In Meditation Should I Focus on Arising Anxiety or Push it Away?


Hello! I’m meditation guide a while now. And I have this question that has been confusing my mind a bit. When I am present and the anxiety or a thought a feeling comes, is it okay to be present with it? Instead of pushing it away? Be present with the emotion / anxiety until it goes away naturally? By not pushing it out and just enjoying in the environment? Or be present and out of focus of the emotion / unwanted thought? Please explain! :)

—Mantas Ubartas, UK


Dear Mantas,

Anxiety, various emotions and most thoughts arise from our subconscious mind. This is not a proper focus of our meditation, at least not in Yogananda’s tradition. They are not part of the real You, your true Self.

Instead focus on your breath, mantra, or on the technique you are practicing, to calm all emotions and thoughts. Then, when in that calmness perceptions of your true Self arise, or of Superconsciousness, of any inner soul-quality, you concentrate on these elevated perceptions or feelings.

If on the other hand you focus on anxiety etc., being present with it, you actually give it a stronger reality. Instead, by focusing on the technique etc, you don’t nourish it. “An unrecognized visitor will flee!”

So you don’t push anxiety away. You give space to your true Self. “Where there is light, darkness cannot exist,” Yogananda explained. The anxiety will disappear in the light of your soul. Especially if you open up to a Higher Power.

May you go deep and teach others to do the same,