Why Do People Fail at Maintaining a Meditation Practice?


I have 2 questions:

1. I have been off routine on kriya for a long time. How do I get back on track? Start with hong sau and practice Kriya only when I am back on routine with the other practices?

2. I feel sucked out of energy at a lot of places. I feel energetically low and feel that the positive state after doing meditation is all lost. What do I about this or how do I handle this?

—pooja, India


Dear Pooja,

Perhaps the best place to start (to rebuild your sadhana) would be with the inspiration to do so. Mere mechanical practice of Kriya, timed to the clock of a busy day, will not suffice for long to take you deep into the blessed, divine presence!

What has inspired you the most when you first began the training for Kriya? Was it (as it is for so many) the Autobiography of a Yogi? If so, begin re-reading that modern scripture. Or, perhaps, you might enjoy watching some of Swami Kriyananda’s recorded talks on the Gita or on the book Conversations with Yogananda. Both are available on YouTube and/or accessed through AnandaIndia.org.

Do you chant? Do you know some of Yogananda’s chants? “Chanting is half the battle”, our guru teaches us! You don’t need to play the harmonium, either. You can chant during the day, silently or softly and, of course, at the beginning of meditation.

So, whatever works best for you: re-ignite your inspiration first!

Then – yes, as you say: start with Hong Sau. (Actually, you might truly begin with Energization Exercises but only if they can jump-start your energy and joy and desire to meditate.) Do a few simple breathing exercises (even-count; double breath; etc.) before beginning Hong Sau.

In the beginning, practice only a few minutes, or put another way, practice only to a point before your focus and your enjoyment ends. Don’t push yourself past enjoyment. As with eating a meal, “stop while you are ahead” — meaning before you are full, before your meditation tells you that you’ve had enough! Okay? This will “tease your soul” to want more, do you see?

As to Kriya, the ideal would be to re-take your Kriya initiation as the starting point for resuming your practice. There are several reasons for this: 1) so that you practice correctly (your practice having lapsed); 2) for renewing your Kriya vow with the blessings of the Masters; and 3) for the joy and inspiration associated with the initiation.

If this suggestion is impractical, then conduct your own Kriya initiation at home. Practice chanting, pranayam, and Hong Sau for at least a week, or several weeks, to prove to your “self” that you have reestablished your habit. You must “earn” your Kriya blessing, so to speak.

Then when you feel the blessing of the Guru to resume Kriya, spend an evening or the morning of a day off, in silence, preparing for your own Kriya initiation. Pray, chant, meditate. Have with you your printed Kriya lesson(s). After meditating a period of time that is longer than usual and only when feeling the guru’s presence and approval, pray for His blessing, touching the spiritual eye for a long time.

Then re-read the Kriya lesson, practicing each part of the lesson as it occurs. When finished, chant the Rose Chant as Master taught us. Have rose petals there with you and sprinkle them on your altar and on your self!

We were created that we might know “the truth that shall make us free”. That truth is Tat twam asi (Thou art that) or Aham Brahmasi. Never mind that your practice slipped away; return as the prodigal child to your Divine Mother’s lap and renew your efforts with willpower and grace!

God is with us always: as much now as in samadhi. We need only “improve our knowing”, as Yogananda-ji put it.

Joy and Blessings to you!!!!
Nayaswami Hriman
Seattle WA USA