Finding joy in trying times


How do I stay calm amidst the crash of breaking worlds?

—Melody, USA


Once when facing financial difficulties Paramhansa Yogananda prayed for God’s guidance. Divine Mother answered him, ” I am your stocks and bonds. What more dost thou need than that thou hast Me? Dance of life and dance of death: Know that these come from Me, and as such, rejoice!”  Whatever happens to us in our earthly existence comes from God. It is His power that animates our bodies. it is His creation. The most important thing in trying times is to live these truths by offering all our thoughts and actions back to Him.

Most of us, perhaps, have not  completely internalized these truths, so what do we do when we forget and get  caught in the fear and suffering of the world? First, remind yourself  that true joy and happiness come from within and are not conditioned by outward circumstances. Meditate more. Practice the yoga techniques that keep you in touch with your inner joy. Seek out the company of like-minded spiritual seekers. Limit your exposure to thoughts, words, and deeds that pull you into material consciousness and thus fear, anger, greed, and suffering.

Many saints have lived in esctasy for years in the most basic physical circumstances. Take some time in seclusion with the simplest of diets and physical comforts. Prove to yourself that you do not need much on the physical plane to live in joy.

What causes fear and suffering in trying times? The desire that things be other than they are. Accept what is and the emotional charge will be gone. Be a cause, not an effect in the world, by choosing to love heroically in even the worst of circumstances.