My wife and I get along very well. However, she has zero spiritual interest. She was open enough to come to a couple of Ananda services, but it did not click with her. She is almost atheistic. Our children tend to follow her lead than come with me to Ananda (though they too have explored it) I feel envious of the families that come to Ananda and advance spiritually together. I feel that it is holding my own advancement as I am the only spiritual one in the family.
—RJ, United states
Your question is a common one, as most of us have families, and only rarely are they interested in spiritual matters. We all have our own karmas, and this may not be the right time or the right spiritual path for your wife.
But, remember, Yogananda said, we are all on the spiritual path, in that we are all seeking happiness. To be a devotee, one must come to the realization that the things of this world only bring temporary happiness, and only God will bring it permanently.
That said, however, many atheists are really only objecting to the forms that we give to God, such as Jesus Christ, or Buddha, Krishna, etc. And, in essence they are correct – God is beyond form. We, with our limited human understanding, usually need a form with which we can develop a relationship with God.
This personal relationship with God often comes later in our seach. Your wife might be much more open to practicing meditation as stress management, or for general good health. This is the way that many people begin their spiritual life. Remember that God is very often experienced as peace, and what else is stress management, but seeking peace? Or, perhaps she would like to improve her ability to focus and concentrate. The Hong Sau technique specifically improves one’s ability to concentrate.
A very important part of your meditation is to spend some time at the end of it in sending blessings to others. Otherwise, as Swami Kriyananda says,subtle animosities will make the mind restless and impede your progress. If you seek God as love, you can consciously cultivate love in your heart and send it to all your family. In that way your spiritual progress will not be held back. On the contrary, you will advance more quickly as you learn to practice this necessary part of the spiritual path.
It’s important that you make the effort to harmonize your spiritual endeavors with the needs of your family. Once you have given your best, then give the results to God. It’s his show, after all, and he knows what is best for all of you.
You might find Yogananda’s book, Spiritual Relationships, helpful. It is available through Crystal Clarity Publishers.
Many blessings on your spiritual search.
Joy to you,
Nayaswami Sadhana Devi