Quotes of Paramhansa Yogananda, from The Essence of Self-Realization.


#1. To meditate a short time with depth…

… is better than to meditate for long hours with the mind running wild.

In the beginning, therefore, don’t force yourself to sit for a long time. Strive for shorter, but deeper, meditations. Then gradually, as you become accustomed to going deep, lengthen the time you sit in meditation.

#2. Don’t feel badly if you…

… find yourself too restless to meditate deeply. Calmness will come in time, if you practice regularly. Just never accept the thought that meditation is not for you. Remember, calmness is your eternal, true nature.

#3. A disciple was having difficulty…

… with his meditations. He asked Sri Yogananda, “Am I not trying hard enough?”

The Master answered, “You are trying too hard. You are using too much will power. It becomes nervous. Just be relaxed and natural.

As long as you try to meditate, you won’t be able to, just as you can’t sleep so long as you will yourself to sleep. Will power should be used gradually. Otherwise, it may become detrimental. That’s why it is better, in the beginning, to emphasize relaxation.”

Do not get excited or impatient in your efforts to find God. Be wholehearted, but not anxious about getting results. Be patient. Move toward your divine goal ever calmly, with tranquillity.

#4. A devotee was having difficulty remaining awake…

… during meditation. To him, Yogananda made this suggestion: Squeeze your eyes shut several times, then open them wide and stare straight ahead. Repeat this practice once or twice more. If you do this, sleepiness will cease to bother you.

#5. In meditation, try to go beyond thinking…

… As long as thoughts enter the mind, you are functioning on the conscious level.

When dreaming, you are in subconsciousness; then you are more aware in the astral body.

When your consciousness withdraws still more deeply, into superconsciousness, then you are centered in bliss, in the spine. In that bliss-state you are aware in the causal body, the soul.

#6. The soul loves to meditate…

… for in contact with the Spirit lies its greatest joy. If, then, you experience mental resistance during meditation, remember that reluctance to meditate comes from the ego; it doesn’t belong to the soul.

#7. One who wants to be a concert pianist…

… will practice at the piano twelve hours a day. If, instead, his practice consists of pecking halfheartedly at the keys for a few minutes every day, he’ll never become any good as a pianist.

That’s how it is with the search for God. How can you expect to know Him if you only half try?

It is very difficult to reach God. If even a concert pianist must work hard to become successful in his profession, how much more earnestly must the devotee “work” at meditation in order to realize the Infinite!

Here, however, is an encouraging thought: Everyone who makes a sincere effort on the spiritual path will surely reach his goal. You cannot say that of worldly ambition. Not everyone can become a famous pianist, no matter how hard he tries. For in every field there is room at the top for very few. All men, however, can claim their sonship equally with the Heavenly Father.

#8. Try to feel, when walking out of doors…

… that everything around you is part of your own expanded awareness.

Behold the leaves trembling on the trees, and try to feel their movement. Imagine in that movement that God is expressing His thoughts and inspirations.

Watch the meadow grasses as they wave in the wind. Imagine the breeze as God’s breath blowing over the world, inspiring all beings and giving them life.

Listen to the birds singing. Feel that God, through their songs, is trying to reach you with feelings of divine gladness.

Be aware of the sun’s rays on your skin. Think of the heat you feel from the sun as God’s energy. Let it fill your body with vitality and power. Imagine divine energy, through the sunlight, strengthening creatures everywhere on earth.

#9. Meditate more and more deeply, until…

… calmness and joy become second nature to you. To be ecstatic is not difficult. It is thinking that it is difficult that holds you apart from it. Never think of divine joy as distant from you, and it will be with you always.

30 Comments

  1. These are very easy reminders for going deeper in meditation. There were some tips I had forgotten about.Thanks for keeping them simple.

  2. This is an excellent newsletter. Just what new and longtime meditators need to hear….back to basics, and basics lead us to ecstacy.

    Also the newsletter is well put together, beautiful, with pertinent links to click on. Thank you!

  3. Very nice . Gratitude. Love.compassion are the keys for meditation. Thanks for sharing

  4. the waves of events and thoughts that invaded the mind this morning.. I knew to be delusions sidetracking what I really wanted to do. Not quite yet having full resolve developed to swipe them clean off my slate right then, I instead did what I could each time. Like in an adventure story where the heroes are confronted by yet another laser beam search light, I froze, waiting.. till it was finished it’s scan over the area, then I quickly continued my joyful soul climb toward the finish line.

    1. but the beauty of it too, is that the fortitude that develops by this gentle persistence to overcome the distractions in our meditations, well it’s like a sheath that is starting to cut them down out of the way in day to day living too. Strength you aren’t used to having, you can employ to cut to the chase when you need to.
      And now I can imagine how one’s whole life can finally be like one big beautiful meditation, here on earth.

  5. Jai Gurudev, it’s eye opening through God,s message! Very helpful for meditation, came to know where I am wrong, how to follow correct procedure … in my journey to communion with God!

  6. Its grea feeling,got boost to do more intense meditation,jai guru

  7. These are the most easy and simple methods to witness our own soul .Jai Gurudev .

  8. Every guru / saint evolved his / her theory of meditation ,calmness is itself is answer.

  9. Thanks,these ways can be helpful to gradual practice and understanding meditation.

  10. i don’t do meditation. reading these information.want to do mediatation.
    thanks for the info.

    1. Hi Rani, I’d suggest signing up for our free email course in meditation. You can find it at the bottom of this page.

      After taking that course, you may want to go deeper with something like a book, an in-person class, or our online course.

  11. Gracias por esta lección de luz me ayuda mucho a ubicarme en mi camino .ojalá me sigan llegando estas bendiciones .gracias jai Gurú .

  12. Very simple and practical way of putting a difficult process

  13. If we remember these and follow accordingly, we will reach the goal

  14. the guidance very good, but if they come daily it will persuade the youngsters and help them(give some real expereince to convince them) I liked it very much.
    Thanking you.

  15. This is beautiful and very practical. I sent it to a friend and she found it every helpful too.

    Thank you.
    In Master’s light,
    Dayavati

  16. Very practical; Yogananda is so adorable, wise, rich, humorous, poetic, holy and many more…

  17. Sometimes while trying to meditate, I feel sleepy.

    Sometimes, I find peace and calmness. More often, I find difficult to meditate. Perhaps I am trying too hard.

    Kanwal

    1. Hi Kanwal, you are not alone! You may find this article helpful: I’ve Been Falling Asleep While Meditating.

      In the beginning, relaxation is more important. Meditation can be challenging, but if you persevere you will find that the benefits increase.

      If you aren’t taking a meditation course, I’d recommend one, perhaps Lessons in Meditation offered by Online with Ananda.

  18. Great, lovely way of providing information about meditation and thanks for sharing.we”ll get more deeper and deeper knowledge about meditation now.

  19. Thanks Paramhansa Yogananda. Your tips help not to get disappointed with my personal success at meditation. I will not give up till I succeed.

  20. Thank you thank you so much for sharing these wonderful practical tips/reminders from beloved master and may he always be with us during our efforts encouraging and inspiring us onwards and upwards. God Bless all

  21. Yes
    Quality time. ..depth of meditation is important than quantity of time. ..

  22. Thank you for sharing…does one need to follow any specific posture for meditation…please explain…

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