I Feel Disconnected from an Inner Spiritual Life and God. What to Do?



I feel very disconnected from an inner spiritual life and god. I feel lost and not sure what the barriers are or what to do. Have you any recommendations?



—John, Australia


Dear John,

This universe and the universe of our mind and body are marvelous indeed to behold. But my, my: aren’t they complicated and beyond understanding!

When the disciples of Jesus attempted to intervene and prevent children from running up to Jesus, Jesus said, “Let them come, for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” Or as Krishna put it in the Bhagavad Gita, “Oh you, Arjuna, who is without the carping (complaining, questioning, skeptical) spirit, I reveal wisdom sublime.”

Be like a child; view the world within and without with wonder, and with joy and gratitude. Yogananda said in effect, “Get to know the Lord of the Creation, and He will show its workings.” These are all ways to say that the heart knows; the heart is the key to understanding. Or as the wisdom-saturated gyanavatar Swami Sri Yukteswarji put it: “Without devotion, one cannot take one step forward on the spiritual path.”

In the situation you face, I recommend “surrender!” Joyful, peaceful, and energetic surrender to the guidance, love, and living inner presence of God especially through those great saints and masters who incarnate for that very purpose: to lead us to soul freedom. Each day, sit quietly with an open heart, saying, as Arjuna said to Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita, “Teach me, guru-ji.” (Are you a follower of Yogananda or another master?)

At this point, focus less on doing and enter more into being. The former is active and more of the mind; the latter, is only of the heart. Practice gratitude; acceptance; wonder and awe. We have a chant whose words include “How can I love Lord, my God, with every breath I breathe.”

Let it be your daily practice, then, for a time, at least, to be like a child. Never mind the skepticism that might surround you. No need to be a “tough guy” in an unfriendly world. You can keep your “wonder” a bit of a secret because you’ll probably not want to be discovered by others. Let it be your secret with God, Divine Mother or the guru. See where your child-like Wonder and the invisible divine Hand can lead you!

Nayaswami Hriman