A Powerful Tool for Healing Conflict
As a disciple of Paramhansa Yogananda for more than 40 years, I have witnessed many miracles in my own life and in the lives of friends. About a year ago, I learned of a prayer by Paramhansa Yogananda that seems specially empowered to bring miracles of healing to anyone having conflicts with others.
The prayer is quite simple: If you are having challenges with another person, visualize that person in light and for one minute pray: “Lord, fill him or her with peace and harmony, peace and harmony.” Then visualize yourself in light and pray for 15 seconds: “Lord, fill me with peace and harmony, peace and harmony.”
The prayer also came with these additional words: “Do this 5 times a day — 3 or 4 times might work, but 5 times practically never fails.”
I know of at least a dozen positive responses to the use of the prayer since I began sharing it with others over the past year. Here are several of these “miracles.”
Suspicions of dishonesty
I first met “Sarah” during a meditation program I was teaching at The Expanding Light Guest Retreat at Ananda Village. Sarah is a woman of high energy and great determination. She came to the United States from a foreign country and created a wonderful medical practice for herself here. Determined to make meditation a daily part of her life, she succeeded in doing so with ever-increasing focus. We spoke about her meditation practice the next few times I saw her.
Recently I saw Sarah again, but this time she was very troubled. She had just moved her medical practice into a new office. She had negotiated all aspects of the rental with a real estate broker, who had told her she didn’t need to pay rent for the month she was painting and redecorating her office. Sarah later learned that the landlord knew nothing about this “deal.”
As a result, the landlord thought she was cheating him. Refusing to accept her story about the “deal” with the broker, he was very rude to her and demanded that she send him a check immediately.
The next time I saw Sarah was during a retreat at The Expanding Light. She had just sent the check to the landlord. She was still very upset about his attitude and behavior toward her, and also by recent reports from other tenants that the landlord “hated” her. Sarah usually gets along well with people and is accustomed to harmony in her life.
At my suggestion, Sarah started using the peace and harmony prayer with great energy during her retreat and continued using it every day on her return home. Here’s what she said in an email to me two weeks later:
“As you advised, I used the “peace and harmony prayer” every day for two weeks during my meditation practice at least twice a day. I received a letter from my landlord this morning and everything seems fine now. He figured out that all the problems we had were based on the real estate agent’s miscommunication. He even offered to refund some of the money I’d sent him…. I was shocked to discover that the real estate agent had forged my initials on the lease.”
A job retained and a relationship healed
Another woman, “Sue,” had two fascinating experiences with the prayer. Sue is in charge of a small staff in a larger company. She first started using the peace and harmony prayer to defuse tension with certain work associates, including one of the managers. Later it became known that there would be big changes in the company, but no one knew what they were.
Shortly afterwards, the manager for whom Sue was praying announced that the company was laying off a large group of employees. Sue and her small staff were the only ones in the division not included in this directive. From Sue’s understanding of how the company functions, the only reason she can imagine for the exception in her case was the “peace and harmony prayer.”
Sue also has three adult sons. Her youngest son had become engaged to a lovely woman. Sue liked the young woman and felt that she and her son would do well together in marriage, but a controversy developed between the two which threatened to destroy the relationship.
Sue decided to use the “peace and harmony prayer” in a slightly different way – to help her son and his fiancée resolve their differences. She used the prayer as Yogananda recommended, praying five times a day that the couple be filled with peace and harmony and that she herself be filled with peace and harmony. She did this over a period of four months.
Sue noticed two things. Each time she spoke to her son, he reported that things were going a little better between him and his fiancée. He seemed more willing to admit his own part in the friction between them. After four months of prayers, the problems weren’t completely resolved but the relationship was definitely on the road to healing as Sue continued to use the prayer.
But the other result is also lovely. Sue noticed that she was also changing. She was beginning to feel a growing sense of healthy detachment from her son. As she continued with the prayer, it became clearer and clearer that her son’s life was in God’s hands; she was merely God’s instrument, helping as she was able. Sue feels blessed by this growing sense of inner freedom.
Boiling anger vanished
About six months ago “Mary,” a friend from the Midwest, called for counseling. I had met Mary during a meditation program also, and she is an exceptionally upbeat, energetic, likeable person. When we spoke she was deeply upset by something happening at her school. Mary works with “at risk” children and had discovered some innovative computer technology that inspired their creativity and interest in learning.
Betty, the school media specialist, seeing Mary’s success with this new equipment, convinced the principal to buy the same equipment for the school’s new media center, to be used by all students. Since Mary had a full teaching load, she assumed Betty would take responsibility for getting the new media center started once she learned how to use the equipment. But each of the many times Mary offered to train her, Betty was too busy.
As the new school equipment sat idle, Mary began to overhear Betty telling others that Mary was the only person who could get the media center started, but that she was refusing to help. Mary began to feel frustrated and annoyed. From then on the situation deteriorated. Betty remained critical of Mary even after Mary had trained certain students in how to use the equipment. Compounding the problem, Mary was now being frequently interrupted in her work with her “at risk” students to fix media center problems.
Now quite angry, Mary began obsessing about Betty. Her face became frozen with tension. Angry thoughts about Betty began to keep her awake at night. Each time she saw Betty her body tightened, and she refused to speak to her. Mary found her anger toward Betty bleeding into her interactions with others.
All of this was uncharacteristic of Mary as I know her, but her devotion to her own students, combined with her desire for fairness, was pushing her over the edge.
By the time Mary and I talked, I had heard quite a few success stories about the “peace and harmony prayer,” so Mary willingly embraced the prayer and began practicing it with intensity.
The first thing Mary noticed was that after only a few days of saying the prayer, her body and face began to relax and her angry thoughts decreased. A few days later, she began smiling again and was able to speak pleasantries to Betty when she passed her at work. She noticed that Betty too was smiling more and being kinder to the students.
The school where Mary works has a spiritual focus. After a week or two of saying the peace and harmony prayer, Mary and Betty attended the before-school prayer group. Mary was able to pray for Betty’s family, and Betty prayed for Mary’s family. All animosity between them had vanished. The “peace and harmony” prayer had healed them both. Mary was so inspired by this process that she has made the peace and harmony prayer a regular part of her life.
When the prayer didn’t work
I have had lovely success using this prayer in my own life. Sometimes even a few repetitions of the prayer takes me out of a little mental whirlpool of inharmony. But I’d also like to share a time it didn’t work for me and why.
A good friend of mine, whom I’ll call “Kelly,” once hurled an insult at me with great energy and anger, accusing me of having a fault that I consider negative. My first thought was, “Wow, Kelly really doesn’t like me!” My next thought was, “And suddenly, I don’t like Kelly so well either!” But the anger was uncharacteristic of my friend, so it wasn’t something I could just ignore.
I began to use the peace and harmony prayer, but I somehow knew the prayer wasn’t going to work in this situation. The next morning, still “energized” from the previous day’s insult, I approached my morning meditation with special energy, determined to connect with the superconscious mind, the source of transformation and solutions. As I focused deeply on Yogananda’s meditation techniques, out of “nowhere” the clear thought came to me, “Kelly is right! I do need to work on that quality.” The moment I realized Kelly was right, every shred of negative feeling toward my friend vanished!
So, sometimes if the prayer isn’t working, there may be something within ourselves that needs work. In this situation God had something else for me to learn. Rather than remove the unpleasant disharmony, He wanted me to get to work on a quality that would help my personal transformation.
I deeply encourage you to use the peace and harmony prayer in any area of your life where there is disharmony. If the situation is long-standing, you may find that a greater investment of energy is needed, and that your commitment to lifting your consciousness out of negative thought patterns needs to be regular and ongoing.
But the “peace and harmony” prayer is extremely potent. Its simplicity and clear focus direct the mind toward attunement with God and give us a practical way to draw God’s grace in important aspects of our life.
I also believe there’s a special blessing in the prayer. Try it! If you have any notable results I’d love to hear about them.
Nayaswami Anandi teaches at The Expanding Light guest retreat at Ananda Village. She is a founding member of Ananda, a Kriyacharya, and was initiated into the Nayaswami Order in 2009. She also works as an editor for Crystal Clarity, Publishers. She is married to Nayaswami Bharat.