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.

Choose Devotion

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.

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  1. Wonderful message. As I read it I could feel the joy! Thank you! Thank you Swami Kriyananda! Thank you Paramahansa Yogananda! Thank you GOD!

  2. Its read the situation now I am in and great idea to break the barriers and look forward to the light. Thanks you so much

  3. I love these ways, I am going through a difficult phase so it is very helpful.

    1. Blessings Pooja…..”This too shall pass,” and may a deep, blissful joy be yours through transcendence. AUM, maria

  4. Beautiful words – both written word and the ones that were sang so lovingly. Thank You! This is very timely for me as I am attempting to engage in meditation as a daily discipline.

  5. Om thank you for sharing your experience with us. It does help when we are confused. Thank you once again. Om

  6. So beautiful ! Thank you so much .
    Yes, reaching out ( to Guru-Divinity ) with our faith and love is far more easier and effective than reasoning out with our limited awareness . He never lets us down.

  7. Makes a lot of sense as I struggle quite often.

    Excuse my ignorance but who is the Divine Mother? I don’t know if the Divine Mother is the same as in my religion. (Hinduism)

    1. Yogananda worshipped God in the form of Heavenly Father and the Divine Mother. The reference here is the same. The particular form is not fixed but rather as your heart inspires you. I hope this is helpful. Joy, maria

  8. Thank you dear Maria for this wonderful and very helpful article.

  9. After about 6 months of practice, it seems easier to control my thoughts flowing outward and bring the focus into innermost consciousness. It is long hours of silence, only silence, the sound of silence…..nothing else….only monstrous silence….very dark, blank space without any boundaries….hoping to look for some light in that vast darkness…!!

    1. Try in your meditations to visualize the spiritual eye and focus on this image. Your persistence will magnetize grace and you will break through. Joy, maria

  10. Pranam!
    Thank you so much for the post.I’ve got a big support as from last two days I was also suffering the same problem.
    Now got the answer. Thanks alot.



    1. Ask this question in your heart. If you have an altar or photo use that to help you tune in. Follow your inspiration and try to take the initial feeling deeper. It will become clear. Joy, maria

  12. Thank you so much for this most intresting article. I have been struggling with the same issue of claiming my space with the divine and was failing missrabley. I now know what to do in order to get back onto my parh.
    Regards and blessings.

  13. Thank you Maria for this – an experience Swamiji shared for our benefit.

    1. Blessing Leonore. Great to feel your presence and hear from you. love, maria

  14. Very interesting article. It’s like just written for me. I have been struggling for a while with a negative force trying to control me. This is very timely for me to control my negativity and focus on meditation. Thank you.

  15. Thank you for this article. I often have meditations which are not the best, however, I persevere as I know it will pass – this thought alone keeps me going and fills me with a sense of joy and assurance. At these times, I often spend a moment to just gaze at my picture of Guru and I feel so very loved & blessed.

  16. I feel very blessed when I read your article, but miss the presence. I am an old person and feel Time is passing me by very fast. There used to be a class conducted till very recently in London in Hampstead not too far from where I live. I can’t find anything now. I come from the generation where personal touch was available. Now everything is on line, which is very difficult to operate and understand for a person of nearly eighty. I find your writing very neat and clear, but not like if you were present ! I still love and respect you.

    1. Thank you for your sweet note Julie. We are never to old to feel and sense vibration. The Masters can and do extend to us that level of presence and personal touch. Reclaim that for yourself. Be in their vibration. Listen to Yogananda’s voice, Kriyananda’s voice. Read their words and meditate on their consciousness. May you on all levels bathe in their love. Blessings boundless, maria

  17. Your posts are really useful. I am doing the guided meditation. I am going through tough life situations. Perform meditations daily with all my sincere effort but unable to rein in peace. How can I fill content, peaceful and calm and be successful in material world outside? Please guide

    1. Thank you Rajesh, I apologize for not answring sooner. Swami Kriyananda suggests that we consciously give expression to the very qualities we are aspiring to. For example, if we desire peace, then we need to try to live peace from within. A simple way to do this is to equate the quality with the breath itself. As you breathe in, feel that you are breathing in Peace. As you exhale, feel that you are exhaling worry, anxiety, fear. It might be helpful to do this exercise with the consciousness also that the Master is do this with you. Their desire and love is to guide us into their state of consciousness. May you feel always their loving, guiding presence. In Joy, nayaswami maria

  18. The gifts of GOD coming through the MASTERS every day to all. These reminders are part of those gifts. APRECIATION, APPRECIATION, APPRECIATION!!!

  19. I am still confused with life. I seem to have made no spiritual progress in this life so far.

    1. We do not see as the Masters see. We tend to bog down in details and ego-perceived markers for success. When we see this happening in our consciousness it’s time to expand our view of things. Get into the consciousness of the Masters. Get into superconsciousness, the realm of solutions and expanding awareness. In this state you will be able to relax with what is, be fully committed to your spiritual goals, and confident that the Masters are guiding you and giving you exactly what you need and that which will free you. Let this confusion pass. Confusion is maya’s way of trying to re-route us. It breeds discouragement. Try not to identify with it. In this way it will cease to have power over you.
      You are progressing spiritually. Joy, maria

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