How do you know if the path you’re on is the right one in life? If the person you’re with, is the right one for you? What does one do when they have seemingly everything but something feels amiss — How does one rid themselves of this feeling and bring about contentment? (Of knowing they’re doing the right thing in life and making the right choices?)
—Nirja , Germany
All the questions you’ve asked refer back to the topic of inner guidance. When we finally come to the point where we are seeking a deeper understanding of how to live our lives in a better way, we need to know where to look. The answers to the questions that you’ve asked all lie within your own Self, which of course refers to your higher Self. It’s not that we won’t ask for guidance from others who may be able to help us, but the answers they give need to find a resonance within us or we won’t be able to use them.
Inner guidance comes when we have a daily practice of inward listening, which is also called meditation. As you quiet your mind, and begin to still your restless thoughts, then answers to questions such as the ones you’ve asked will begin to come. This is the listening aspect of meditation.
To get to the point of being able to listen effectively, it is most helpful to have a meditation technique for concentration. Ananda does offer online meditation classes, and also has a section on meditation on the Ananda.org home page. This will show you some of the basics of how to get started.
Once you have begun a meditation practice, then you can also begin listening more effectively. This happens best at the end of your meditation time, when your mind is more still and concentrated. It is a period spent without the practice of techniques and in communion and inward listening.
During this time you can mentally offer up a question to the Divine within, doing so at the point between the eyebrows. As you mentally offer your question, try to be as open and non-attached as possible to the potential answer you might receive. Then listen and feel in the heart center (in the center of your chest) for an answer. The answer won’t necessarily come in words, but perhaps more in feeling. This is a subtle time, and the answer to your question will usually come in more subtle ways; so listen intently within.
Once you feel you have received some direction in this way, then test it out by using it in your daily life. Don’t move forcefully ahead in this direction at first, but test it out and see how it feels. Does it feel like a good direction to go in or not? Use your common sense at this point as well.
Swami Kriyananda was once asked how one develops intuition, which is what I have described above. His answer was simple: “By using it!” But by using it sensitively, and without presuming that you’ve received the final answer to what you’ve asked. Feel your way, and you’ll find yourself being able to discover deeper answers to the kinds of questions you have asked above.
In divine friendship,