It’s just another normal day. But then…. imagine… the doorbell rings. You go to open the door, curious as to who would show up at this late time of the year. To your great surprise, a very special person is standing before you: Mr. New Meditative Year. He smiles at you in greeting and silently hands you a special note. This is what the note says:
My big day is approaching. Have you made your New Year resolution
concerning your daily meditations yet?
“I haven’t,” you answer. From his smile you understand that it is time to do so. He hands you a second note. This one says:
It is important to set yourself a feasible goal. Then stick to it. Please fill in the blank:
My resolution for 2019 concerning meditation is…
As you fill in the blank (even only mentally) Mr. New Meditative Year nods in appreciation and gives you a third note. This time it is an inspirational message for you:
Faithfully practice your meditation techniques, for your spiritual progress depends upon the receptivity of your mind, brain cells, and spinal column, and the grace of God and our Gurus. The infinite source of all knowledge lies within.
When the mind is receptive,
you can more readily conquer your problems. Calmness, concentration, condensation of experience and regular practice of meditation will enable you to master your own destiny.
My deep prayer for this new year is that your steadfast efforts will find fruition in ever-increasing happiness.
God’s Blessings, Paramhansa Yogananda
Gratefully you accept this precious note. But at that moment a sad thought passes through your mind: “Unfortunately my meditations are often hopelessly restless.”
Mr. New Meditative Year suddenly starts talking to you, in response to your thought, “I’m aware of your efforts in meditation and know about your struggles with an ever-restless mind. I’ve also seen how regularly, or irregularly, you’ve been meditating during this past year. I know it’s not easy. That’s why I have come.”
At this point, he hands you a fourth note. Curious, you open it. This is what it says:
The Secret of Meditation is…
affirming that you already are those high truths
towards which you aspire: inner peace, divine love, and perfect joy.
Mr. New Meditative Year continues:
“Today I’ve come to make a suggestion: as you enter this New Year, try to effect a shift of consciousness in your meditations. The instant you sit down, affirm strongly that you already are peace. ‘Assume a virtue if you have it not,’ as Shakespeare wrote. Every time you observe your breath, imagine it saying constantly, “I am peace.” Permeate yourself with this thought. Identify firmly with being peace. Thought creates reality
Similarly, if you practice the Hong-Sau technique, imagine during the inhalation that Hong means ‘I am’ and Sau means ‘Peace.’ Remember what the Autobiography of a Yogi teaches us: even sickness can be overcome by refusing to recognize its presence: ‘Imagination is the door through which disease as well as healing enters. Disbelieve in the reality of sickness even when you are ill; an unrecognized visitor will flee!’ Likewise, when you sit down in meditation, don’t recognize your restlessness and never identify with it. Instead concentrate on what you truly are, on a deeper level. Repeat again and again: ‘I am peace, I am peace.’ In this way you are affirming your soul. Meditation comes easy to the soul.”
Finally, Mr. New Meditative Year offers you an additional wise counsel, “In your daily life, too, affirm constantly: ‘I am the Prince of Peace sitting on the throne of poise directing the kingdom of activity.”‘
Inside, you begin to smile. Actually, it’s a big smile because you know that Mr. New Meditative Year hasn’t come to you by chance. His visit is a special gift to you from the loving universe.
Alas, it is already time for him to leave. As a good-bye, he hands you one last note, asking you to read it slowly and carefully. This is what it says:
If you can have groups for meditating together, it will be a help. Because when you meditate together it increases your strength. When an old man was about to die, he called his six children to his bedside.
He had them bring six wooden sticks to him,
and then he pulled one out and broke it easily.
Then he gave the rest of them together to his strongest son, and said:
‘Try to break them,’ and he couldn’t. Being together gave them a strength that couldn’t be broken. This is also a spiritual law. When people unite themselves
with others who seek the same things, the same truths, it gives them a strength, an exchange of magnetism, that helps them greatly in their spiritual lives.
So form groups where you can meditate together, even if the groups are small. Come here when you can. And go to places where God is loved—
pilgrimage places, churches, whatever. If God is loved, it doesn’t matter.
No, it doesn’t matter! But love God.
It’s a lovely thing in India when a Hindu, for example, passes a Christian church,
he bows for a moment and then goes on.
Because he knows that God is in all churches, all mosques, all temples.
Live with this love for God which is not particular or sectarian,
but a universal love— knowing that God is found at the
heart of every flower, in every stone,
and above all in your heart. Seek Him there.”
P.S. As his New Year gift to you Swami Kriyananda composed a special melody, to reawaken your ancient soul-desire for God. It is called The New Year Reviving Old Desires.
With this lovely melody in our hearts and with fond memories of Mr. New Meditative Year’s visit, may we all enjoy a happy start to our new year of meditation.