your difficulty I would like to clarify a few things about your understanding of meditation. It could help to have an explanation of what you mean when you say you had transformed yourself a lot? Can you please explain in what ways you are transformed? And I’m not sure what you mean that you “can stare away anyone!” and you “get more lost with headphones in ears and eyes closed.”

God is love, God is Joy, God is compassion! We are made in his image so we are love, too! Instead of loving everyone, if you use the power you had developed by deep concentration to stare at someone, interpreted as even a threat, the result will come back to you in the form of restlessness. Of course you will feel dejected.

Three Essentials on the Spiritual Path

The spiritual path requires three essential things: The devotee’s earnest and unrelenting seeking of truth or God, a true guru, and devotion towards God and guru. As I read your question I’m not clear that any of these three elements are part of your spiritual life or practices.

Redirect Focus to Divine Love to Uplift Your Meditation

I strongly urge you to develop devotion toward God and Guru in every aspect of your life. Do not focus on feeling lost and dejected. Offer these feelings to Divine Mother and ask Her to purify you of all obstacles preventing you from feeling love for Her. She will help with any difficulties in meditation or otherwise.

The aim of the meditation is to become calm, loving and progressing towards our innate blissful nature. And if the outcome of your meditation is not positive, your dear ones will feel that it is not working for you and obviously discourage you from meditations.

Meditation, as Paramhansa Yogananda explained, is listening to God. It is connecting with your own higher Self. Raja Yoga is one of the paths to connect with that reality. In meditation, right attitude is very important. It is the highest science of working with energy, and if not used with a right approach, it may work as a boomerang.

Now, it is very simple! Once again get connected with the Raja Yoga practices with right, humble attitude under proper guidance. Everything will start falling in place. You will feel God’s love and joy flowing through you. You will be a different person and everyone will appreciate your meditations.

General Difficulties with Meditations

It is not surprising for students to have difficulties with studies; businessmen with business; homemakers with handling many domestic responsibilities, and so on. Difficulties with meditation, in the same way, is very common among all seekers. How we handle it is an important thing.

Keeping the Body Temple Fit for Divine Union

For a seeker these can be on physical, mental, social and spiritual levels. Paramhansa Yogananda said, “Keep your body fit for God-realization!” He mentioned that by regular exercise and right diet (“propereatarian” he called it) we can keep the body temple ready for experiencing God. His teachings in How To Have Glowing Health and Vitality highlight points on right food, diet, exercises, etc. An unfit body is a hurdle for deep meditation.

Practicing Energization Exercises with a few Hatha Yoga postures regularly is of immense help in maintaining a firm asana while meditating. The healthy body is vibrant and full of prana (energy), which helps immensely in meditation on physical, as well as mental, levels.

Calming the Restless Mind for Deeper Meditation

Mind is another faculty of personality which is important in the concentration part of meditation. If the mind is calm and without much of emotional turbulence, it becomes easy to concentrate deeply on the goal. As explained in the Bhagvad Gita, the mind is like a monkey—always restless, jumping from one place to another. A particular and effective concentration technique needs to be learned. Paramhansa Yogananda gave a technique called the Hong-Sau technique of concentration, which, if practiced regularly with faith and devotion, is very effective in controlling the wandering mind.

As on the tranquil surface of water in the pond the reflection of the moon can be seen perfectly, so also on the calm surface of the mind the reflection of our own higher Self can be perceived easily. So practice any technique you find comfortable for stilling the mind. As our body and mind become more still and interiorized, we progress in the right direction of meditation.

Satsang Uplifts and Deepens One’s Practice

Paramhansa Yogananda gave an emphasis to keeping the company of like-minded people. “Environment is stronger than willpower” was his advice. The company of meditation-loving people naturally deepens anyone’s meditation practice. Lives of devotees can inspire and infuse everyone with faith, devotion and inspiration. Stay in uplifting company, like an Ananda group near you.

Past Karma Can Obscure the Light of Self-Realization

The soul in itself is pure but it always carries with it a karmic bundle of actions of present or past lives when it reincarnates. They are not always bad but they do affect our deep meditations. These spiritual difficulties can be overcome by God and Guru’s grace, prayers, and steady meditation practice, even though it may be hard to perform. Paramhansa Yogananda said that all these together slowly dissolve the veils of past karma. As we gain wisdom, the bright light of Self-realization shines forth; there remains less possibility of present and future karma. The ego is ultimately dissolved and purified in that light of wisdom.

Meeting Difficulties as Opportunities to Strengthen Faith

Very important is to learn to look at any difficulty as a challenge or an opportunity to strengthen our willpower and faith in God, on whom we are meditating. It would be helpful to reconnect with the local Ananda center and get back in the Raja Yoga course. Stay strong in your commitment to this spiritual path and daily ask for Divine Mother’s guidance in your life and spiritual practices.

Stay Committed to the Path for Guidance and Grace

Do whatever you can to serve God and guru locally with your Ananda friends. You will find divine strength and happiness flowing through you once you dedicate yourself to this liberating path of Self-realization.

The most important thing is to offer yourself in loving service and devotion to the Supreme Lord. Ask Divine Mother to teach you to love Her more perfectly.

God and Guru bless you, Kristy

See also:

Paramhansa Yogananda, How to Have Glowing Health and Vitality, Crystal Clarity Publishers

Paramhansa Yogananda, How to Have Courage, Calmness and Confidence, Crystal Clarity Publishers

Updated by Ananda Communications, October 2023

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