Today a friend of mine sent a cartoon in which a couple are seated together in a living room, and the woman says, “One day 2020 will be a one-word catchphrase for everything messed up. ‘How’s your day going?’ someone will ask you. ‘A total 2020,’ you’ll answer. ‘Say no more,’ will be their reply.”

There’s probably truth behind the humor, because 2020, continuing now into 2021, has certainly been a challenge for everyone on this planet. Our lives have been changed, turned upside down, and may never return to what they were. However, there’s a secret to finding peace and happiness no matter what changes or setbacks are coming your way.

I first got a hint of it one evening in Rome when we were with Swami Kriyananda. It was late, and we’d just had a long, lovely dinner at the home of a dear friend, Renata Arlini. As we were walking back to our hotel, the lights from the shops and restaurants illumined the night, there was a hint of autumn’s chill in the air, and a light rain started to fall. Swamiji stopped at a street stall to buy Jyotish a much-needed umbrella.

Then we walked along in silence, when suddenly Swamiji said in a quiet voice, “How many dinners in how many homes in how many languages have I had!” As we strolled through the beautiful tree-lined avenues of Rome towards our hotel, Swamiji’s few words seemed to open up a different dimension of time. Nothing outwardly changed, but somehow we were living in the moment—everything was clearer, crisper, as though illumined from within, and we were a part of everything. Time itself seemed to stand still.

What was different? Before, we’d been enjoying friendship, good food, and the sights of a beautiful city. We’d been taking pleasure in all these things, but we were living for the moment, experiencing it with some attachment to our enjoyment. Swamiji’s simple statement about his life of non-attachment and self-transcendence was a secret to how to face all of life’s experiences: the enjoyable, the not-so-pleasant, and the downright horrific.

Paramhansa Yogananda put it this way: “It is helpful to think of God as being forever with us: right here and right now, ever in the present tense. Ask yourself, at the same time, why are people so irresistibly drawn to living for, rather than in, the moment? In other words, to identify with the fleeting scenes and ever-fluctuating circumstances around them: changing events, endless streams of people, both enemies and friends. Unfortunately, it takes time to banish the mental hypnosis that all this, and that time itself, is a reality, focusing one on the desire for ephemeral sense-experiences.”

How can we make this change to living in, not for, the moment? It’s not rocket science, friend. Meditate so that you experience your own inner self. Offer your life in service to God through others. Cling not to anything or anyone, and don’t identify with the “fleeting scenes and ever-fluctuating circumstances.”

Then 2020 can be remembered not as the year when everything went wrong, but as an opportunity that brought you closer to true freedom and happiness. Be part of a group that says, “It was a total 2020,” and means, “It was wonderful.”

With joy,

Nayaswami Devi

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19 Comments

  1. Very nice Deviji. Yes the year 2020 has to be seen of what we learnt rather than what we have missed out on — & there is plenty to be grateful for.
    Thank you
    Sumitra

  2. it looks so pleasing, balanced, serene and enthusiastic your life. thank you.

    i am just wondering what are the POSSIBILITIES for a human to achieve the same!
    alex.

  3. So Beautiful, Nayaswami Ji. Few of them lines struck me.It was a delight reading your lines, your take on Life. Om

  4. Esto es hermoso y es lo mejor de lo mejor del 2020 que nos enseña a vivir sin planificar instante a instante sin saber si mañana volveremos a respirar aprender a confiar no tener valorar cada minuto en compañía de los más íntimos y finalmente con uno mismo. Gracias! Thanks for your lovely words and your deep devotion which I can feel. Wish you all a wonderful Day.

  5. 2020 was also a part of the passing time in our lives. What we saw and experienced in 2020 was our karma and not something God suddenly wanted us to experience. If we received it with openness it would be burnt else the test of karma would return. Let us accept everything as it comes and deal with it calmly even though It is difficult to do that in today’s time but it is the only way to move on towards the universal goal. OM.

  6. This teaching vibrates with Divine Truth! Unceasingly grateful for your presence on the planet. 🕉️🕉️🕉️🙏

  7. Thank you, Devi, for this profound glimpse into the Eternal Now.

  8. Such beautiful words ..soo deep n.soo easily said..I’m.down with covid now…but still was thinking how blessed I’m ..have all the time on my hands to retrospect … THINK OF ALL THE THE HABITS THAT BIND ME TO CHANGE N FREE MYSELF…PLZ PRAY THAT I CAN SIT FOR A LONGER TIME WJEN I. MEDITATE… GOD BLESS

  9. IRW has been beautiful. Thank you to all who’ve made it possible for us to support one another in this way. I’m grateful for the 2020 that rendered solitude with hopes that those who were yet to know kindness would find a change of heART in their solitude.

  10. Thank you Devi for your very comforting wisdom. This is the most beautiful and helpful interpretation I’ve heard about how to live with our challenging circumstances in 2020 or any other year, day or moment of our lives. You are a gift to us all.

  11. Gratitude, dear friend, for the timely reminder. It is so easy to get caught by the senses. I am coming to believe that there is no reality other than the Divine. Namaste

  12. 1. The last paragraph is so very true 2020 can be remembered as the year of opportunity that brought me closer to true freedom and happiness. So I will always say “It was wonderful.”

  13. Dear Nauyaswami Devi Ji,

    Thank you for this blog and the beautiful message.
    With Master’s blessing may we strive to Live in the moment.

    Joy,
    Prem

  14. Nice one with very subtle and sensible message. Thanks

  15. :) I can hear Swamiji singing,
    “Fleeting scenes move by us like a dream. Cling not, none will be your own. (Lest you grieve to be alone),
    Go within you, there’s your home.”

    Bless you friend❤️

  16. Thank you Devi ji,
    the simplicity of this memory, Master’s words and holding it up for us in this time…I feel the sweetness of this moment and so often these days the teachings, and this path.
    🙏🏽 Jai!
    Catherine

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