Signs of Spiritual Progress


What are the progressive signs of meditation? How do we try and improve our self for progress?

—Rakhee, India


Dear Rakhee,

Ananda’s founder, Swami Kriyananda, who was a direct disciple of Yogananda, wrote on this topic in his book In Divine Friendship Letters of Counsel and Reflection.

“How to Measure Your Spiritual Progress

The more deeply you enjoy the peace of meditation, the more satisfactory will be your progress.

Spiritual advancement can be judged also by how free you feel from the constant goading of egoic individuality. The hurts, whether large or small; the pains of life, both physical and mental.

The desire for recognition, fame, or worldly power and importance. By how little you refer your painful or pleasant experiences back to yourself, thinking, “I am the one suffering or exulting”.

By your inner freedom from desires of all kinds except the longing for God. By how free you feel from every test, including those of blame, opposition, and calumny on the one hand, or praise, popularity, and fame on the other.

By your inner freedom from identification with success or failure, in the recognition that, in cosmic reality, all human experiences are essentially equal.

You are advancing when you see all others as allied to your own Self, and your sense of identity expands to include everything. All the above are signs that one is advancing spiritually.

The most important sign is this: that your love for God is growing ever deeper, and you feel selfless joy in the thought of Him — or, better still — in the actual perception of Him.”

(This book is available at

Isn’t it interesting that the most important signs of spiritual progress are not milestones in meditation practice or spiritual phenomena but our attitudes in daily life? Swami Kriyananda has said that right spiritual attitudes cannot come merely by affirmations and positive thinking. They are a natural by-product of divine contact in meditation, of divine grace. We keep this divine connection open throughout our day by tuning into and being a channel for God’s energy to flow through us, as we serve, and in our thoughts and feelings. We nurture the connection in our daily meditation practice. So continue to deepen your love for God, keep your daily appointment with God in meditation and don’t let your rational mind or ego be a critic of your spiritual progress.

Many blessings,
Nayaswami Mukti