How Can I Stay Disciplined?

Question

Advice to stay disciplined? I seem to be “all over the place.“ In desperate need of clarity. Much appreciation!

—Roseann, Usa

Answer

Dear Roseann,

Paramhansa Yogananda said something very interesting about the subject of discipline. It is from his beautiful poem, “When I Am Only a Dream:”

I come to tell you all of Him,…
And of the discipline which brings His grace.

Some people believe that God’s grace (help, assistance, blessings) cannot be sought or earned, but it is given to those God favors most, for any or no reason. It is not a matter of earning or deserving God’s love or grace. God is within us (everyone!) and we are all part of the Divine Spirit always! The only separation is our “unknowing-ness” of who and what we really are. Meditation is the best way to break down those barriers.

The discipline of meditation is not an easy habit for most people to establish. I struggled with it for a number of years, when I first began — over 40 years ago. It often felt like moving 3 steps forward and then 2 steps backward. Even when my attempts at discipline failed, and I felt I was making little or no progress and perhaps even going the other direction, I constantly resolved never to give up, no matter what, and I never did give up! As many times as I failed to hold firm to my spiritual resolutions, still I resolved again and again to keep trying. I asked God and Gurus repeatedly to help me and to meditate through me and with me. It worked.

Another suggestion for you: If at all possible, you should meditate with other people, especially those who have been meditating longer than you have. Perhaps you might like to investigate doing this with Ananda’s Virtual Community, if you do not live near an Ananda Community or Meditation Group. See www.onlinewithananda.org

Try to spend an extended amount of time at a retreat center like The Expanding Light (see: www.expandinglight.org) where daily guided group meditations are available. Get a strong meditation habit fixed in place, and then take it home with you. This really, really helps! I did that also, so I have first-hand experience with this process.

Being around people who want to meditate, who love to meditate— is really a huge help! Yogananda says, “…environment is stronger than will power, until your will power is strong enough to overcome your environment.” So true! Try to be with those people you want to be like, as much as possible! Absorb their vibrations. Ask for their help and guidance.

If you need more help with strengthening your techniques of meditation, please let us know and we can help you with that process, too — another good way to work on the discipline thing. Discipline takes manifesting larger amounts of energy. Yogananda’s Energization Exercises will help you a lot with that!

Don’t set unrealistic goals for yourself. Five minutes a day of meditation are infinitely better than none at all. Start with what you can easily do and then build on it, which you will want to do as you begin to notice how much happier you are in daily life, as a result of regular meditation. Consistency helps too — same times of day, same place, (set up a nice little altar space for your meditations).

And finally, constantly pray to God and Gurus for help and guidance. You will see that it will come!