Who are you meditating with? This is a very important question because we are very much influenced by the company we keep. Throughout his life, Paramhansa Yogananda always sought out the company of saints. He wanted to be in their presence, treasuring the inspiration that he received through their states of consciousness.
In meditation we enter the realm of the saints.
When we meditate, we should begin by feeling that we are meditating in the company of saints. This will give our meditation a powerful boost. In meditation, we enter the realm of the saints. In fact, this is the reason why we begin our meditation with a prayer to the Masters. We invoke their presence knowing that they can and will help us, whether we are struggling to establish a regular practice of meditation or whether, as a long-time meditator, we are trying to break through a dry spell of discouragement in our practice.
Once Yogananda’s nephew, Hare Krishna Ghosh, was sitting next to Yogananda in a room of his family’s home. Yogananda had gotten very quiet and hadn’t said anything for some time. Finally, someone asked him if something was wrong. When he replied he said, “I was talking with Divine Mother.” At this point, Hare Krishna pulled himself even closer to Yogananda, grabbing him in his arms.
We magnetize their presence and their consciousness.
He was motivated by the thought, “If Yogananda is speaking with the Divine Mother, I want to do that too!” He wanted to be in that Divine experience and presence. He wanted desperately to meditate with the Divine Mother, to be close to her. In our thoughts when we draw on the proximity of the saints, we magnetize their presence and their consciousness. They are not limited by time and space and neither are we on a soul level. This fathomless level of communion is possible.
Recently we held a celebration honoring Lord Krishna, one of the incarnations of God. Krishna is often pictured holding a flute on which he plays celestial music. His song calls to the hearts of devotees, beckoning them to return to their home in God. It is a wonderful image to hold in one’s mind. When we tune into the deeper elements of this image and God’s unceasing love for us, our consciousness is effortlessly and readily elevated. The advancement of our meditation practice is, in that very moment, catapulted forward on the wings of devotion.
In a letter to Rajarshi Janakananda, Yogananda tells him how to tune into the saints in meditation. You might want to try these steps yourself:
- Think of the image of the saint at the spiritual eye
- Relax and focus in the heart
- Try to feel within some of the main qualities of the saint. For example, of Yogananda, feel his great joy and love for God
- Go as deep as you can into feeling these qualities and become absorbed in them
This practice will guide you in communion with the consciousness of the saints. When we spend time with them in this way, we will begin to take on their treasured qualities and we will become increasingly familiar with the consciousness they express.
Decide now to start your meditation with the full awareness of who you are meditating with. I think you will deeply enjoy the difference.