Dry Periods of Meditation


1. I regularly meditate around 4 hours. How do i plan to progress my practice after this. With increase in amount, the quality of practice/steadiness during meditation hasn’t improved. I am planning to practice intensely in a secluded place once I have complete steadiness. Is this approach correct? Please Guide

2.I almost have no desires, however I am worried as I dont know how would i spend my future ( i am in early 30s ). I do not wish to renounce entirely nor want to devote time to ashram

—Jayesh, India


Dear Jayesh,

The mind is infected with the one thing both necessary for the spiritual journey but, in the end, the final obstacle to its goal: the ego. And yet, it takes concentration and will to focus the mind and training to relax the body to sit comfortably for long periods of time. Patanjali in the Yoga Sutras reveals that almost anything is sufficient for a focus of meditation but unless the heart’s natural love, devotion, and self-giving is engaged the mind, alone, cannot cross the wilderness of emptiness to enlightenment. Reason and feeling, mind and chitta are separated in the ego-state. The enlightened state results from their union. It is said that with practice, one’s Ishta Devata (personal deity or form of the divine) will appear. For most devotees, the Ishta Devata initially appears in the form of the sat guru, preceded often by one’s study of scriptures and the instructions of one’s teachers. For rare souls, Krishna, Christ or Divine Mother appear in vision to offer guidance. Patanjali tells us that God (Ishwara) comes as AUM.

I encourage you therefore to pray for guidance and use your own natural inclinations to seek the higher states of Self-realization through love, devotion and self-offering to whatever source of inspiration you feel drawn towards. I am a disciple of Paramhansa Yogananda — representing a modern lineage of God-realized souls — and have found inspiration and instruction from their lives and teachings. You might also apply the practice of karma yoga to your daily activities: acting without attachment (nishkam karma) and in harmony with dharma. Karma yoga will help you open your heart to the divine in what you do and in all whom you meet. Chanting, too, would be very helpful, for chanting is, as Yogananda-ji put it, “half the battle!”

Dry periods of meditation are spoken of by all great saints, for God, or if you prefer, our soul, tests our resolution to stay the course until freedom is found.

Sincerely and with blessings,
Nayaswami Hriman