My Spirituality vs. My Career


Hi. I’d please like to know how one on the spiritual path should approach career ambitions.

Also I’ve been practising Hong Sau for about five months although not everyday. Even when I really want to meditate something does prevent it. Lately I’ve been feeling the urge to cry for no reason. Could this be because I miss meditation and energization on some days?

Thank you so much,


—Aishwarya, India


Dear Aishwarya,

There is no inherent conflict between the spiritual path and career ambitions. Paramhansa Yogananda was quite clear that outward success can be a good thing for a spiritual seeker—provided we don’t allow it to lead us to do things that are antithetical to the spiritual path: dishonesty, discrediting others, neglecting our spiritual aspirations, etc. As you pursue your career ambitions, keep a careful watch on what kind of seeker you are becoming.

Your statement that you are being “prevented” from meditating is rather curious. Is it truly impossible for you to meditate for 10-20 minutes each day? Yes, from time to time extreme circumstances might keep you from meditating as much you would like, but even then you can do some meditation, can’t you? Listen to the inner longing of your heart.

As for the crying, it is difficult to say what the cause is. But you might ask yourself whether it is the result of being torn in two directions — outward ambition vs. inward ambition — with the inward direction currently experiencing some anguishing neglect.

All in all, it seems like it is a good time to do some honest introspection about your life directions, your use of free time, and your commitment to your spiritual aspirations. If you do, I am confident that you will get some clarity.