Once upon a time, long, long ago, there traveled three wise kings across barren, unknown lands, in search of a holy child, a son of God. Guided by a star that shone both day and night, they undertook this journey with great hope, born of a deep faith that we are all one in God. In some traditions their arrival is celebrated 12 days after Christmas.
This “Eastern” star, Yogananda said, represents the inner star of divine wisdom at the point between the eyebrows, also known as the spiritual eye. Meditating on the spiritual eye develops our inner perception and unveils the wisdom inherent in our souls.
In every meditation we undertake a journey similar to that of the three wise men. Guided by the star of wisdom, we have been deeply inspired to undertake the journey in search of the goal. But in our initial enthusiasm, we are not aware of potential perilous encounters, nor fruitless wastelands where water is scarce.
To keep you well nourished and fortified on the journey to God, here are four savory provisions.
1. Begin Your Meditation with Deep Gratitude for the Opportunity
Sister Gyanamata, a direct disciple of Paramhansa Yogananda, said that it is a state of blessedness to even attempt to meditate. If you hold these words in your consciousness, you will bring to your meditations a sense of deep unity with the divine, and the knowledge that you are worthy of all that you are seeking.
2. Make a Sacred Offering of Each of Your Practices
It is very easy when meditating regularly to get into a habit of proceeding mechanically to the goal and thereby missing opportunities for deeper inspiration. Remember, at any step along the way, the door may appear. A wise saint reminding us of this truth said, “Lose yourself in the act of pronaming (bowing to God).”
In your initial prayer, go so deep, feel so much love, that you are swept into the ocean of divine love. Then begin your practices, imbuing them with the fire of devotion and the longing of your soul.
3. “Keep Your Goal Ever Shining Before You”
These words are worth keeping in mind as we encounter restlessness, lack of concentration, and the frustration that they can bring to our meditations.
See these mental states as part of a Divine game of hide and seek. Perhaps (you might imagine) God thinks that you will get tired and not want to play any more, or that you will lose interest in the game and not exercise your divine creativity to find Him?
Be the energetic child of God that you are and keep looking. Think to yourself, where would He be? See Him in your mind’s eye. Visualize His consciousness and let the inner star guide you to His abode where He ever awaits you and welcomes you as His own.
4. When You Experience Joy, Keep Going!
Oftentimes when we experience a little joy, a little peace, a lot of joy, or a lot of peace, we think that we have arrived. We are happy with our “good meditations” and perhaps even take them for granted.
Don’t let these experiences become a comfort zone, luring you away from the journey to which you’ve been called. Keep going! Paramhansa Yogananda described God as “ever-new joy,” and that is what our meditations can be! In the experience of “ever-new joy,” the journey and the goal will become one.
Joy to you,