Paramhansa Yogananda writes in his book, How to Have Courage, Calmness, and Confidence:

As a devotee on the spiritual path, give little weight to the trials that beset you. Be even minded. Walk with courage. Go forward from day to day with calm, inner faith. Eventually, you will pass beyond every shadow of bad karma, beyond all tests and difficulties, and will behold the dawn of divine fulfillment. In that highest of all states of consciousness will come freedom from every last, trailing vapor of misfortune.

When facing physical pain, for example, it’s easy to identify oneself with it, as it seems so real. How can one remain detached?

In September 2015, I had an opportunity to practice detachment. One day, after I had exercised, my pelvis got out of alignment. The twist pinched a nerve, which created an electrical shock in my left thigh.

At first it pinched once in a while, so I didn’t pay much attention to it. But when night came and I lay down to sleep, the frequency of the electrical shocks increased to almost every minute. I tried variety of stretches to alleviate the pain, but nothing helped.

76532690964825.pvhpJ6b0zVBbakVjrdeD_height640So I accepted the reality of it, but tried not to identify with it. For the next five hours, as I lay in bed, I practiced a variety of spiritual techniques, such as watching the breath, repeating hong-sau at the center of the pain, chanting AUM, practicing japa, offering my ego to the spiritual eye, and affirming “I am Spirit.”

There was a point when the electrical shocks came every third breath that I took. The pain reached the limit of what I was able to bear, but I persisted with the practice. Gradually, the intervals between shocks lengthened, yet the shocks didn’t stop.

After five hours of self-offering and no sleep, I got up, energized, and went to meditate. The shocks continue but the interval lengthened. I did my meditation practice, not giving attention to the physical pain. At about 7 am, the electrical shocks ceased.

As I was getting ready to teach a class that morning at The Expanding Light, I noticed how refreshed and awake I felt, despite the fact that I had not slept.

I realized that by attuning to God’s power, exerting my will to stay in His light, affirming I am Spirit, and refusing to identify with the pain, a floodgate of divine energy had opened. That day, I was filled with immense joy, and the divine energy sustained me throughout the day.

These sayings by Paramhansa Yogananda convey it well:

I live, move, and have my being in Spirit,
As a fish lives in the water, and a bird in the air.
I will consciously draw strength, health, and happiness
From this all-enveloping Presence.

Behind your body wave is the vast ocean of God; behind your soul is the wisdom of God; behind your mind is the great intelligence of God. Attuning yourself with Him, you will know that you are the child of God.

(These are from the book How to Achieve Glowing Health and Vitality, by Paramhansa Yogananda.)

76532690964822.itbFI9PSTY2rnKtM8az3_height640

The Hong-Sau meditation technique is simple, yet deep and effective. It helps us convert ego-consciousness into God consciousness. Hong-Sau can be practiced at any time. Don’t limit it only to sitting meditation.

Swami Kriyananda has given us a variety of ways to practice Hong-Sau in daily life. This practice will help you control your mind, be less affected by the challenges of life, and be more successful in interiorizing your mind in meditation.

How to Practice Hong-Sau in Daily Life

  1. When you are nervous, or agitated
    Watch your breath and repeat the mantra; this will help you calm down.

  2. When you experience pain, whether physical, mental, or emotional
    As you watch your breath, mentally chant hong-sau (sau is pronounced saw) at the center of the pain. This can dissolve the ego’s connection to the pain, and can help reduce the pain and even to dissolve it.

  3. During leisure time, when you are not doing anything
    When you ride in a car (assuming that you are not the driver), when you are waiting to see a doctor, when you are just resting, you can keep your eyes open but focus your gaze at one point. Watch the breath and mentally chant hong-sau. Yogananda called this conscious passivity. He said that this practice will help free you from sense entanglements.

  4. When you want to solve problems, and uplift your consciousness
    As you watch your breath, focus at the medulla, the center of ego. Mentally chant hong and gather the energy at the medulla. When chanting sau, offer the energy up to the spiritual eye. This is a powerful practice. Even a few minutes of this practice can be very beneficial.

Swami Kriyananda wrote a chant called “Rise in Freedom,” which you may find helpful. You can listen to it below:

22 Comments

  1. Thank you very much for your guidance.Please continue to guide me.

  2. Brilliant and thoughtful explanation….very helpful for daily practice !

  3. I so much appreciate you sharing.
    It’s a wonderful template for handling pain and emerging stronger.

    Many blessings,
    Marilyn Rose

  4. Namaste! Thank you for sharing. Passed on to a friend and also link to Ananda meditation retreat. Love Eternal AUM Peace Shanti
    Deniece Jordan-Walker

  5. Thank you, dear friend, this is just the reminder that I needed! Your personal sharings are always inspiring and your advice is always so practical. May the Masters bless you.
    In love and light, Cheryl Shaeffer

  6. Thank you so much, Diksha! Your example of attunement and perseverance was just exactly what I needed to read today. Thanks for the inspiration and encouragement. Blessings!

  7. Thank you for sharing. I read it first thing in the morning when I was concerned about pain in my spine and wondering if I need to go to a neurologist. What you shared guides me to trust meditation more than doctors and connects me the power of healing processes within and restores wavering of trust on the power within

  8. Dear Bhupinder,
    Paramhansa Yogananda advised us to use both the power of God to heal us and the power of medicine. Please use common sense in deciding whether you need to see a doctor too. If the pain in my leg wouldn’t go away after 24 hours, I would have gone to see a chiropractor.
    Blessings,
    Diksha

  9. Very encouraging, is Hong Sau mantra available on line or by mail

  10. Dear Kanwal,
    You practice detachment, by not being attached to your likes and dislikes, by remaining even minded and cheerful. It’s best to start by taking small steps. Meditation will help you withdraw from the senses, and the reactive process and bring your energy inward and upward, focus it on divine reality.
    At the end of the article I gave a list of practical ways to practice detachment.

    Blessings,
    Diksha

  11. Dear Diksha,
    Thank you for sharing your experience. Yesterday as I was walking back up to my home from getting our newspaper, I experienced a separation of body and spirit (soul).
    When I meditate I have many distractions and have not yet overcome them by ignoring them. I will give more emphasis to the Hong-Sau and AUM chants and the 24 hour time frame.
    Your words emanate Peace, Joy and Love, may they continue to inspire us to continue seeking Gods personal awareness.
    george

  12. Dear Diksha,
    Thank you for all this inspiration! It touches me on many levels. And it inspires me to use Hong Sau throughout the day, not just in meditation.
    Also, I’m sensing an inspiration from it which I will have to meditate about…Over the years our monthly Healing Prayer Circle has dwindled down to a precious few. Don’t get me wrong…I sincerely believe and feel that “where one or two are gathered…” and that we precious few pray sincerely and are herd by Divine Mother.
    However, there are people who always ask for prayers, but rarely, if ever, come to pray with us. So, I’m considering re-wording the ‘invitation’ to join us by including Master’s Book “How to Achieve Glowing Health and Vitality” in the description of our sessions.
    One more ‘thank you’…for the blessing of your sharing your persistence,fortitude and faith in dealing with your pain hour after hour. It’s an important reminder that Divine Mother always hears us, even if she doesn’t answer in the way we wish, or in the time-frame that we would like.
    All love and blessings to you Beloved Diksha,
    jiavanna

  13. Dear Nayaswami Diksha,
    Let me share similar experiences with physical pain that I have had on a number of past occasions when I accidentally bumped against obstacles or had my fingers caught in a collapsible gate in an elevator (on one occasion) . I am a man of 60 and had practiced vipassana meditation for some time. On each of the situations I some how remembered what my teachers of vipassana said: watch the pain with total equanimity. On each of the occasions as soon as i concentrated on the pain it increased manifold and my mind wanted to escape but I persisted and on each of the occasions my pain vanished before I could count 30 or 40. I actually counted by way of an experiment. However the hurts did not involve broken bones or profuse bleeding.

    I used to think that my mind had a healing power till I read a book called “The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle. Mr Tolle said (as i understand) that whenever we totally surrender to the situation present we get connected to the Power of the UNMANIFESTED and the healing power flows from there. I tend to agree.

    I find your narration very similar to my experience. Could you please enlighten.

  14. Dear Ambar,
    Thank you for sharing your experiences.
    There are different ways of dealing with pain. I am glad that you found one that works for you. Here is an experience that Paramhansa Yogananda shared on how he dealt with pain. Once, a cement wishing well fell on his foot. The pain was excruciating. He immediately shifted his awareness from his physical body to the point between his eyebrows, the center of higher awareness, and immediately he was able to walk normally, without feeling any pain in his foot. He demonstrated that it is possible to detach oneself from physical pain, by concentrating all one’s attention and energy fully on God.
    Blessings,
    Diksha

  15. Reading your post and listening to the beautiful chant was very helpful to me. I will re-visit the words and music often. Thank you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *