It is mid-August, the height of the harvest season at Ananda Village, a season that will continue for three more months. For most of each day, we pick vegetables and fruits, box them, weigh them, and get them where they need to go. By the end of the season we will have handled 26,000 pounds of organically grown produce, where five months ago, in a small greenhouse, we had nothing more than seeds.
Contemplating the harvest holds many spiritual insights for meditation practice. One is reminded of Jesus’ words,
“Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? Behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.”
Gospel of St John, Chapter 4, Verse 35
This passage highlights a very important teaching for both the beginning and the seasoned meditator. In farming the land we wait months for the harvest, hoping and even worrying about the fate of the crops — indeed, will they even produce this year? What about the drought — is there enough water? What about the insects? What about disease?
However, the “spiritual harvest” operates outside of the realm of matter. It knows no limitations of time nor space. It is available to all who would receive it in the Eternal NOW. The Masters come because they see that the potential of this truth is real and is ours. They believe in us. They see us as children of God.
Paramhansa Yogananda shared a wonderful story from his youth. He was known at that time as Mukunda. A friend of his was not convinced of the presence of God in daily life. Expressing his doubt, he said he would seek God, “Perhaps someday, when I’m old—or in the next life—or,” he smiled as if to say, “never.”
To this Mukunda demanded, “Why later? Why not now?” His friend considered this. “Do you mean that if we sat down now, and really called to Him, He would come?” Together they decided that very night to meditate until God came to them in the form of Krishna.
The whole night passed in chanting, meditation, and prayer. Just before dawn Mukunda’s friend succumbed to doubt, certain that God was not going to come. But Mukunda was determined. More time passed and suddenly the young Mukunda beheld Krishna! “I see him!” he cried out. His friend didn’t believe him, but Yogananda touched his heart and he too beheld the Lord. Both of them fell at the feet of Krishna, their hearts filled with bliss and their eyes flooded with tears of gratitude.
While meditation is an investment to be sure, one that produces great rewards, its real bounty lies in the present, while we are meditating. It is important that we hold the attitude that God is with us now; that this meditation is shared with Him and is a sacred moment; and that our very practices are a living link to the consciousness and love of God residing within us.
Paramhansa Yogananda said, “Self-realization is the knowing in all parts of body, mind, and soul that you are now in possession of the kingdom of God; that you do not have to pray that it come to you; that God’s omnipresence is your omnipresence; and that all that you need to do is improve your knowing.”
I invite you to place these words on your altar or sacred place. Look at them daily. Feel the consciousness behind these words and within your own being. Memorize them. Say them mentally at the point between the eyebrows, lifting your gaze to that point. Now, meditate. Feel the Divine Presence that is ever with you, guiding and blessing your meditations and your life.