Do spiritual practices intensify past karma?
I have 2 questions:
1. How do I progress faster spiritually since I don't have satsang or community?
2. I read that when we do our meditations and sadhana, our past bad karmas come back to "attack"us. I have been practicing more intensely for sometime and I have realised a lot of these past emotions have been coming up and things in general are not very good. Do I continue my practice?
—Manoj Kumar, Malaysia
You can progress faster spiritually essentially by emphasizing these areas of your life: Daily sadhana (both deeper and longer meditations along with Energization, yoga postures, chanting, etc.); deepening your devotion; daily study of the teachings; service to others; and periods of seclusion.
For satsang – wherever you are be sure to tune into the Guru’s touch in your heart and in your thoughts and actions. You can also have virtual satsang with fellow devotees by tuning into the different Ananda websites which provide an amazing amount of support.
As for karma surfacing as a result of meditation and sadhana – what happens is that the seeds of past karma are released when we go deep within, especially with techniques such as Kriya Yoga. This is essentially a good thing since we are getting free from those obstacles.
Paramhansa Yogananda strongly recommended that we end our meditation periods by being absorbed with deepening devotion, in the inner experience rather than just getting up after our techniques. This is the time to completely dissolve any lingering affects of karma, including any emotional attachments. Take the time to feel the Guru’s blessings and offer up any emotions or negative energies that may have arisen.
Generally meditation and its after effects, will ultimately free you, rather than bring you troubles. The combination of techniques and devotion will bring the desired results of growing oneness with the Divine.
Blessings on your spiritual journey.