Dear Daily Meditator,
Usually when talking about meditation, we focus on going inside. In fact, the meditative steps, as described in antiquity, are pranayama, withdrawal of the inner energy, and pratyahara, interiorization of the senses and the mind. Once we are in this inward state, we experience dharana (concentration on an inner experience); then dhyana (oneness with that experience); and finally samadhi (ecstasy).
But in truth that inward movement is only one part of the equation for the sincere meditator. Swami Kriyananda writes:
The secret of meditation is…
radiating blessings from your heart
outward to all the world.
Why is it important for us to radiate blessings outward to others, to the world? In what way is this outward flowing energy an important aspect of meditation?
The Pitfall of the Ego
The attitude of giving and “radiating blessings from your heart outward” is an important safeguard against the pitfall of the ego. Without it, all those who have a strong inward focus easily succumb to the pitfall of becoming self-centered instead of Self-centered. Once in that trough, we begin to revolve around ourselves: “My blessing, my growth, my happiness, my enlightenment, my problems, my opinion, my wellbeing.” Spiritually speaking, our soul becomes darkened as it rests in that self-enclosed trough. If this happens, we need to launch an immediate rescue mission by “radiating blessings from our heart”. Otherwise we suffer the opposite of what meditation is intended to offer us, which is freedom from the little ego.
In that deep trough, we are not even able to love God anymore. Yogananda asks: “If you love yourself, how can you love God?” And he adds: “If a devotee selfishly hoards even the grace he receives in meditation, he gives power to his ego, not to his soul.”
The ego (ahamkara), as he writes in his Autobiography of a Yogi, is “the root cause of dualism or illusion of maya.” It means nothing less than suffering. Thinking of others, while forgetting ourselves, is a liberating practice, joyfully taking us out of the unhappy trough.
That is why it feels so good and natural for many meditators to “radiate blessings from the heart” to others. It is a practice which complements meditation, strengthening our expansion, our happiness, and the smile of our soul.
The Inner Mountain
Our meditative life, of course, has a higher goal than simply to climb out of that trough: in truth we are climbing an inner mountain, which takes us step by step toward the sky, to the Heavens, to the Light. At whatever altitude we find ourselves on that inner mountain, one thing is certain: “Radiating blessings outward from our heart” will accelerate our journey toward the mountaintop (superconsciousness). From there we see how beautiful everything is, how connected, how eternally ONE.
If all human beings on Earth were to climb this inner mountain of meditation, wars would end everywhere. Love would reign on our planet. This is the reason why Ananda is now trying to inspire the whole world to participate in “Be the Change”. We are certain of this fact: the more daily meditators there are, the better. Together, we will create a power that will radiate blessings throughout the world, effecting a global change toward peace and harmony. (Please spread the word.)
So let us radiate blessings from our heart! Swami Kriyananda offers us a beautiful method: “Be joyful in meditation. Be peaceful. Bless all the world with your love. And, even walking down a city street, secretly send divine love and blessings to everyone you pass. You’ll be surprised how many strangers will treat you as a friend.”
The Sunshine of Grace
There is a second reason for “radiating blessings from your heart outward”: success in meditation requires not only a good technique, but also the grace of God. And it is by giving that we receive His grace.
Imagine a person on that beautiful mountain trail, climbing upward toward the light. If, however, he thinks primarily about himself, there is a dense cloud above him, blocking the sunlight. His day will be foggy, his vision cloudy, his experience gray. If, on the other hand, he radiates blessings from his heart outward, suddenly that cloud is gone and the sun of grace shines brightly. With that warm sunlight he receives vitality, inspiration, and enlightenment for his journey.
Disciples of Yogananda are often reminded of this essential teaching: “The channel is blessed by what flows through it.” It is a spiritual law, which, like the laws of physics, remains immutable. Swami Kriyananda expresses it as follows: “Blessed are they who serve consciously as instruments of divine grace: for in their very giving they shall receive.”
God’s Secret Angel Club
Have you heard? There is a rumor that among all those climbing the inner mountain of meditation, God has created a secret angel club of “Grace Irradiators.” Its members come from all over the world, from numerous spiritual traditions. Members are those who meditate daily and then silently radiate His grace into this world, from their heart. Are you already a member? In that case you are one of God’s angels. Yogananda encourages us: “All your life is a struggle to become angels and it’s worthwhile.”
If you are not a member yet, it is easy to join. Membership entails nothing more than your decision to continue your inner upward climb on the mountain of meditation and during the day to radiate blessings to others with love. Soon you too will have become one of God’s secret angels on earth.
To help us increase our magnetism as “Grace Irradiators,” He provides us with special techniques. Here they are.
1) A Radiant Ananda Yoga Asana Before Meditation
Before your meditation, practice Ardha Matsyendrasana, the seated twist. Make sure your spine remains straight and long, your pelvis square, your shoulders level, chin parallel to the floor. Most of all enter fully into the experience which is expressed by the affirmation: “I radiate love and goodwill to soul-friends everywhere.” By radiating blessings from your heart, you will have divine grace right there with you, uplifting your meditation.
2) A Heart-Visualization During Meditation
During your meditation focus on your heart and practice Swami Kriyananda’s visualization, from his book Meditation For Starters. As it is difficult to visualize while reading, listen to his voice:
3) Healing Prayers at the End of Meditation
At the end of meditation, we always have the wonderful opportunity to “radiate blessings from our heart outward to all the world,” by practicing healing prayers. Pray first for someone you love, then for someone you have trouble with, and finally for the healing of our world. Learn Yogananda’s advanced technique.
4) An Affirmation to Become A Channel Of Love
Again at the end of meditation, or at any other moment of the day, practice this affirmation by Yogananda, first loudly, then softer, then in a whisper, then mentally.
As I radiate sympathy and good-will to others,
I open the channel for God’s love to come to me.
Divine love is the magnet
that attracts all blessedness.
4) In Daily Life: Sharing Elevated Magnetism
During the day, try to practice Swami Kriyananda’s specific advice (from Awaken To Superconsciousness):
“Be conscious, above all, of your own developing magnetism. Feel it surrounding you as you walk, flowing through you as you converse with others. Expand it to the people in your vicinity; include them in your aura. The more you act as a channel of blessing to others, the more you yourself will be blessed. Your magnetism will be enhanced, and your efforts to reach God greatly accelerated.”
5) A Little Song To Inspire You
Music helps our mind to absorb divine truths. During the day often listen to (or sing along with) Swami Kriyananda’s song, “Channel of Thy Peace”. Its lyrics are part of the “Peace Prayer”, associated with St. Francis. The complete text includes these marvelous words (which Nayaswami Jyotish also recently shared in a letter): “For it is in giving that we receive, it is in pardoning that we are pardoned, and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.” Here is a recording of Swami Kriyananda singing “Chanel of Thy Peace”:
Every success in your efforts to radiate blessings outward from your heart, gradually becoming one of God’s secret angels.
In divine friendship,