How to Be More Devotional!

Question

I am in the process of reconstructing my life so that I am less distracted and can put more time into becoming a true devotee of God.

I could use help in how to better my meditation process to become completely adsorbed in spirit, thereby not hearing, seeing, or feeling any of life’s distractions around me. In other words, directing those energies to my medulla oblongata.

I can love God with my mind but have a hard time with my heart. Any advice would be deeply appreciated.

—G.H., USA

Answer

Dear Friend,

Good for you to re-focus your daily activities! That’s an excellent start.

Devotion is the key to deeper and more satisfying meditations. Sri Yukteswar, the premier gyana yogi (of wisdom), affirms that devotion is the key (not mere intellectual assent — as you so well point out!).

But how can we “feel” when we don’t feel? Simple: pray to God (or guru) to feel God’s love (and presence). “Teach me to love you as you love me.” Even if a large gap exists at present between those two extremes, it is God’s love with which we “feel” devotion and even pray!

Paramhansa Yogananda gives us this counsel: “Chanting is half the battle!” That doesn’t mean we spend half our time in meditation chanting (though sometimes it might!). It is partly a reference to the simple fact that our heart (and heart chakra) is halfway to the top! It also reminds us that the intention and vibration behind meditation is a large part of the solution. It refers also to our own thoughts and feelings throughout the day! (see below)

So, here’s a few pointers as part of a recipe:

1. Add chanting to your meditation (sitting) practice. How to do this? You can listen (use headphones if needed) from a smartphone, mp3 player, IPOD etc. Better than this: is to chant ALONG with the recording. EVEN BETTER: get a tiny hand held keyboard (or a guitar, etc.) and learn to chant on your own! Best, use a harmonium! If you need suggestions on this, let us know.

2. Add chanting to your day: chanting at work silently is just great: whenever possible. Chant in the car on your way to work. Chant softly to yourself as you walk about. Use a mantra or English word chant or even an affirmation. For affirmations: Swami Kriyananda’s book for affirmations and prayers (“Affirmations for Self-Healing”) is excellent. So also is Yogananda’s “Scientific Healing Affirmations.”

3. Begin your meditation with a reading from WHISPERS FROM ETERNITY, or, METAPHYSICAL MEDITATIONS.

4. Do healing prayers for others at the end of meditation or at other times. Do you know the technique?

5. As you sit to meditate, establish your will-fired, heart-felt intention to experience God’s presence however briefly in perfect, silent stillness. “Come to me! Come to me!” Never leave your meditation seat without SOME taste of inner peace, joy, or divine love in your heart. Feel gladness in your heart for the opportunity and blessing to even WANT to meditate; even to WANT to know God!

6. Be a smile MILLIONAIRE!. “Shoot” those around you who are sad (indeed, everyone) with the “buckshot” of your smiles.

Joy and blessings to you!

Nayaswami Hriman