Negative Emotions and Meditation


I have been meditating on which spiritual path is right for me. Most people marry and have children. But honestly, I really don't have any desire to. I have read Autobiography of a Yogi, and have been meditating and doing Yoga. Since beginning th is, I have been bothered by very intense negative emotions. Should I continue the meditation?

—Tammy Tambrella, USA


Overcoming Negative Emotions in Meditation

Dear Tammy,

Thank you for your letter. You ask about meditation and negative emotions.

Learn the Hong Sau Technique

First, it is important for you to learn Paramhansa Yogananda’s technique of concentration called the Hong Sau technique. It is offered on Ananda’s free How to Meditate page. The reason this is so important is that some people associate meditation with a kind of peaceful drifting energy that is coming from the subconscious, not the superconscious. The subconscious is also the storehouse of negative emotions.

Learning the Hong Sau technique will help you begin to focus your mind in an upward direction, toward the divine peace experienced in the front of the brow.

Flushing Out Old Karma

But there’s another aspect to your question. You don’t mention how long you’ve been practicing meditation. One saint compared meditation to filling a bottle of ink with clear water. When you pour water into an ink bottle, what happens?

The first thing that happens is that the clear water, which represent meditative peace, displaces a lot of black ink. So, it’s not uncommon for meditation to “flush out” old negative emotions.

When first learning to meditate, it’s common to experience the surfacing of negative emotions. You don’t want to make a big deal of these emotions. Nor do you want to indulge them. See them as old karma that is no longer part of who you are.

Attune Yourself to Inner Joy

Practice attuning yourself to a deeper level of joy that is your true nature. Making progress in meditation can take time, but you should feel from time to time, even in your beginning practice, some moments of deep inner calmness or connection with your own highest Self. You should begin to see in your life — outside of your meditation time — more inner happiness and peace.

I think that what you’re experiencing is a temporary, and not an uncommon experience. Don’t worry about it. Continue to read the words of Yogananda, perhaps to begin your meditation practice. You might enjoy the new book of his writings called How to Have Courage, Calmness, and Confidence.

You can also write to our Spiritual and Meditation Questions Answered section with any ongoing meditation questions.

May this new direction in your life be blessed with peace and joy.

In divine friendship,