I have begun doing Yoga and meditating. Lately I have been bothered by bad dreams, and when I awake I find that the fear and the problem persists in my mind throughout the day. I have prayed for relief, and do not get it. Should I just stop the spritual practice?
—Tammy , USA
First, don’t stop your yoga and meditation practice. In so many ways, these practices are healing and strengthening to our body, mind, and consciousness, and are part of the solution to your problem.
Someone once described the practice of meditation as being like pouring boiling water down a snake hole. It brings a lot of scary things to the surface. What is probably causing your bad dreams is that old, buried fears from the subconscious mind are being brought more powerfully to your awareness. They’ve always been there, but now they are coming into your conscious mind for you to deal with.
Here are a few things you can do:
1) When meditating try to keep your mind calm, clear, and alert so that you don’t drift into a subconscious, dreamy state. If your mind is dynamically focussed, it will burn up old fears.
2) Look at these fears head on and let them know who’s boss. Try saying, “My courage and will power are stronger than you are. You cannot frighten me.”
3) Before going to sleep, pray to God to guard the portals of your mind so that only thoughts of light and joy and enter there. Relax into God’s peace and light as you drift into sleep.
I hope these things will be useful to you.
In divine friendship,