I Can’t Meditate, After Years. Am I On the Wrong Path?


Master Yogananda has many things to say about meditation, but what about us who are unable to meditate deeply? What kind of encouraging words does he have to say to us, to those who often only feel irritation when we try to meditate? What should we do? Yogananda speaks so much to spiritually advanced men that I often feel sad and get a feeling of “why not just give up buying his books?” Because I am unable to have good meditations. I have tried for so long time. Am I on the wrong path?

Thank you,

Sincerely, Jarle

—Jarle, Norge


Dear Jarle,

This is a very honest and beautiful and important question. Thank you.

Also in Yogananda’s times there were disciples who had a very hard time meditation. One of them said:

“Master, I find great joy in serving God, but it is so difficult for me to sit still in meditation!” “Very well,” the Master replied, “for now, serve Him faithfully, with devotion. I will meditate for you.” (in Essence of Self-Realization). Remember that.

You are not on the wrong path! You just need to find your own balance in it.

In the Autobiography of a Yogi we read:

“With wise discernment the guru [Lahiri mahasaya] guided his followers into the paths of Bhakti (devotion), Karma (action), Jnana (wisdom), or Raja (royal or complete) Yogas, according to each man’s natural tendencies.”

The emphasis for you is not meditation. Meditate just little bit every day. Go for 10 or 15 minutes. Practice some pranayama before, or chant, or do what inspires you. It might be a reading by Yogananda, an affirmation, a visualisation, maybe some yoga postures or special prayers (maybe from Whispers From Eternity). See what inspires you and helps you. Then meditate a little.

During the day be inwardly with Yogananda.

I don’t know you and your natural tendencies, but work with them. Serve him in some way: this is as good as meditation. Or love him and God, if you are a heart-centred person. Reflect on his teachings if you are a natural mind-oriented person. Work with who you are, with your strengths.

We are all different. Sometimes those who meditate little but have the right attitudes are in truth far ahead, more so than people who might meditate for hours.

Yogananda bless you,