The following account by Swami Kriyananda holds a number of keys that can turn a fruitless meditation into a joyful experience.
Recently I was in Rishikesh, India, where I was meditating and having a period of seclusion. It was a strange time, however.
Many people doubt, or even flatly deny, the existence of Satan, but all saints have said that Satan is a reality. He’s not somebody with a red suit and a long tail, but it’s a consciousness that tries to keep everything in delusion. Anybody who’s tried to combat delusion has found that he’s got a fight on his hands.
In Rishikesh, for some reason, that force was trying to attack me. Almost every day I would find a great sense of negativity come upon me. It wasn’t that I was being negative, but a thought force would come upon me saying, “It’s no use. Why even try, spiritually?”
It was trying to make me feel discouraged, pessimistic, and to bring my consciousness down. I would try to reason through it, and to fight against it, but nothing worked.
Finally, I found the one thing that did work—just attuning myself to my Guru. As soon as I just offered it up to him, in a split second it vanished, and I would suddenly feel as if the blue sky returned.
It was as if the sunshine burst through the clouds, and I felt completely free. Then the next day there was the same struggle, and again the same solution. But I found that every day I was feeling more and more joy, until at the end of this period, I was just floating in joy.
From The Light of Superconsciousness p. 108–109, by J. Donald Walters
Let’s explore each of the keys of this story below.
Take Time for Seclusion
“Seclusion is the price of greatness,” Paramhansa Yogananda said. The idea is to break out of our routines and pick up our lives by the experience of meditation.
Seclusion can be for a few hours, a day, a couple of days, a week, or even more. Spend more time in meditation than you normally do, open yourself up to meditation as a way of life in the deepest sense, practice longs periods of silence, and take a break from the internet and from social networks. Give yourself a chance to have this experience with some regularity and you’ll see what’s possible!
While seclusions can sometimes be challenging, they can also be blissful. You need not be a long-time meditator to try one. The treasures you garner just from making the effort may carry you along spiritually for months or even a whole year, lending support and inspiration on a daily basis.
When your meditation seems dry and rote, reach for something that feeds your heart and soul and fans the flames of love for the Divine Mother.
Here is a song that Swami Kriyananda wrote near the very end of his life. In fact, it was so close to the time he left his body that he never had a chance to sing it.
I especially love the words and the consciousness behind the words. Listening to it, one can feel one’s reality as a child of the Divine Mother, living in her creation and cradled in her love. This song lifts me beyond life’s problems, worries, and countless delusions.
Focus on the Guru
Look into the eyes of the Guru. Try to feel for his consciousness. Call to him with all of your heart.
The Guru can guide us out of any delusion — reason cannot boast such an achievement!
Your discipleship to the Guru is a partnership. Hand and hand you will be able to break through whatever blocks are impeding your meditations and the fulfillment of your soul’s yearnings.
Expand the Joy
When we transcend obstacles we actually feel lighter, stronger, and more joyful. This is because the energy, no longer held back in delusion, can rise upwards in the deep spine to the spiritual eye.
Joy is our natural state — it’s who we are inside. When you feel joy inwardly, be grateful, and offer it upwards to its very source.
Joy is by nature a gift that cannot be contained. As you feel joy, pray that it expand outwards to include others and bless them as you have been blessed.